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Venture College

Bring your idea to life

Venture College is here to help you take control of your life, education, and future through entrepreneurship. We are open to the entire campus community regardless of major, role, or prior experience.

Whether you already have an idea or need help finding what to commit your ambitions to, we help develop the skills, mindset, and connections to reach your goals.

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Venture College :: What We Do

More than just business

Entrepreneurship is more than just starting a business -its about creating value. From educators running an after school program, college students creating a side hustle, or an engineer creating a gadget, the root of Venture College is a desire to solve problems and be creative in the ways we create value.


Lion’s Innovation Showcase

Come celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit at A&M-Commerce. Every spring our university comes together to showcase what we’re made of. Open to all students, faculty, staff and high school youth, the Lion’s Innovation Showcase lets you display your innovative products and services to real investors. Compete in one of ten categories for your chance to win cash prizes ($2,000/category). Discover how you can become a part of the showcase.

Lion’s Den

Students, faculty and staff pitch their ideas to potential donors each fall. These funds help further develop and advance our projects (e.g., travel, materials, prototypes etc.). Each year we use these funds with the goal of completing our projects by the end of the spring semester.

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Networking Nights

We want our students to excel. Meeting with industry leaders is one way we’re making this happen. As part of The Aurora Initiative, Networking Nights enable our students to learn from industry experts. Students present a 2-minute pitch of their idea to investors and spend the evening networking with them. In Fall 2019, Venture College held its first Networking Night at the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce. Over 80 guests participated in the event.

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The Aurora Initiative

The Aurora Initiative is designed to help guide students, faculty and staff to execute projects that generate social and/or economic value. Using the Lean Launchpad methodology, students refine their project ideas by actively researching, interviewing sources, networking and finding resources. This experience concludes with students pitching their value-creating projects to potential donors with the intention of obtaining financing to advance their projects to a pre-launch stage.

A Holistic Approach

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Venture College :: Welcome from the Dean of the college of business

M18196-Signature Courses-2251-Mario Hayek

Welcome from the Director

Welcome to Venture College, a space dedicated to INSPIRE, INNOVATE and IMPACT! During the Fall 2019 semester, an interdisciplinary group of dynamic students came together and founded The Aurora Initiative, a space where members of the Texas A&M University-Commerce community learn and execute their creative and innovative projects that are geared at creating economic and/or social value. In the process of ‘learning by doing’ and obtaining support from amazing alumni, faculty, staff, and local organizations and community leaders, these students are learning how to disrupt markets and solve social problems. If you have a value-creating dream you are wanting to pursue or you want to help others in pursuit of their dreams, please don’t hesitate to connect with us!

Mario Hayek, PhD
Director, Venture College
Interim Dean, Professor of Management
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The mission of Venture College is to inspire and enable an innovative value-creating community.

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Contact Us

  • P.O. Box 3011
  • Commerce, TX 75429-3011
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