Venture Laboratory

Class Details:

Class Number: EAEP 201
Credits:  3
Location: Dinsdale Learning Commons, East Campus

Class Description: 

In this class, you will start a business.

Here’s the deal. You will work with a team to build a real business that seeks to earn a real profit from real customers. Noticing a theme in our teaching philosophy? 

We give each team $50 in starting capital to launch a business.

This might be the only class you’ll find where you actually get paid to take it. Yes, you read that right.

While $50 may not sound like much, past students have made thousands of dollars by the end of the semester. Some have even decided to continue building their business after the class ends. The best part? Your team keeps all of the profit. You don’t even have to pay back the $50.

Outside of the real-world experience of starting a business, this class will cover a variety of business topics including pricing, marketing, e-commerce and management strategies. Local entrepreneurs will share their stories of failures and successes so you can understand the entrepreneurial ecosystem and network with those who have already been in your shoes. At the end of the semester, teams will participate in a pitch competition to showcase the businesses they have created.


The Venture Laboratory is your opportunity to try entrepreneurship on for size in a low-risk and high-reward environment. This class is designed for those that will take responsibility for their success. We will cultivate a creative environment and provide you with the resources to succeed. The rest is up to you. That is entrepreneurship.

 We hope you understand this class has major potential to create a lasting impact on your life, even outside of the college experience. We hope you will answer the call to start before you’re ready and experiment with entrepreneurship through the Venture Laboratory.

“This class is different — there’s no hand-holding here. It’s real.”

– Samuel R.

You’ll leave this class with:

  • Real-world experience of planning, launching, building and growing a business. 
  • Potential partners to work with in the future. 
  • Real-world examples of what pursuing the world of entrepreneurship is really like: the good, the bad and the ugly. 
  • A clear understanding if entrepreneurship is not for you, or if you want to continue on the business building path in your career.

Take this class if: 

  • You just finished up EAEP 101 and want to keep going (note that EAEP 101 is not a required prereq, just suggested)
  • You aren’t sure if entrepreneurship is for you or not. 
  • You want credit for starting a business where you get to keep the money.

Brennan Costello, mba

Brennan Costello is an Engler team member who has had plenty of experience experimenting with entrepreneurship. He has not only been a member of several startups but is extremely well connected within the Lincoln entrepreneurial ecosystem. He loves black highly caffeinated tea, tacos, woodworking and challenging the status quo. Expect for him to challenge you to push past your comfort zone and grow as an entrepreneur. Find Brennan in Dinsdale 201AB practicing his golf short game and listening to Texas Red Dirt Music.

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