2016 Year in Review

Two years down in the Trailhead books.

Hard to believe we’ve only been open that long! We have definitely been busy…

Last year we launched two major programs: the START series and Trailhead Code School. Idea, Set, GO and Startup Now are two programs within the START series focused on building entrepreneurial skill sets. Idea, Set, GO is a 3-week workshop designed to help people validate their idea, learn about the entrepreneurial mindset and identify next steps. Startup Now is an 8-week, mini business accelerator class for startups looking to take their idea and determine how to bring it to market. Trailhead Code School offers coding classes and workshops to help those interested in learning to program to gain exposure to this high demand skill.

Over the past year…

  • 70 people have gone through the idea validation process with Idea, Set, Go.
  • 20 startups have taken their business to the next level with Startup NOW.
  • 50 people have written code for the first time in Trailhead Code School.

We couldn’t have done this without our supporters. Thank you.

2016 Event Highlights

It’s been a productive year at Trailhead. We’ve put on a broad range of programming offerings to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs and those wishing to learn more about entrepreneurship to participate, learn and be inspired. Below are a sampling of last year’s events.


1776 Challenge Cup

The Challenge Cup is a global startup competition for businesses in regulated industries. Hosted by renowned startup accelerator 1776, the Challenge Cup provides a unique opportunity for companies to connect with industry experts and have a chance to win up to $1 million in funding.

Dave Bieter speaks at 1776 Challenge Cup
Mayor Dave Bieter speaking at Challenge Cup

Last year, Trailhead hosted the local competition for Idaho startups. Over 40 companies from throughout the state applied, and 20 competed in Boise, and almost 200 attended the competition.. Of the three companies that advanced to the regional competition in San Francisco, one of them – GenZ Technology – advanced to the global competition in Washington DC. We consider this a massive achievement for the Boise startup scene and couldn’t be more proud to have had an Idaho representative at the global competition in our first year hosting the competition.

Idea, Set, GO!

Idea, Set, GO

A lot of people have ideas. Tons of those people come to Trailhead asking for help figuring out their next steps. This is where Idea, Set, GO comes in.

Jeff Reynolds dropping knowledge
Jeff Reynolds dropping knowledge

Over the course of three weeks, people get together with Trailhead’s team of startup experts to go through the idea validation process together. Some people realize they have a market and continue developing their idea while others come to the realization that there isn’t really a market for what they are wanting to do and take a step back to reevaluate.


Startup Now

How much progress can you make in eight weeks? Turns out, a lot. Especially if you meet with the right people.

Chris Cook
Chris Cook, Trailhead member and founder of Wandervans

Over the course of the year, 18 companies participated in the first year of Startup Now. Each of them made significant progress on their companies in the span of eight weeks by attending weekly workshops, mentor sessions, and pitch practice nights.

Watch n' LearnWatch n’ Learn

This is a weekly discussion group covering critical startup topics. It’s kind of like a book club, without the books. We watch videos instead and then get together over lunch to talk about them. Next Watch n’ Learn starts April 7th! Click here for more information.

1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a showcase of entrepreneurs and their companies. It is a national effort to connect entrepreneurs to the startup community at home and beyond.

1 Million Cups
Who put these cups here?

This past year, we had over 20 companies present to a local startup audience. Chris Cook, a Trailhead member, Startup Now alumni, and founder of Boise Wandervans, presented his company at one of our 1 Million Cups events. Chris told us afterwards that it was at that event that he met his now business partner, August Johnson. What a cool match! You never know what will happen if you share your story.

Code School

Trailhead Code School

Coding is the language of the new economy, so making coding classes accessible is a high priority for Trailhead.

To date, we’ve offered classes on topics such as Ruby on Rails, WordPress, Immersive Full Stack, and Front End Foundations.

Boise Startup Week

Boise Startup Week

Last year we helped produce the inaugural Boise Startup Week, a week of 50+ free startup events.

Read more about it here.

Memorable Moments

  • Johnny SchillereffJohnny Schillereff stopped by Trailhead to talk to the startup community about being creative, breaking the rules we and others make for ourselves, and stepping off the spreadsheet once in awhile. Schillereff is the CEO and founder of Element, a skateboarding brand.


  • Hosted the first Albertsons Employee Reception, an event to welcome new employees to Idaho and let them know about all the cool resources available to them.


  • 3D Printer - Objects 2We brought together the local Maker community to put on display the creative talent in the Treasure Valley for First Thursday. From plant robots and 3D-printed board games to instruments made out of PCP pipe, there was something to amuse and inspire people of all ages.


  • USPTOUnited States Patent and Trademark Office came to Trailhead to talk to entrepreneurs about protecting their businesses and ideas.


  • We organized the ‘Business of VR’ panel discussions, an event that brought together Boise’s top virtual reality talent to talk about the future of VR and AR in Boise.