Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Boise, ID


Nicknamed the “City of Trees” and perhaps best-known as home to potato farmers, Boise is a budding place for entrepreneurship and small business.

Boise, ID is the state’s capital and most populous city. Nicknamed the City of Trees and perhaps best-known as home to potato farmers, Boise is a budding place for entrepreneurship and small business.

A ranking done by the website Top Management Degrees listed the city 33rd on their article of the 50 best towns for small business in America, calling the city a growing tech hub. To that end, the City of Trees was listed at 30th on WalletHub’s 2018 list of the best metro areas for STEM professionals. Another WalletHub list also had the area at 30th: the 2018 rankings for the best cities for Hispanic entrepreneurs. Finally, the same site’s overall rankings of the best large cities to start a small business had the city 70th overall in the nation.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Boise’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

An organization that teaches women around the country how to code and develop software.

Through monthly networking meetings, Idaho Business Owners aims to support and advance entrepreneurship and small business in the area.

The Real Estate Investors & Entrepreneurs of Idaho is a group of both new and experienced real estate entrepreneurs and investors.

With several branches in Idaho and the surrounding area, the United Women Entrepreneurs Meetup provides opportunities for women to advance their entrepreneurial careers.

Young Entrepreneurs, New Potential is a group dedicated to supporting people interested in entrepreneurship and real estate investing.


Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

The Boise Metro Chamber hosts a number of annual events, including awards ceremonies, networking events and other conferences.

An annual conference organized by Techstars that includes events and competitions to support entrepreneurship.

This branch of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization host regular events to support the entrepreneurial scene in Boise.

The Idaho Business & Technology Expo is an annual gathering of experts and leaders in the worlds of business and technology, specifically human resources and IT.


Startup Competitions:

Held annually during the Idaho Business & Technology Expo, the BizTech Pitch Competition is for technology-minded companies looking to take their products to market.

Several competitions are held during Boise Startup Week, including a general pitch competition, one for food product startups and even a dodgeball tournament between startups.

Boise State University hosts a number of pitch competitions for students at the university and universities across the state of Idaho.


Co-working Spaces:

Intelligent Office’s location in downtown Boise offers 24/7 access and a variety of amenities to its members.

Downtown is home to one location of Office Evolution, which offers several flexible membership plans and amenities.

Trailhead has two locations in Boise, with each one offering distinct styles of co-working space and hosting regular events.


Maker spaces:

The MakerLab at Boise State University’s Albertsons Library is open to everybody on the university’s campus.

Jack’s Urban Meeting Place, or JUMP, is a community center that offers a small maker studio in addition to a number of other resources.

Located just outside of Boise in Garden City, UP Makerspace has an array of tools available and a wide variety of membership plans.



Located at Boise State University, the Idaho SBDC offers a variety of services to support and help grow area small businesses.

One Stone is a group that works with high school students through a number of programs to help them grow, including entrepreneurship incubators.

The Trailhead co-working space offers several programs, including mentorship and other services to support entrepreneurs.

The Venture College Incubator at Boise State University is an incubator program that works with people on campus as well as select others from the area.



Organized by Boise State’s College of Business and Economics, the COBE Funding Accelerator helps student startups grow and get connected to funding opportunities.

In addition to incubation and other business services, the Idaho Small Business Development Center also organizes accelerator programs.

Trailhead’s Startup Velocity series includes a sixth-month accelerator program to help grow startups and businesses.



Boise State University’s College of Business and Economics organizes a number of outside-the-classroom resources and some degree programs in entrepreneurship.

With campuses in both Boise and Nampa, the College of Western Idaho offers business degrees and an entrepreneurship club for its students.

Though it doesn’t offer many entrepreneurship-specific resources, Northwest Nazarene University has a variety of business degrees available to students.


Angel Groups/VCs:

Boise Angel Alliance is an angel group that provides early-stage capital to promising companies around the state of Idaho.

Among other services, Loon Creek Capital works with entrepreneurs to fund and grow their startups.

With startup studios in California and Boise, Succeed Holdings has entrepreneurs-in-residence that found new startups funded by the organization.


Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

BoiseDev, which covers business and commercial development news, offers newsletters and breaking news alerts.

Idaho Business Review, a website covering business news around the state, offers e-mail alerts with major news and headlines and technology updates.

The Idaho Statesman, Boise’s daily newspaper, offers several newsletters, some of which include business headlines.


Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Boise not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below, and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

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Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at FundingSage where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.