Venture School


Venture School logo is a maze with black lines in the shape of a light bulb with a yellow line going through the maze for the light

The Creative Brief

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center created Venture School, a six-week program designed to accelerate the startup process and increasing the chance of success.  After its first year of success, Creative Mellen was brought in to create a professional identity that reflected the idea of the program.


The Strategy

In the Venture School program, students encounter the chaos and uncertainty of commercializing innovations and creating new ventures. They are also challenged to create their own business model as they make pivots or preserve their original plans based on findings. We focused on the idea of finding the best way to make an idea marketable. The quick, identifiable symbol of a light bulb identifies an idea in the making. To emphasize how the program helps students find the best way to bring their ideas to market, the lightbulb was turned into a maze, communicating structure and exploration. The program itself is focused on the success of each student, which is represented in the lightbulb filament—finding the right path and making the business idea a reality. Together, these elements communicate the notion of giving entrepreneurs the tools they need to navigate through the commercialization of their ideas.

We further used the symbolism of the maze within the identity to structure different stories and event-oriented messaging throughout the creative. This reinforced the new identity and brand throughout the state is it started to grow.