Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship (ICE)

Get Involved

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • Fellowship: Travel to Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ( as a University Innovation Fellow.
  • ICE Project Design Days: A student-led program that introduces innovation and entrepreneurship to local middle school students through co-development of their projects.
  • ICE Project: A group of students and community members that works together to move their visions to ventures.
  • ICElab: A modular, high-tech workspace for students and community startups.
  • ICEstation: A student-run space for prototyping materials including microelectronics, sewing and textiles, 3D printing and app development.


Tyler Brandt


Tyler Brandt smiles for a portrait-style photo
Tyler Brandt smiles for a portrait-style photo

Tyler Brandt

“Every professor I’ve ever had here has been amazing. The class sizes are incredible. And I’m dyslexic, so the class sizes and working with professors one-on-one is really cool. I know all of my professors really well, and you get to interact in class.”

Tyler Brandt is just a sophomore in Western’s Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) emphasis, but he’s already making things happen. Brandt interned at a startup community in his hometown of Colorado Springs in high school and knew he wanted to continue entrepreneurship in college.

He looked at several schools but was drawn to Western’s ICE program and the partner ICE Project, which organizes entrepreneurial events in the Gunnison Valley community and at Western.

“I wanted to come in and help build it and be a part of doing something at the school,” he says.

Brandt is the student director for the ICE Project, meaning he regularly meets with business owners in Gunnison and in nearby Crested Butte. Along with other students, he organizes and oversees community events like Western’s annual Rail Jam, where skiers and snowboarders compete on a course or campus.

Brandt and the ICE Project also work on developing new community events like entrepreneurial speaker series and workshops. The ICE Project seeks to get the Gunnison Valley community involved in entrepreneurial thinking. Members try to “take those events that are in startup communities and make them Gunnison-specific,” Brandt says.

The community at Western—both professors and students—is one of the things that Brandt finds most inspiring.

“I love my professors,” Brandt says. “Every professor I’ve ever had here has been amazing. The class sizes are incredible. And I’m dyslexic, so the class sizes and working with professors one-on-one is really cool. I know all of my professors really well, and you get to interact in class.”

Brandt says he chose to continue onto college because he wanted to be around people who were engaged, who were interested in building something. Western provided him with the resources and the community to do so.

“The professors are so involved that the amount you can do and have an impact on is huge,” he says. “Just the accessibility to people that will help you is huge.”

Brandt is already using what he learns in his classes to engage and gain entrepreneurial experience outside of the classroom. As part of the ICE Toolkit course, which takes students through developing a business plan and model, Brandt and other students are working towards their own business.

“We are starting SkidoBurrito, which is food delivery on the ski mountain. We’re starting to put the wire frame for the app together and looking at financials. We have to talk to Monarch Mountain soon and see if we can get up on their mountain for next year,” Brandt says.

After he completes his degree at Western, Brandt plans to continue working in the startup world.  

“I’ll have the skills to easily apply and work at a startup. Especially building this community, I can see it being very easy for me to get a job at a startup straight out of school. I want to be working for one that’s growing quickly, or I’ll hopefully be running my own,” Brandt says. “I couldn’t be happier with my pick of Western.” 

Faculty & Staff


Christopher Greene, J.D. headshot
Associate Professor of Business Administration; Innovation + Creativity + Entrepreneurship (ICE) Project Director
Phone: 970.943.2300
Office Location: Borick Business Building 222


FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

 ACC 350 - Income Tax (3 credits)

An introduction to the federal income tax system. Emphasis is on the ways in which the U.S. income tax laws influence personal and business behavior and decision making, and how the tax laws can be used to accomplish various economic and social objectives. Topics covered include an introduction to tax research, principles of income and deduction, tax liability, and tax credits. Individual taxation is the primary focus, but the basic principles apply to most forms of business organization as well. Accounting majors must pass this class with a minimum grade of "C." Prerequisite: minimum sophomore standing.

 BUAD 100 - Business in Society (3 credits)

A study of the role of business in modern society. Topics include the private enterprise system, consumerism, management functions, major functional areas of large business, vital areas of small-business operation, and the environment of business.

 BUAD 150 - Introduction to Hospitality (3 credits)

An introduction to hospitality management, including historical developmental patterns, current business trends, and future international expectations. Current job market, working environments, personal risks, and rewards are explored.

 BUAD 275 - Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship: Mindset (ICE: Mindset) (3 credits)

The ICE mindset comprises the underlying beliefs and assumptions that drive the behavior enabling people to create positive change. This course takes the approach that anyone (not just those who want to start businesses) can benefit from understanding and applying an innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial mindset to any situation that demands change in their life. Students are immersed in learning about the fundamental aspects of an ICE mindset and the unlimited opportunities it can provide.

 BUAD 300 - Business Ethics (3 credits)

A study of how ethics apply to business organizations today. Special emphasis is placed on developing moral reasoning. The course provides multiple perspectives on actual cases and ethical dilemmas faced by organizations with an emphasis on allowing students to think through ethical problems. Topics studied include moral philosophies, moral agency and development, ethical underpinnings of free markets and economic systems, and ethical concerns with the environment, future generations, and other stakeholders such as employees and consumers. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 309 or COTH 202; or instructor permission.

 BUAD 311 - Essentials Excel Skills for the Workplace (1 credits)

This course prepares the student for Microsoft Excel Office Specialist certification. This course covers all of the topics tested by the certifying examination including managing worksheets and workbooks, applying formulas and functions, analyzing and organizing data, visual presentation of data, and sharing worksheet data with others. Prerequisites: college-level mathematics requirement with a minimum grade of "C-" or instructor permission

 BUAD 312 - Advanced Excel Applications (2 credits)

This course emphasizes the use of computer spreadsheets to organize, analyze and present quantitative information to aid managerial decision-making. The course exercises include examples from several disciplines including business, energy and environmental impact analysis, natural sciences, and social sciences. Specific topics will include business planning and budgeting, capital budgeting and net present value analysis, time value of money, cost / benefit analysis, goal seeking, scenario planning and pivot tables. Prerequisites: BUAD 311, Excel Office Specialist certification or instructor permission.

 BUAD 315 - Business Law (3 credits)

Study includes: sales, commercial paper, secured transactions, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, and agency. Prerequisite: BUAD 210.

 BUAD 335 - Marketing Communications (3 credits)

Advertising, sales promotions, media utilization, public relations, and personal selling are highlighted in this course. Legal regulations and ethical considerations in mass media advertising and promotions are also covered. Finally, the student is exposed to the principles of planning and budgeting for such media events. Prerequisites:MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151 with a minimum grade of ÒC-Ó; ACC 201 with a minimum grade of ÒCÓ; BUAD 270; or instructor permission.

 BUAD 340 - Global Business (3 credits)

An advanced course with application of management and marketing principles to the inter-national marketplace. Cultural, political, and geographic differences are analyzed in order to develop market strategies for global markets. Prerequisite: BUAD 309 or COM 202; or instructor permission.

 BUAD 345 - Consumer Behavior (3 credits)

Utilizing theories from the behavioral sciences, this course provides an in-depth examination of the individual customer learning and decision-making processes, segmentation, as well as culture, subculture, and social class relationships with marketing. Students develop an understanding of consumer's shopping behavior, utilization of different marketing channels, perception of products, and reactions to advertising and other selling methods. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 270; or instructor permission.

 BUAD 350 - Human Resource Management (3 credits)

Provides students with an understanding of the functions, content and challenges of Human Resource Management (HRM) in organizations today. Insights will be developed on basic dimensions of HRM such as recruitment, selection, performance management, rewards and retention, as well as particular challenges concerning strategic HRM and global environments. Emphasis is placed on how the complexities of HRM relate to students' past and future experiences as members of organizations. Prerequisites: BUAD 309 or COM 202 or instructor permission.

 BUAD 375 - Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship: Toolkit (ICE: Toolkit) (3 credits)

This course helps students identify and frame business and other societal problems that are characterized by complexity, uncertainty, volatility, and ambiguity. Students learn to think problems through by understanding the situation and framing problems in new ways that might alter how they generate and evaluate solutions. Prerequisite: ACC 201; BUAD 275; or instructor permission.

 BUAD 425 - Marketing Research (3 credits)

The focus of this course is the collection, analysis, and interpretation of marketing data for reporting research information necessary to make informed marketing decisions. Students develop skills in defining research problems, designing surveys, experiments, and observational studies, managing data collection, performing data analysis, and communicating results. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 270; or instructor permission. BUAD 335 and BUAD 345 recommended.

 BUAD 491 - Strategic Management (3 credits)

The formal analysis of an organization's macro and industry environment; its mission and goals; and strategy formulation, implementation, and control. This is a capstone course which integrates the student's knowledge from the areas of accounting, finance, marketing, and management. Students are encouraged to take this course during their last semester; graduating seniors are given priority in enrollment. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 309; BUAD 333 or 350; BUAD 360; and senior standing.

 BUAD 494 - Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship: Launch (ICE: Launch) (3 credits)

This course provides real world, hands on learning on what it's like to actually start an organization. Students talk to customers, partners, competitors, as they encounter the chaos and uncertainty of how a startup actually works. Prerequisite: Base curriculum; BUAD 275; BUAD 375; or instructor permission.

 BUAD 499 - Internship in Business Administration ( credits)

A course designed specifically for junior- and senior-level students. Internships provide guided, counseled, and progressive experience under a dual-tutelage program of a businessperson and an academician. An academically monitored activity to assure quality experience. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisite: completion of Base Curriculum; or instructor permission.

 ECON 201 - Macroeconomics (3 credits)

An introduction to the methods, models, and approaches used by economists to analyze and interpret events and policies related to the overall operation of the economy. The course endeavors to make sense of unemployment, inflation, recessions, debt and deficits, economic growth, the expanding role of the Federal Reserve, and policies to provide stability to the economy. Additional attention is given to the making of economic policy in an era of globalization. Finally, students are exposed to multiple schools of thought regarding macroeconomic reasoning. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 500 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or university-level math requirement with a minimum grade of C-. Prerequisite or corequisite: ENG 102.

 ECON 302 - Intermediate Microeconomics (3 credits)

Intermediate Microeconomics extends the analysis of individual economic behavior and the functioning of markets learned in ECON 202 by incorporating the more sophisticated microeconomic models used in more advanced economic analysis. Topics include the theories of the consumer and the firm, the functioning of market, and the impact of market structure on price formation. Prerequisites: ECON 202; MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151 with a minimum grade of "C-"; ECON 201 recommended.


The ICE emphasis and minor prepare students to be leaders who challenge the status quo. Students experience cutting edge innovation and problem-solving techniques necessary for solving the ever-changing commercial, social and environmental challenges of tomorrow. ICE students master the ability to recognize opportunity, frame problems, think creatively, manage risk and launch organizations.

The Program

ICE is an experiential program for students looking to push beyond the classroom and into the world, becoming immersed in making change in their areas of interest. While anchored in marketing, management and strategy, the ICE program focuses on developing the skills and attitudes needed to generate effective solutions in a complex and ambiguous world. By creating real organizations that are making a real impact, you’ll gain a set of tools that will help you achieve ambitious goals and move ideas from vision to venture, including:

  • Empathetic awareness
  • Problem framing
  • Creative thinking
  • Experimenting
  • Bootstrapping
  • Prototyping
  • Resilience
  • Negotiating

After Graduation

The goal of the ICE program is to create a culture of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Our focus is preparing students with the right attitudes and skills for the professional environment they will experience in the 21st century—whether they choose to start a company or not.

Studies predict that half of students graduating in 2025 will be self-employed at some point in their careers. Change is the new normal and traditional careers no longer exist. Academic programs need to change as well to prepare students properly with a modern mental framework and a new toolkit of skills they will need to succeed.

Those students who see themselves as social change agents and want to help the world also need entrepreneurship skills to be successful. Repeatedly, employers tell us that, all else being equal, students who have had innovation and entrepreneurship experiences are more competitive candidates.

Learn More

Reach out to Christopher Greene, J.D. for more information.