A groundbreaking dialog. 

Innovative educators are entrepreneurs and pioneers of their classrooms. From a striking lack of resources to huge challenges, from constantly changing expectations to a passion-driven work ethic, the similarities between the teachers and entrepreneurs is striking. Yet, both sides fail to exchange ideas and learn from each other.

The Startup Classroom creates a groundbreaking dialog between thought leaders of the education and entrepreneurial worlds — empowering both sides to learn from one another through key ideas, mindsets, and models to maximize creativity and resourcefulness.

A collaboration between the Sonoma State University School of Education and School of Business and Economics, The Startup Classroom bridges the best ideas of teachers and entrepreneurs to forge a new path for educational success.

The Startup Classroom is not confined to four walls. 

The Startup Classroom connects teachers and students with their communities and a global learning environment in a way that is relevant, responsive and revolutionary. The Startup Classroom begins with a mindset founded on eight core principles:


Change Happens: An Invitation to Innovate 

We believe that change can spur innovation, so we welcome change as opportunity to think in a new way.



Life is Learning

We believe that people can learn in all situations. In addition to agile thinking, true understanding requires the ability to pause and reflect.



Rethinking Risk

We believe that risk can lead to reward, and failure is an opportunity to learn.


Active Learning

We believe in learning by doing.


Find Your Passion

We believe in helping learners find their passion. 


It’s Always Personal

We believe that all learning is personal, and that educators and students benefit when they build relationships. Educators need empathy.



Resource Stewardship 

We believe sustainability is essential. Attend to the triple bottom line: people + planet + profit.



We believe that the world is flat, and that global learners are interdependent, connect with others, share and listen.


Built on Collaboration. 

The Startup Classroom originated with a small team at Sonoma State University.