The Student-run Venture


Student-run ventures are actual businesses that students enroll in as a course and run themselves. This experiential learning model empowers students to develop and exercise professional skills. Students enrolled do not merely learn about artistic direction, marketing, or accounting—they actually handle this work and leave with valuable business experience. The session will explore student-run ventures in the humanities, arts, and technology. Discover how this classroom opportunity can help students identify passions, hone skills, and prepare for a career.


Entrepreneurship, Student-centered, Business, Experiential


Learning in Higher Education


Focused Discussion


  • Mark Tonelli
    • Assistant Professor of Music, School of Music, Millikin University, United States United States
    • Dr. Mark Tonelli is an assistant professor of music at Millikin University in Decatur, IL, USA. At Millikin, he coordinates the guitar studies program, which includes teaching guitar ensemble, masterclass, applied lessons, and guitar pedagogy. In addition, he teaches jazz improvisation, commercial arranging, arts entrepreneurship, and is a Coleman Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow. Dr. Tonelli has had a 25-year career as a performer, with residencies in New York, Dallas, and Kansas City. He has performed with artists such as Clay Aiken, Rita Moreno, Carol Channing, Bobby Rydell, and The Platters. For ten years, he was the guitarist with the US Army's West Point Jazz Knights, touring the US and making four recordings. With the Jazz Knights, he performed with a who's who of jazz legends, including Benny Golson, Billy Cobham, Claudio Roditi, and Bobby Watson, as well as with the Boston Pops and the New York Philharmonic Brass Quintet. Dr. Tonelli's music has been heard on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and he has been a winner or finalist in the Billboard World Song Contest, USA Songrwriting Competition, and The Great American Song Contest. His large jazz ensemble arrangements are published by FJH Music and UNC Jazz Press. His jazz guitar books are published by FJH, and his music for guitar ensemble is published by Guitar Chamber Press. Dr. Tonelli holds a doctorate from Columbia University-Teachers College, a master of music from the University of North Texas, and a bachelor of music from William Paterson College. He is an artist-endorsee for Eastman Guitars and D'Addario Fretted Instruments.