The Bates Center’s Winterim is a fast-paced immersive week designed to develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills in a supportive and fun environment. No prior entrepreneurial experience is required or expected.

Inspiration. Workshops. Networking. Pitch Competition.

January 7 - 12, 2024

Application will open October 1

Whether you want to start a new organization, work for an existing one, or are simply curious and motivated, you will benefit from this week. We assign you into groups of three or four to create, research, develop and pitch an idea. You will learn entrepreneurial and life-skills amidst inspirational speakers, mentors, and leaders in the for-profit and nonprofit professional community.

  • Prior entrepreneurial experience or an idea required? No!
  • Motivation, curiosity, and commitment to fully participate required? Yes!

$8,000 in cash prizes!!

  • $3K for first place team, 
  • $2K for second place team,
  • $1.5K for best understanding of the problem
  • $1.5K for audience choice award

These funds are not tied to the idea/venture you create during the Winterim week.

Workshops included in Winterim 2024: 

  • Design Thinking     

  • Start Up Finance
  • Personal Financial Literacy
  • Branding and Vision & Value 

  • Networking

  • Telling Your Story

  • Best Self Forward 
  • Art of the Sale  

Winterim counts as a co-curricular requirement if the student is pursuing a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation.  

Priority and Financial Aid Application deadline is usually the second week of November.

See the 2024 application and tuition pages. For questions, please email or 

Interested in competing through InventOR? The Winterim pitch competition counts as Lewis & Clark’s InventOR competition. Any team that is not part of Winterim needs to contact Catarina Hunter before December 15, 2023 in order to compete on January 13. 

  • Winterim was amazing! It provided me with a platform to connect and build relationships that I will have for the rest of my life. More importantly it opened my eyes and helped me see what I was made of. I was thrown in the fire of brainstorming and problem solving with not much time to work with. I learned that I was able to act as an entrepreneur, think of an idea and help develop the idea with a team. Every day since Winterim I have been thinking about the speakers that I listened to, the advice from mentors, and the skills I have acquired. I can gladly say that my Winterim experience will assist me every day of my future.

    Adrian Romero ’19  (Rhetoric and Media Studies)

  • One of the most important lessons I derived from Winterim was how to prioritize my time most effectively to be adaptive to the kinds of challenges that face an entrepreneur. After Winterim, I feel immensely more prepared than before to enter the professional working world of my major. I was also lucky enough to be given the opportunity to network with a broad spectrum of entrepreneurs from whom I gleaned numerous valuable lessons that helped me to become more equipped to approach obstacles I might face in the near future as an emerging professional.

    Ahmed Gedi ’19 (Computer Science)

  • Upon entering college, I was anxious about lots of things but the most striking was that I would be at the bottom of a system again as a freshman. I constantly looked around for opportunities to prove myself and this opportunity came around with Winterim. Of course, I can’t speak highly enough of how amazing our mentors were and how much I learned in just a week, but there is something in particular that really struck me after finishing the week. I finally proved to my peers and higher-ups that a freshman could do just as well if not better than the juniors and seniors. Winterim unlocked my future and set the stage for the next classes of students that anyone, no matter their age, is able to succeed.

    Matthew Telles ’21

  • During Winterim, I learned the value of market research and collaboration in creating a sound and deliverable business plan. And the importance of remaining flexible, adaptable and able to bounce back quickly as you might encounter dead-ends and information gaps but must find a way to keep your business sustainable.

    Christen Comer ’18 (Rhetoric and Media Studies)

  • Participating in Winterim was an experience unlike anything I had done at Lewis & Clark. It was unique in that I was able to learn leadership and teamwork skills by actually collaborating with my peers toward a collective vision. Also, engaging with real-life entrepreneurs was extremely valuable - not only was I able to make lasting and deep connections, but it gave me direct contact with the entrepreneurial world. I was lucky to have had this experience as an undergraduate.

    Rachel Stone ’18  (Psychology and Asian Studies)

  • As a senior, Winterim was an unexpectedly timely experience for me, as I will soon be entering the workforce. Every day of the program we were immersed in workshops, lectures, mentorships, and networking events in which enhanced our interpersonal skills, networks, and understanding not only of how business works, but how to be professional, financially savvy, and an essential part of any team. It was an intensive and invaluable experience that I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of.

    Sage Milestone ’18  (International Affairs)

  • When I signed up for Winterim, I desired a better understanding of entrepreneurship and what it entails to be an entrepreneur. Looking back today, my expectations were met and more. The ten workshops taught us not only how to be a successful entrepreneur, but also the value of a liberal arts education, how to manage finances, and current social problems to name a few. In the process, we connected with successful and local entrepreneurs – including alumni – and listened to their inspiring stories and suggestions for our product. Furthermore, I have learned and improved a vast amount of skills that I know will be extensively used in my future. Because of Winterim, I am now more confident than ever to face the world after graduation.

    Edward Nguyen ’18  (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)

  • The week-long workshop allowed access to skills and opportunities that I would not have gained in a traditional classroom setting, all while connecting me with Lewis and Clark’s impressive alumni network. On a personal level, the lectures were extremely informative and insightful. What I value most about my Winterim experience was the chance to meet the many helpful and inspiring entrepreneurs throughout the week, and afterwards reconnect with a select few individuals whose career path excited me. The amount of resources provided by this program has been both fruitful and eye-opening, indeed.

    Yaniv Shier ’18  (Rhetoric and Media Studies)

  • Winterim taught me how to hone in on an idea and make it into a solid business plan that could be viable to potential investors. The program also showed me that businesses can be a force for social change and inspiration in a world that is often so negative. Through the many mentors we had, I was able to understand the challenges that face every day business people and the constant readjustments you must make to your plans. Overall, I was inspired and felt like I learned more real life skills in a week than a semester at school.

    Zachary Lerman ’19 (Economics)

  • Winterim is a life changing event that any student interested in business or entrepreneurship should pursue.

    Noah Avery-Navickas ’19  (English)