Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas

Entrepreneurship students, family businesses, small business development, an incubator and start-up

The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship combines a focus on educating the next generation of business founders and creative thinkers with a commitment to serving the business community. The only one of its kind within a business school, the Schulze School provides undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs, leading edge collaborative endeavors and opportunities for funding new ventures. I

Operating as usual

Brittney Mikell hopes to open first Black woman-owned brewery 05/28/2024

In an industry often lacking diversity, Brittney Mikell is breaking barriers by launching the first Black woman-owned brewery in the Twin Cities. The Community Entrepreneurship Program, a collaboration between University of St. Thomas, the Schulze School and the Small Business Development Center, supports aspiring entrepreneurs facing economic hardship. This 10-month program has provided Brittney a lifeline, helping her build a crowdfunding campaign from scratch and craft a compelling business plan.

Read more about how the program's mentorship and student consultations have supported Brittney's exciting new venture!

Brittney Mikell hopes to open first Black woman-owned brewery In an industry often lacking diversity, Brittney Mikell is hoping to launch the first Black woman-owned brewery in the Twin Cities.

05/23/2024

Studies show that peers hold significant influence on a student's academic-related decisions, such as college major choice. But which of those peers have the biggest influence? Shinwon Noh, PhD discusses her research findings on today's NPR's Academic Minute. Listen here. https://ow.ly/V3iM50RKx1Q

05/22/2024

Danielle Campeau, D.B.A., the associate dean of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship and a clinical professor of entrepreneurship, recently spoke on NPR’s “The Academic Minute” on her work focusing on entrepreneurship education, rural entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurial mindset, and the intersection of science and entrepreneurship.

Listen here: https://ow.ly/pK8L50RGi09

with Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas

Photos from Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas's post 05/20/2024

This year, students in our Entrepreneurship Capstone course were paired up with participants in our Community Entrepreneurship Program to help them grow their business!

For fourth year student Maria Johnson, it was her first client consulting project and an exciting way to conclude her time at St. Thomas. Her team was invited into the work of Jay Victoria, gaining hands-on experiences and insight into the clothing brand's mission of inclusivity and empowerment.

Sophomore Innovates for Global Equity - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas 05/08/2024

Join us in giving a round of applause to Beamlak Tesfahun Petros for her stellar performance at the 2024 Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge at the University of San Diego this past weekend!

Petros continues to captivate the social entrepreneur community with her innovative idea aimed at addressing hunger and fertilizer scarcity in Ethiopian society. She shares, "My goal is to leverage entrepreneurship as a tool for positive change and innovation in addressing the pressing issues facing our communities.”

We couldn't be prouder of the amazing students who represent the University of St. Thomas - Schulze School of Entrepreneurship with such excellence!

Explore her entire story here: https://news.stthomas.edu/sophomore-innovates-for-global-equity/

Fowler GSIC

Sophomore Innovates for Global Equity - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas Creating the business concept Waste Compo, Beamlak Petros ’26 thrives as a Tommie.

Photos from Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas's post 04/25/2024

The Schulze School had an incredible weekend hosting e-Fest! College entrepreneurs from across the country gathered at the University of St. Thomas for three action-packed days filled with business pitches, networking, enriching workshops, and the forging of new connections. Congratulations to all who dedicated their hard work to making this year's event a success!

Swipe through pictures of the event and check out a full recap here: https://news.stthomas.edu/schulze-school-of-entrepreneurship-celebrates-the-spirit-of-innovation/

Students Innovate for a Sustainable Future - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas 04/22/2024

Today on Earth Day, we’re proud to celebrate Tommie entrepreneurs like Georges Macheta, Gabriel Riegert, William Pittner, and John Costello for their efforts innovating sustainability! From diverting batteries and office furniture from landfills to reclaiming surplus food for those in need, our Tommies are making a difference.

Discover the inspiring stories of these social entrepreneurs:

Students Innovate for a Sustainable Future - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas Meet students involved in sustainability, a fundamental part of the University of St. Thomas’ mission.

04/18/2024

Open Door Code is an entrepreneurship venture from the University of St. Thomas that was selected in the top 25 teams to compete at e-Fest. This 3-day national competition kicks off tonight, so let’s meet our very own team!

Maria Johnson ‘24, is an entrepreneurship major with sustainability and art history minors. She has especially enjoyed learning about the human-centered design process during her time at St. Thomas and working through it from the early stages of empathy interviews to prototype iteration testing. She’s most interested in creating companies that are socially and environmentally responsible from conception, delivering products that intuitively address users' needs.

Montserrat Lopez ’25 is an entrepreneurship major with a digital media arts minor. She’s extremely passionate about helping those in need. Her drive for entrepreneurship is powered by hearing stories of students who are not currently having their needs met. She hopes to see the world become a better place where all students have the opportunity to learn STEM skills.

Aleia Wilbur ’24 is a leadership and management major with a data analytics minor. She comes from a long line of teachers, so she is very passionate about education, and her time at St. Thomas has ignited her passion for inclusivity, so being part of Open Door Code gives her the perfect opportunity to combine those two passions.

The three met on the first day of their freshman year at the University of St. Thomas and are now best friends, roommates, and business partners.

Open Door Code is an introductory coding tool for blind and low vision students that empowers young creators by making learning fun, interactive, and accessible. By bringing the world of coding from the screen to their hands, Open Door Code gives middle-school students a tactile alternative to traditional beginner coding software.

The idea stemmed from Maria's experience in inclusive design at the Playful Learning Lab (at the University of St. Thomas). She recognized the need for designing environments that accommodate the needs of all their users in STEM education. Maria and Montse pitched their concept at the Fowler Business Concept Challenge in 2023 and placed second at the St. Thomas Business Plan competition in 2024. Alongside Aleia, they’ll represent the university at e-Fest in Minneapolis this weekend, April 18-20, 2024. They are so proud to be one of two entirely female teams at e-Fest this year!

Join us in supporting these three amazing Tommieprenurers this weekend at e-Fest! 🌟👏

Photos from University of St. Thomas's post 04/16/2024

Check out the incredible ideas our Tommiepreneurs developed at last week’s Hackathon event, held by the Women in Business student club, the University of St. Thomas Luann Dummer Center for Women and the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship.

Meet the entrepreneur quietly creating a northeast Minneapolis food empire 03/11/2024

St. Thomas alumni entrepreneur Kamal Mohamed '12 burst onto the local foodie scene with Nashville Coop, but his bold flavors and ideas can be found across the Twin Cities, from sandwiches to the fine-dining restaurant StepChld. Meet the Tommiepreneur quietly creating a northeast Minneapolis food empire: https://ow.ly/OoyO50QQBke

Meet the entrepreneur quietly creating a northeast Minneapolis food empire Kamal Mohamed burst onto the local scene with Nashville Coop, but his bold flavors and ideas can be found across the Twin Cities, from sandwiches to the fine-dining restaurant StepChld.

Student Sweeps Entrepreneurship Competitions - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas 03/06/2024

Congratulations to all participants in last week's exciting entrepreneurship doubleheader! This year, we saw an increase in participation from students majoring in the arts and sciences, joining peers across 22 different majors in bringing their innovative ideas to the competitions.

Beamlak Petros '26 received $16,000 for winning both the St. Thomas Business Plan Competition undergraduate track and the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge Campus Finals. Her concept, Waste Compo, aims to address two pressing issues in Ethiopia – hunger and the shortage of fertilizer. She and second-place winner Maria Magambo will be heading to the University of San Diego in June to present at the Fowler GSIC Global Finals.

In the graduate student/recent alumni track of the St. Thomas B-Plan Competition, a team of Health Care MBA students from the Opus College of Business won $10,000 for Safe 6, a social distancing app revolutionizing safety for individuals living with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Learn more about the winning concepts and this year's other finalists: https://ow.ly/us1o50QMTKk

Student Sweeps Entrepreneurship Competitions - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas Beamlak Petros ’26 won the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge (Fowler GSIC) Campus Finals in the morning and the undergraduate student track of the St. Thomas Business Plan Competition in the afternoon March 1.

Photos from University of St. Thomas School of Law's post 02/26/2024
Photos from Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas's post 02/19/2024

It was a great turnout at our inaugural speed networking event on Saturday! St. Thomas undergraduate students from various majors enjoyed an opportunity to meet with entrepreneurship program alumni who graduated within the last two years. Students got to learn more about their careers in fields such as start-ups, procurement, finance, marketing/social media, real estate development, management consulting, and more.

01/25/2024

Don't miss the kickoff of the Finding Forward speaker series on Feb. 22 at Schulze Hall in Minneapolis!

01/23/2024

Calling all St. Thomas alumni! Are you thinking about signing up for the St. Thomas Business Plan Competition? Not only is it a great opportunity to showcase your idea, gain exposure, and receive feedback, but it's also the logical next step to get your plans on paper, move your business forward, and earn money to build your company!

We're pleased to offer 1:1 mentoring support to help you prepare your business plan, due Feb. 8. Sign up for a 30-minute session with Kelsey Joson or Kelli Nelson for social ventures, or schedule a general business mentor session. Limited openings remain for this week and next, so reserve your spot today!

Details here: https://ow.ly/ygVa50QtExO

01/09/2024

Are you looking to start or grow your business and win $10,000? Join our virtual Q&A and info sessions on January 12 and 16 for details on the Business Plan Competition and Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge! RSVP for details on requirements, resources, and the option to pursue the FGSIC award (for an additional $6k). Open to students and recent grads up to 5 years.

Sign up for the Jan. 12 info session: https://lnkd.in/gGjj3M2r
Register for the Jan. 16 info session: https://lnkd.in/gaunyVdJ

12/25/2023

May all your days be merry and bright. Happy holidays from the Schulze School!

Fowler Business Concept Challenge Celebrates 15 Years of Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas 12/15/2023

Celebrating its 15th year, the Fowler Business Concept Challenge has evolved into a nationally recognized competition, with a nod to social entrepreneurship to meet tomorrow's challenges. “The interdepartmental interest has exceeded my wildest dreams,” says benefactor Ron Fowler '66, about today’s widespread involvement across the university.

This year brought 76 unique ideas from 37 academic programs, featuring concepts like Afri Spirit (a mental health mentoring service) and Soul Shoes (sustainable footwear). Returning to campus as judges this year, dozens of alumni highlighted the impact on both students and themselves.

“Learning about these students’ creative new ways to solve big problems and make the world a better place is always inspiring,” said Bret Busse ’97 MBA, senior vice president at Fathom Consulting. “It was yet another opportunity to share the gift of feedback as they continue to develop and grow their ideas.”

Read more about this year's challenge and winners in the Newsroom:

Fowler Business Concept Challenge Celebrates 15 Years of Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas Students from multiple disciplines across the University of St. Thomas are center stage as they participate in celebrations of innovation.

Photos from Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas's post 12/12/2023

Huge kudos to our Schulze Innovation Scholars, who rocked the first-ever Idea Jam at U.S. Bank!

Teams of students brainstormed ways U.S. Bank could become more central to the lives of students and young professionals. The winning team, Dollar Dreams, also presented their idea during Innovation Week to the entire company, including Dakota Crow, Head of Innovation Programs at U.S. Bank, and President and CEO Andy Cecere '82, a St. Thomas alum and Board of Trustees member.

“It was a really good experience to see how entrepreneurship is working in (established) companies compared to a start-up kind of culture,” said Isabell Geiger ’25, a Schulze Scholar.

Read more how University of St. Thomas and U.S. Bank are fostering a culture of innovation together. https://ow.ly/1YHi50Qi5IW

St. Thomas roommates take on lithium-ion battery recycling 12/01/2023

Lithium-ion batteries power everything from cell phones and laptops to tools and scooters - but only 5% of them are being recycled properly. St. Thomas roommates Gabriel Riegert and Georges Macheta have teamed up to tackle the issue together, using an innovative recycling process to keep batteries out of landfills and rivers.

Check out their story on the Kare 11 "Behind the Business" series!

St. Thomas roommates take on lithium-ion battery recycling Gabriel Riegert and Georges Macheta, juniors at the University of St. Thomas, are concerned with the number of lithium-ion batteries not being recycled properly.

In the News: Student John Costello Finds Success in the Resale Business - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas 11/28/2023

Of the 17 billion pounds of discarded office furniture in the U.S. every year, 80% ends up in landfills. John Costello was determined to do something about it.

His company, West Metro Solutions, transforms discarded office furniture into affordable, refurbished pieces. Currently a junior double majoring in entrepreneurship and finance, he credits University of St. Thomas for motivating him to try "cool stuff." His message to aspiring entrepreneurs? "Don't give up."

In the News: Student John Costello Finds Success in the Resale Business - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas John Costello, student at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, recently spoke with FOX 9 about his current business West Metro Solutions, and how the University of St. Thomas has taught him many new things.

11/24/2023

We all know Black Friday, but have you heard of Green Friday? It's a sustainable alternative that encourages green shopping habits with eco-friendly brands. Intrapreneur Noah Namowicz '09 doesn't just sell good coffee at Cafe Imports; he's uplifting small-scale farmers and embracing sustainability from bean to cup.

Read about his journey from entrepreneurship major to accidental coffee professional: https://ow.ly/BBXn50Qb5Xj

11/22/2023

This holiday season we’re especially thankful for Will Pittner '22, founder of Food to People, who delivers hot, nutritious meals to people in need every week. His venture is based on a simple idea: bring the food that would otherwise go to waste directly to the people who are going hungry.

Will partners with University of St. Thomas to repurpose and transport surplus food to local churches and shelters, serving the greater community for the common good. Here's his story.

University of St. Thomas Alumni

Photos from Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas's post 11/21/2023

It was an inspiring day on campus last week at the 15th annual Fowler Business Concept Challenge Finals! We're incredibly proud of all our student teams for stepping up and pitching their business ideas they've worked so hard on preparing for.

2023 Fowler by the Numbers:
115 students from 37 academic programs
76 submitted concepts
32 semifinalist teams
Pitching to 58 judges, including 29 alumni
Totaling $89,000 in scholarships!

11/16/2023

We're thrilled to host the 15th annual Fowler Business Concept Challenge this Friday! This event is about sparking the entrepreneurial fire within St. Thomas students, inspiring them to make a real impact. Participants have been hard at work for months, meeting with mentors, attending info workshops, and practicing their pitches for the big day.

Our judging panel is stacked with local and national innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs – many of whom are CEOs, presidents, owners, or founders of their companies! The connections made here often lead to long-term mentorships that can shape the future of these innovative participants.

Join us and support Tommiepreneurs on the St. Paul campus this Friday. Swing by the Anderson Student Center (Woulfe Alumni Hall) between 1-4:45 p.m. for the finals pitches, student venture showcase, and awards ceremony.

Learn more and register today: https://ow.ly/1b5Z50Q8v6r

Photos from Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas's post 11/14/2023

Our business alumni are mentors and connectors who open doors to internships and careers for St. Thomas graduates. For Biel Wiel '22, leaning into the power of purple was life-changing. "The Tommie network has brought me enormous value," he said about the introduction that led to an exciting new job at BetterYou, a Tommie-owned business based in the Twin Cities.

"As an entrepreneurship major, I was heavily involved in the completions and programs provided by the Schulze School. Through my experience, I made a lot of connections. Right after my graduation, I went through the interview process and was hired at BetterYou. I have the Schulze School and the Tommie network to thank for my current job."

Your support on can create more success stories like Biel's. Join the power of purple and give back today! https://ow.ly/w8jb50Q7qsG

of St. Thomas Alumni of St. Thomas

Plant-based foods growth is slowing. How Minn. brands are surviving. 11/13/2023

Plant-based foods growth is slowing, but Tommie-owned business Willa's Oat Milk is on the rise. Willa's checks a lot of boxes that, surveys show, consumers are looking for — from a short ingredient list to high protein content. And the origin story — the women-owned brand is named after the founders' grandmother, and founder Christina Dorr Drake beat cancer while standing up the company — make the brand endearing, something surveys show consumers like.

"We often talk about how we did not start Willa's to just be a less-bad alternative to dairy, but to have a net-positive impact on people and the planet," Drake said.

Read the full story on Star Tribune:

Plant-based foods growth is slowing. How Minn. brands are surviving. Plant-based foods grew to an $8 billion industry last year, including several Minnesota brands, but gone are the days of double-digit growth.

Teaching Photography to Veterans Improves Entrepreneurship Professor’s Outlook on Life - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas 11/10/2023

A fixture at St. Thomas since 2001, Associate Professor Alec Johnson loves being able to combine teaching with shaping entrepreneurs and future leaders. An entrepreneur himself, he's built a successful photography business, using his talents to provide photography workshops among the towering Grand Tetons of Wyoming to help military veterans heal.

Reflecting on his roles ranging from professor to business owner to artist and volunteer, he has a piece of advice for Tommies: “Be curious.” Learn more about Johnson's impact both in and outside the classroom:

Teaching Photography to Veterans Improves Entrepreneurship Professor’s Outlook on Life - Newsroom | University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business Associate Professor Alec Johnson uses photography to help military veterans heal among the towering Grand Tetons of Wyoming.

10/25/2023

Check out the story about this student-powered business from St. Thomas! Gabriel and Georges are social entrepreneurs making a big difference with their sustainability-focused venture, Converteca. We love seeing Tommies doing good in the world!

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Who We Are

The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship combines a focus on educating the next generation of business founders and creative thinkers with a commitment to serving the business community. The only one of its kind within a business school, the Schulze School provides undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs, leading edge collaborative endeavors and opportunities for funding new ventures. Inside the classroom, entrepreneurship students learn to spot opportunities and become innovators, whether in their own businesses or as a leader in an existing business. In the community, Schulze School centers and institutes provide consulting, networking and small business incubators to help launch new endeavors.

Videos (show all)

Meet Open Door Code!
St. Thomas e-Fest Team!
Meet team Open Door Code!
This holiday season we’re especially thankful for Will Pittner '22, founder of Food to People, who delivers hot, nutriti...
Entrepreneurship major Yubi Hassan ’24, turned rejection into success when starting his car detailing business as a firs...
Calling all St. Thomas alumni! We need your help! Our undergraduate entrepreneurship program is rocking the charts, rank...
Meet Jamie and Souphak Kienitz, creators of Jay Victoria —an inclusive brand offering fashion for plus-size, nonbinary, ...
Liz Murphy '23, CEO and co-founder of Perky Plant and graduating senior at the Schulze School, is on a mission to improv...
Celebrating Black History Month.mp4
Do you know a student considering submitting their business concept to the Fowler Business Concept Challenge? Check out ...
There's only 4 more hours to contribute to #TommieGiveDay! Consider donating to support entrepreneurial problem-solvers ...
Happy #TommieGiveDay! With your support, the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship will expand curricular and co-curricular...

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1000 LaSalle Avenue, SCH 435
Minneapolis, MN
55403
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