Schulze School of Entrepreneurship

A semi-annual newsletter for entrepreneurs

Message from the Director

Dr. Mark Spriggs, Fall 2012

Dr. Mark Spriggs

About 10 years ago, I felt like an NFL player when Dean Puto told me I had been traded from the Marketing Department to the Entrepreneurship Department. My first and most daunting challenge was learning to spell entrepreneurship. Is that “per” or “pre;” “eu” or “ue?” I imagine some of you went through the same transition when you discovered, or were told, that you were a social entrepreneur. You thought you were running a nonprofit. You knew your organization was attempting to solve the problems of poverty, disease and hunger, or provide literacy training or medical care to people, all to help resolve the social inequities we see every day in the world, and someone said “What you are doing is social entrepreneurship” and you had to figure how to spell it, too.

But proper spelling was just the beginning, wasn’t it? Next you asked yourself and those around you “What exactly is a social entrepreneur?” I avoided the question until St. Thomas announced we were hosting the 2009 Opus Prize. One of the principles of the Opus Prize is social entrepreneurship, and people were asking me about the social entrepreneurship activities of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship and the Opus College of Business. So I did some investigating, and found that social entrepreneurship includes a number of exciting and worthwhile activities.

The Opus Prize finalists were providing training and services to single women and their children in Morocco, another had founded clinics for people with addictions in 10 different countries, and the third cared and advocated for physically and mentally challenged kids in Columbia. I remembered as an undergraduate student we called what they were doing economic or socioeconomic development. Now we call it social entrepreneurship.

But it wasn’t that simple. Other people told me about entrepreneurs who include social values in their founding principles – a social values perspective that means these founders share their success by supporting organizations or engaging in activities that battle against the problems of society. Their employees volunteer their time, the firm makes significant resource donations and it is a core part of their business. That’s social entrepreneurship, version two.

But I also found experienced entrepreneurs using the entrepreneurial principles within traditional social service organizations as well as creating new structures to solve social problems. For example, some social problems were never talked about in “polite” company, but entrepreneurs know that if you want to get people to change their behaviors, you have to engage them in conversations, and reach them in new ways. These social entrepreneurs created messages to educate and galvanize to action audiences that had been unaware or uninterested and developed new delivery processes to reach people who needed this information or needed these services. Companies such as Design Wise Medical, a nonprofit company focusing on developing new pediatric medical devices that meet a significant need, do just that. Social entrepreneurship, version three.

And the last “type” of social entrepreneurship I discovered involved nonprofit organizations, where many of you come from: long-standing organizations and new ones that were established as non- or not-for-profit entities with the express purpose of addressing societal problems. You, too, are engaged in social entrepreneurship.

So to me, social entrepreneurship isn’t narrowly defined. The social challenges and problems we face today are complex, and won’t be solved by one approach. I know that there are many smart and talented social entrepreneurs dedicated to solving society’s problems.

Awards and Recognition Ceremony and Business Plan Competition

for the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship

On May 10, 2012, the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship held the 2012 Awards and Recognition Ceremony to present special awards to publicly thank those who support our programs. The event also included the Spring Business Plan Competition for ENTR 450.

Recognitions were as follows

Best Case Study – USASBE

Simply Sport Bikes – Brian Cox

Class Project Awards for ENTR 350 and ENTR 370:

ENTR 350 (Dr. John McVea)
Matt Davidson – Creating New Market Space

ENTR 370 – (Dr. James Ebben)
Mollie McCourt and Annyetta Keefe – Entrepreneurial Finance

Special thanks to Dr. Mark Spriggs, director, Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, for securing funding for case awards. Also special thanks to Mark Lacek – alum – who contributed money to support awards.

This semester’s competition for ENTR 450 was divided into two groups:

Group A – Development Division
Group B – Launch Division

Group A – Development
1st prize
Sean Stevenson and Matt Davidson
Boom!com is a talent agency specifically for graphic artists who have dreamed of working in the comic book industry. Since the 1930s comic books have been dazzling young and old readers alike. The industry has progressed from comic books to television to video games and now more recently applications for smartphones. In order to reach the new wave of digital comic book readers, publishers must search for the right talent to bring the illustrators’ work to life through a digital platform.” Through boom!com's crowd sourcing technique, "vote to read," this formerly cumbersome and costly process has been streamlined by involving the comic book fans in the selection and rating system for artists. Boom!com is in a wonderful position to realize the full market potential of this growing movement within the comic book industry.

Group A – Development
2nd prize
Andrew Kincheloe and Benjamin Sathre

Group A - Development
3rd Prize
Mollie McCourt and Robert Hanlon
Connections is a premier finishing school for the most talented dancers in Minnesota. It is designed to train dancers in the areas of dance skills, interviewing, résumé writing and professionalism to better prepare them to audition for their college dance team.

Group B – Launch
1st prize

Breanna Fisher and Annyetta Keefe

Group B – Launch
2nd prize
Solome Tibebu

Pictured: Solome Tibebu (Cognific), BreAnna Fisher and Annyetta Keefe (GoDo)

ENTR 200 Lemonade Stand Project

Dr. Alec Johnson and Dr. Jay Ebben
In the Lemonade Stand Project, groups were given the same seed concept, the lemonade stand, and each group developed a business idea around that concept. Winners earned the right to interview for an internship in an alumnus business. Dr. David Deeds, Schulze Endowed Chair, provided $10,000 in funding for paid internships with alumni-founded businesses.

The top 3 teams:
– Austin Nash (in photo), Brandon Kohler and Matt Baloun

LemonKidz – Kara Gamelin (in photo), Angela Hasek and Peter Burke

M.A.D. Lemonade – Derek Donnelly, Alyssa Friedrich and Melena Nelson

Honorable Mention: Lemonaires and The Lemon

Most Valuable Senior

Recognizes contributions in and outside of the classroom, as well as the ability to build rapport within St. Thomas that also extends to the community.

Winners: Solome Tibebu, Ian McIntosh, Wes Hoefer and BreAnna Fisher

Thanks and recognition also to those who served as judges for the business plan competition, those who have done so much to help mentor our students, and to faculty members Dr. Laura Dunham, Dr. John McVea and Michael Sarafolean, as well as departmental staff.

Also, a thank you to Dr. David Deeds for organizing and securing funding for the Fowler competition, for setting up the MN Angel Network and paid internships and to Dr. Mark Spriggs for his leadership.

Students, faculty and staff also recognized Jay and Alec in return for all they do for students.

The Fowler Business Concept Challenge

October 19, 2012

Ron Fowler and his daughter at the Fowler Business Plan Competition

The 4th Annual Fowler Business Plan Competition was held on October 19t at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. The competition challenges students to develop a business concept that has the potential to become a viable, high-growth business.  The teams that submit the winning business competition in each of two divisions, undergraduate and graduate, receive $10,000 scholarships from the University of St. Thomas.

This year’s winners are:

1st Place: Pink Bow City Fashion Truck - Keona Tranby
2nd Place: Superhero Simulation Service - Jesse Stone, Mariann Kukielka
3rd Place: One Music Portal - Joe Famalette
4th Place: ConnecTherapy - Dennis Gisch, Jacob Rocheford, Benjamin Bloomquist
Best Presenter: Superhero Simulation Service - Jesse Stone, Mariann Kukielka

1st Place: Coach - Aaron Engler
2nd Place: SmartPark - David Berglund
3rd Place: Art Space - Kasey R. Grams, Jennifer Victor-Larsen
4th Place: Crowd Digs – Matt Joyce
Best Presenter: Coach - Aaron Engler

For complete information on this event, visit the Fowler website »

Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota Conference

November 29, 2012

The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship co-sponsored with Visionary Women (WeMN) conference on November 29, 2012. More than 100 entrepreneurs and program staff attended this event that focused on the five areas most businesses struggle with – leadership, profitability, marketing, technology and sales.


Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, Entrepreneur
WeMN Founder and President

Keynote Speaker Robyne Robinson with
Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, Dr. Mark Spriggs and Tai Goodwin, Emcee

More information about this event and WeMN »

UST Entrepreneur Student Profile

Jimmy Jara, Cookie Cart Accounting Intern, Summer 2012

A junior at the University of St. Thomas, Jimmy Jara isn’t sure what career he will pursue after college, but he knows he wants to make a difference and contribute to the community. Majoring in entrepreneurship and minoring in Catholic studies, Jimmy was looking for a summer internship through the University of St. Thomas. With an interest in working with youth, he saw the accounting internship at Cookie Cart posted on the school career board and he applied.

As a graduate of DeLaSalle High School with family in North Minneapolis, Jimmy is quite familiar with Cookie Cart. Like many young people starting out in the workforce, he was intimidated to begin his internship, but now he really feels at home here, noting a kind and supportive energy among the staff. Jimmy took on a big accounting project, with the help of Cookie Cart staff, and he learned just how much accounting is involved in running even a small organization. Jimmy was especially impressed with how outgoing the youth employees at Cookie Cart are and how they develop a “Cookie Cart personality.” We wish Jimmy the best of luck as he pursues his dreams!

The Accelerator Program: An Entrepreneurs’ Organization Program

The Accelerator Program is an international program aimed at helping early-stage entrepreneurs drive their business growth to $1+ million in annual sales. Potential candidates for the program should already have started their business and this program specifically targets ventures with sales between $250,000 and $1 million.This program, dubbed “Accelerator,” is presented by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) – the world’s most influential community of entrepreneurs – through their Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter.

The EO Accelerator Program provides emerging entrepreneurial companies with support in three forms: a professionally developed educational curriculum, mentorship by established local entrepreneurs, and consultation focusing on strategic planning, sales, marketing, human resources and finance. Tuition for the program is $1,000 per participant. This years’ program met twice in 2012, most recently on October 25, with the topic being Sales and Marketing. For information about the Accelerator Program and the application process, contact Michael Sarafolean (UST Opus College of Business and the Orion Corporation) at, (651)245-0701, or Jeff Martin (Collective Genius, CEO and Founder) at, (612) 804-8330.

What's Going on at the Schulze School

The Lab - Schulze School 3rd Floor

The goal of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Lab is to provide students an office area that creates entrepreneurship through geographic proximity, common purpose and a culture of sharing and exchange. Tenants are selected from applicants comprising current students and recent graduates with a strong business concept.

More information on the current occupants »

The Entrepreneurship Society

The Entrepreneurship Society meets on Tuesdays during the academic school year at the University of St. Thomas’ St. Paul campus, bringing in inspiring entrepreneurs from the local community and beyond. The mission of the Entrepreneurship Society at UST is to inspire young entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and ideas. The Entrepreneurship Society is seeking to foster an open atmosphere so these same dreams and ideas can become reality.

More information »

Keep in Touch, Spread the Word

Have a Suggestion or News to Share?

Let us know what's going on, whether it's a new business venture, a product launch or a new position that your entrepreneurship education helped you achieve.

Send an e-mail to Janis Aamodt at »

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University of St. Thomas
Opus College of Business
Schulze School of Entrepreneurship
Schulze Hall 200
1000 LaSalle Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403

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