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Life Outside the Classroom

Schulze School entrepreneurs do more than theorize; they take their ideas into the real world


Schulze School students participate in numerous competitions every year, from the in-class business idea competition of the Lemonade Stand to the international Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.

The Fowler Business Concept Challenge is UST’s business concept competition, open to students of all areas of study, graduate and undergraduate. Many concepts have turned into companies, product lines within established businesses or go on to earn investments from the William C. Norris Institute. Winners share in almost $60,000 of scholarships each year.

Every entrepreneurship student competes in the Lemonade Stand in their Foundations of Entrepreneurship (ENTR 200) class. Students must bring a business to revenue and present their businesses to a panel of established Schulze School alumni. Winning teams receive a cash prize.

In spring 2016, the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship will hold its inaugural business plan competition, helping students build on the successes of the Lemonade Stand and Fowler, and readying them for regional and national competitions.

Entrepreneurship students also take part in many other competitive arenas, at St. Thomas, around the Twin Cities and across the globe. Here’s a snapshot of just a few:


Students in the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship have many scholarship opportunities set aside just for them, including one awarded before they step on campus!

Schulze Scholarship

$5,000 renewable Schulze Scholarships are awarded to sophomores and juniors in the entrepreneurship program. This scholarship is given to multiple students each year.

Pentair Scholarship for Entrepreneurship

This scholarship recognizes one outstanding student-entrepreneur in the program. Students who will be juniors or seniors are eligible, with the scholarship awarded during the students’ senior year.

Murray and Ruth Harpole Scholarship

Students involved in the Entrepreneurship Society have a leg up on this annual scholarship, given to students as they enter their junior or senior years.

Willis Drake Young Entrepreneurship Scholarship

Awarded each year to an incoming freshman planning to major in the entrepreneurship program, this $2,500 scholarship recognizes outstanding entrepreneurial potential.

Fowler Family Endowed Scholarship in Entrepreneurship

This scholarship is awarded to currently enrolled Full-time or Evening UST MBA students with a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship.

Information on these scholarships, including application deadlines »  

Information on other university scholarships »

Business Development Offices

Where ideas become businesses and students become entrepreneurs

Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Business Development Offices build something bigger than just an economic support function for student and alumni-led businesses. The offices create an entrepreneurial community for students and office tenants through geographic proximity, common purpose and a culture of sharing and exchange.  

Tenants are chosen from a pool of existing and recently graduated students through a highly selective application process. Successful applicants demonstrate a willingness to give back to the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship experience through a number of activities: 

  • Creating internships for current entrepreneurship students
  • Participating in guest lecture and Practicing Entrepreneur activities
  • Supporting new entrepreneurs competing in various business plan competitions (Lemonade Stand, Fowler Business Concept Challenge, Minnesota Cup, etc.)
  • Directly mentoring other new businesses

In exchange for this community participation, tenants receive many benefits associated with the Schulze School:

  • Office space and equipment located in the heart of the Schulze School teaching space
  • Convenient access to faculty and the various entrepreneurship centers (such as the Small Business Development Center and William C. Norris Institute)
  • State-of-the-art meeting space
  • Access to and input from other start-up entrepreneurs

The result is a high-energy, collaborative community where entrepreneurs can begin the process of launching their businesses while continuing to tap into the support and advice of faculty, the insights of other entrepreneurs and access to other university resources.

Entrepreneurship Society

The Entrepreneurship Society (E-Society) connects entrepreneurial minded students to the people and resources that will aid their business endeavors. With panel discussions, technical business presentations, a who’s who of local entrepreneurial speakers and networking events, the club enhances business skills and helps students better understand life in the “real” business world.

The club’s aim is to connect, inspire and educate, as it reaches across campus to facilitate events with other clubs and students of all majors. Weekly meetings are on Tuesdays at noon, in McNeely 236, during the school year.

See the list of speakers and events »

Practicing Entrepreneurs

Practicing Entrepreneurs is a faculty-run group of St. Thomas students that meet to discuss business ideas, business development issues and any other entrepreneurial topics that arise. Students and alumni present their business ideas and get feedback from professors and each other.

This informal group of like-minded students is made up primarily of entrepreneurship students, but all Tommies are invited to attend. Alumni often pop in to pitch new venture ideas and find interns.

It meets Thursdays from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. in 335 Schulze Hall, on the Minneapolis campus, during the school year. Lunch is typically provided. Check the Facebook group for more information on the St. Thomas and Twin Cities startup communities. Or just show up!

J-Term in Silicon Valley

During the January term, entrepreneurship faculty members take students to Silicon Valley for a two-week cultural immersion. Students in this course study how products and services are brought to market, gaining a different perspective in the hub of global entrepreneurship. The course inspires students to dream bigger, creatively solve problems and give them the confidence to do both.

See a two-day snapshot of the first J-term group to hit Silicon Valley in January 2015.

The 2015 trip was bookended by stops at Mainsail Partners, a growth equity firm that builds bootstrapped businesses into market leading companies. Vice President Ryan Kruizenga is a 2004 graduate who met with students their first day in Silicon Valley. At the end of the class, students presented their projects at Mainsail Partners, getting investment critiques and a better understanding how to move their projects to the next level.

Between the Mainsail visits, students learned from places such as Pivotal Labs, Plantronics, Shyp, LinkedIn, IDEO and Hand Up.

Students blogged each day about their experiences and the unique things they learned.

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