Starting the School Year with Startups

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Entrepreneurs are vital to our economic development so I can think of no better way to start our school year than by shining the light on startups.

From the Crowdfunding Panel featuring Nadya Nguyen of Hidrate to the Tech Cities conversation on how entrepreneurs can attract and retain women candidates for tech jobs to our career fair to connect startups and early-stage companies with students from across the University; Twin Cities Startup Week has been a wonderful celebration of our community’s entrepreneurial spirit and activity.

As dean, I’m extremely proud of the Holmes Center efforts to support entrepreneurship and the unique experiential learning opportunities we are providing our students. They are commercializing technology, designing new products, developing new ventures and launching and operating real businesses. State Farm recently produced a fantastic video that showcases an example of this, our Entrepreneurship in Action class.


I’m also extremely proud that we are the home of the largest statewide new venture competition in the country in the MN Cup and graduates of the Carlson School won 4 of the 7 divisions in this year’s competition, including current MBA student Elise Maxwell who captured the student division.

Sri and Joel

Last but not least, we honored an alumnus who has made an indelible mark on the community through his entrepreneurial endeavors. Throughout his career, Joel Schleicher has built enduring companies that solved critical industry problems while generating substantial returns for investors and its employee base and it was a pleasure to present him with the University of Minnesota’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award this week.