Entrepreneurship In Action

This one-plus semester course offers students the reality of launching a startup company.  Students gain hands-on experience with all functions and are encouraged to takes risks, learn from their mistakes and continue to improve and refine their businesses.  Students gain personal insights on their leadership, communication and organizational behavior as the build high performing teams.  This capstone class offers a very unique and challenging “hands-on” learning experience and has received extensive local and national media coverage.

During fall semester, students develop, evaluate and test potential business opportunities, select the businesses they will operate, determine the resources required and develop a plan to launch their business.  During the optional spring semester, students launch the business, developing and selling initial products, testing major assumptions and creating a plan for the ongoing business.  In addition to receiving support from Carlson faculty and experienced entrepreneurs, students interact with attorneys, bankers and other professional service providers.  Each business receives up to $15,000 in funding and operates out of dedicated space at the school.  Students direct their profits to the University or another non-profit, within a range of acceptable options.

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Number of Companies Launched


Revenue Generated During Class


Student Founders Completed EIA Class

Hear From Past Students

Students from this course have gone on to launch successful startups, found venture capital firms, lead accelerators, work for leading technology corporations and attend virtually every leading graduate business, law and medical school.



Concept to launch of a natural and no-fat line of yogurt products in 109 days, producing in a commercial kitchen and distributing through local retailers.

MPLS Cider

MPLS Cider

Completed production run of 1,500 cases of hard cider, distributing through 100+ liquor retailers.  Opened NE Minneapolis taproom in April 2019.

Nessel Team Group Photo


Designed first backpack for children on autism spectrum, completing $35,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund production and sale of initial 300 backpacks.