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The mantra of the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship is to inspire and educate the next generation of entrepreneurs.  We encourage you to get involved and join the 300+ members of the Twin Cities' entrepreneurial business community participating in our classes, clubs and outreach programs.  We hope you enjoy the brief updates below on our researchers, students, alumni and programs. 
Minnesota Cup Offering $300K for Breakthrough Ideas

The largest state-wide new venture competition in the country is seeking innovative new business ideas in the tenth annual Minnesota Cup.  Submit your breakthrough idea by May 9 for a chance to win $300,000 in cash prizes, get connected with leading mentors and investors to advance your business idea.  The Holmes Center organizes the competition alongside alumni co-founders Scott Litman and Dan Mallin.  Open to any Minnesota business with less than $1 million of historical revenue.  Hear about the program from 2012 winner Julie Gilbert.
Zahra Professor Shaker Zahra Receives Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research

Professor Shaker Zahra was named the 2014 winner of the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research for his work on the role of corporate entrepreneurship in knowledge creation, absorption, and conversion.  The award, presented by the Swedish Foundation for Small Business Research, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, and the Research Institute of Industrial Economics, comes with a monetary prize of 100,000 euros. The event conferring the honor will take place in May in Stockholm City Hall, the usual gathering place for Nobel Prize ceremonies. Zahra holds the Robert E. Buuck Chair of Entrepreneurship and serves as the academic director of the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship. His expertise lies in the areas of corporate entrepreneurship in science and tech-based industries, entrepreneurship and national policy, and innovation. 

    University to be Named Innovation-CORPS Site by NSF


The National Science Foundation has selected the University of Minnesota to receive a $300,000 grant to fund student entrepreneurs through its nationwide Innovation-CORPS network.  A cross campus partnership of the Holmes Center, College of Science & Engineering and Office for Technology Commercialization will lead the development of expanded programming to support the accelerated commercialization of efforts by students at all levels in all colleges.  This program will build upon the STARTUP course by providing funding for the development and testing of prototypes with customers. 

Founders' Day Highlights Student Ventures on May 13th 

Experiential opportunities for students are booming across the University of Minnesota to develop new products, test new business concepts and even launch and operate real businesses.  Join us in the 3M Auditorium on May 13th from 5:30-7:30 for rapid-fire presentations from this year's students participating in a broad range of entrepreneurial courses to learn how they're applying their education to solve real problems with creative new ideas.  Register


STARTUP Class Launches Businesses


Undergrad and MBA students who have completed their entrepreneurship coursework are eligible to participate in the STARTUP independent study class (MGMT 4100/6100) that supports the evaluation and launch of student-owned businesses.  Contact John Stavig (jstavig@umn.edu) or Toby Nord (nordx019@umn.edu) to discuss the suitability of your idea for this experience that accepts up to 15 student teams each semester.  Examples of recent student startups below:



Zipnosis   Man Cave  General Blood    Tuloko   Contour 

Schussler Keynoting May 2nd CEO Dinner 


Serial restaurant entrepreneur and author Steven Schussler will keynote the 12th annual CEO Dinner on May 2nd at TCF Bank Stadium.  One of the most inspiring speakers in the country, Schussler will share his experiences and lessons from conceiving and launching such restaurant concepts as Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex Cafe, Yak & Teti Restaurant, among others.  Steven has recently returned from Asia where he has been co-developing another restaurant concept in partnership with Disney Resorts. 


As CEO of Schussler Creative, Steven leads an innovative team that embraces imagination and creates theatrical hospitality venues, attractions and experiences unlike any other!  His best-selling autobiography "It's a Jungle in There" captures inspiring lessons, hard-won insights and other acts of entrepreneurial daring.



Students in the 2-semester Entrepreneurship in Action class (MGMT 4171W) receive up to $15,000 to launch businesses and experience the actual startup process.  Current year's class has launched a GPS-based watch for dementia patients, a collaborative workspace for students and a removable soft roof rack for carrying snow and water equipment. Student-run businesses from this class have been recognized in Inc and Entrepreneur magazines and generated over $300,000 in revenue while donating more than $60,000 to charities.

Corons OAA
 Corson Inducted into Hall of Fame
Judy Corson (CLA'65) chair of the Holmes Center Advisory Board will be inducted into the Minnesota Women Business Hall of Fame on April 24th along with fellow alum and supporter Jeanne Voigt.  Judy is recognized for co-founding of Custom Research Inc., the first service business ever to win the Baldrige Quality Award.
Startup Weekend Returns to Campus with Education Focus

The first EDU version of Startup Weekend will be held on May 2-4 in Hanson Hall.  Register for a 54-hour session of creative problem-solving and development of technology solutions for educational challenges.
12th BizPitch Competition Sparks Interest Across Campus

The 12th BizPitch competition will be held on April 9th at noon in the 3M Auditorium with eight innovative student business ideas competing for $1,300 in cash prizes. More information.

Upcoming Events


Red Hot Hack @ Rew Wing                             April 25-27th


CEO Dinner - Keynote Steven Schussler         May 2nd @ 6 PM


Startup Weekend EDU                                     May 2-4


Founder's Day                                                  May 13th @ 5:30 PM 


Get Involved
Fast Facts 2013

5th Largest Major
10 MBA Courses
9 Undergraduate Courses
1,300 Enrollment
36 Interns
30 Student Mentors
65 MN Cup Mentors
35 Businesses Formed
140 Student/Alum Entrepreneurs Advised
2008, 2009
Honorable Mention in Princeton Review Rankings

Holmes Center Advisory Board

Robert Buuck
Judy Corson
Gary Holmes
Terri Krivosha
Joy Lindsay
Dan Mallin
Tom Olson
Prof. Myles Shaver
Lloyd Sigel
John Stavig
Roy Wetterstrom
Prof. Shaker Zahra

Thank You
Holmes Center Benefactors

Floyd  Adelman
Anonymous Alumnus
Jennifer & Kevin Amys
Selemon Asfaw
Tom Auth
Jesse Bergland
Norman Bjornnes
Robert Buuck
Buuck Foundation
Laura Carter
Dave & Carolyn Cleveland
Brad Cleveland
Judy Corson
Deluxe Corp. Foundation
Tim & Val Doherty
Geoff Dutton
John Fesler
David Frauenshuh
Harold Goldfine
Heath Foundation
Merle Hilliard
Ken & Beth Holec
Gary Holmes
Pat Hopf
Hubbard Foundation
Ann & Robert Jackson
Anna & Eugene Karpas
Steve Klick
Tim Kraskey
Bruce Lambrecht
Jon Lewin
Joy Lindsay
Gerald Magnuson
Chris Mayr
Spence Morley
Rachel Nearhood
Mark Paper
Gary Rappaport
Ron Reimann
Richard Foundation
Dave Ring
Joan Roisum
Harold Roitenberg
Joel Ronning
Bill & Susan Sands
Lloyd Sigel
Mike Sill
Robert Simon
State Farm Insurance
John Stavig
Dale Vesledahl
J.A. Wedum Foundation
Roy Wetterstrom
John & Annette Whaley
Thank You
MN Cup Mentors

Floyd Adelman
Kenan Aksoz
Casey Allen
Lee Annett
Dean Bachelor
David Bagley
Josh Baltzell
Clark Becker
Robert Befidi, Jr.
John Bergstrom
Pete Birkeland
Mary Pat Blake
Rick Brimacomb
Scott Burns
Ed Cannon
Joel Cannon
Nicholas Clementi
Anne Cohen
Gary Cohen
Judy Corson
Daren Cotter
Tony Crisman
David Croslin
David Dickey
Greg Frankenfield
Bob French
Dan Grigsby
Linda Hall
David Hemler
Gary Halleen
Randy Hines
Franz Hofmeister
Ken Holec
Bonnie Holub
Matt Hunt
Scott Jagodzinski
Dan Johnson
Lee Jones
Michael Karaman
Aaron Keller
Anne Kelly
Don Keysser
Steve King
Brian Kovalchuk
Tim Kraskey
Ann Krzmarzick
Patrick Kullman
Ruth Lane
Steve Lundberg
Steve Mase
Peter McCormick
Mary Meehan
Ross Meisner
Mary Merrill
Curtis MIller
Michael Miller
David Milton
Mark Moe
Spence Morley
Steve Nielsen
Kaye O'Leary
Carla Pavone
Drew Pearson
Steve Pederson
Clarke Porter
Mark Price
Prakash Puram
Kathleen Pytleski
Ron Reimann
Jeffrey Robinson
Kyle Rolfing
Kerry Rosenhagen
Dean Sandberg
Carl Schroeder
Brett Shockley
Gary Speier
Rajiv Tandon
John Tedesco
Jim Thomas
Steve VanTassel
Troy Venjohn
Jeanne Voigt
Roy Wetterstrom
Michael Wright
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John Stavig
Professional Director