Schulze Hall, home of the Opus College of Business' School of Entrepreneurship, is shown November 20, 2006.

St. Thomas and gener8tor Announce Partnership to Support Entrepreneurs

The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at St. Thomas and nationally ranked start-up accelerator gener8tor are announcing a new partnership to bring professional accelerator services to the St. Thomas. Programs offered will include gALPHA, a four-week venture creation workshop that works with students to identify high-impact business models and begin building minimum viable products, and gBETA, a free seven-week accelerator that helps early-stage St. Thomas-affiliated start-ups connect with mentors, grow their customer traction and pitch to investors and accelerators.

Thanks to the generosity of Richard M. Schulze and the Schulze Family Foundation, these programs will be made available to participants for free, requiring no fees and no equity. Participants receive intensive and individualized coaching, and access to gener8tor’s national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors. The program is designed to help start-ups gain early customer traction on their product or idea, and establish metrics that make them competitive applicants for full-time, equity-based accelerators or seed investment.

“At the Schulze School, we have a vision for providing an educational experience that is second to none for entrepreneurship,” said Laura Dunham, associate dean of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. “By partnering with gener8tor, we are taking that commitment to the next level. Offering students access to a nationally ranked accelerator and the resources it can provide – real-world experience, mentorship, coaching and funding – is an unmatched opportunity in Minnesota colleges and universities. We’re blessed to have world-class partners, like Dick Schulze and the Schulze Family Foundation, who know that it takes teamwork and support to be successful, and they are generously funding this partnership to provide new opportunities for our students.”

gener8tor will provide a dedicated coach on campus who will do extensive outreach across the university and provide regular programming and individualized coaching. The gBETA program will work with only five companies to ensure a high level of focused attention. Companies must have roots with the University of St. Thomas, but can come from diverse industries and business models. The gALPHA program will work with five to eight teams. Applicants to that program need not have a product or business idea, but come willing to form new ones with the gener8tor team.

“We view universities as a community’s most promising petri dish for innovation,” said Abby Taubner, partner at gener8tor. “Our new partnership with University of St. Thomas will allow us to tap directly into the bright minds of students, faculty and staff to help create and support ventures that will have lasting effects on campus, across the community and nationally.”

gener8tor is currently hiring a gBETA St. Thomas director, a full-time position to be based on the St. Thomas campus in St. Paul. The gBETA St. Thomas director will be responsible for engaging with the on-campus and Twin Cities start-up ecosystem, recruiting and selecting applicants for the programs, and executing programs, as well as acting as the lead mentor for participants. Interested candidates can apply at

For more information, visit or email