The university’s Schulze School of Entrepreneurship jumped 10 spots to No. 23 in the latest Princeton Review list of top undergraduate entrepreneurship programs. The Schulze School also ranked No. 1 among the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges for students studying entrepreneurship. It’s the third year on the list for the school, which has spawned many notable Minnesota start-ups since its 2005 inception and serves nearly 1,500 students who took an entrepreneurship course in the last year.
The 2022 ranking also places the Schulze School the top entrepreneurship school in Minnesota.
“We are truly delighted to be recognized by the Princeton Review for the excellence of the work being done by our faculty and staff to educate and support the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders,” Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Associate Dean Laura Dunham said. "As a Catholic university that emphasizes entrepreneurship for the common good, we believe our mission and our programming is more important and relevant than ever in a world confronting so many challenges. We are committed to providing our students with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to make a difference as innovators and entrepreneurs in whatever fields they pursue.”
The ranking reflects the Schulze School’s strengths across many factors, including academics; student engagement; successful alumni entrepreneurship ventures; student involvement outside the classroom; competitions hosted by the school; and scholarships.
Last year, the Schulze School awarded $1.44 million in scholarships and grants specifically to undergraduates studying entrepreneurship. The school also awarded $427,000 in total cash prizes in its competitions last year. One of the school’s signature competitions – the Fowler Business Concept Challenge – announced winners last week. Focused on energizing the entrepreneurial spirit of St. Thomas students from across campus, the Fowler Business Concept Challenge encourages students to explore their potential, search out new opportunities and use the skills and knowledge they have acquired to make a difference in the world by creating a concept for a new business or social venture.
Examples of innovative business ideas submitted for this year’s Fowler Business Concept Challenge include: UWell, a comprehensive software application adopted by universities aiming to increase mental health awareness; Print3D Paradise, concrete 3D-printed vacation rental homes located close to national parks where hospitality options are very limited; and Food to People, a food waste eliminating system serving underprivileged communities and universities.
Many noteworthy businesses have been started by St. Thomas students and alumni, including Bizzy Coffee; Clinician Nexus; TurnSignl; College Nannies, Sitters and Tutors; Love Your Melon; and more. Undergraduate alumni of the past 10 years have started more than 200 companies, raising more than $81 million in funding.
"The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship has allowed for a lot of unique and vast opportunities,” said junior Evan Braaten, who started full-service property and facilities management firm HOM Services. “I have been able to apply my in-class knowledge to the real world.”
The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship provides undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs, executive education, community resources and seed capital for student and alumni ventures. Located in Schulze Hall on the St. Thomas Minneapolis campus, the Schulze School is the only of its kind within a business school, housing world-class centers and institutes including the Family Business Center and the Small Business Development Center. In addition to serving business students, the Schulze School engages cross-campus, cross-disciplinary students and professionals to participate in entrepreneurial education and activities, and access resource centers.