St. Thomas is the only Minnesota school to make this year’s Princeton Review list of top undergraduate entrepreneurship programs. The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship advanced two spots – to No. 33 from No. 35 – in the latest annual rankings released today. The updated rankings also placed the Schulze School among the nation’s top three Catholic universities and colleges for students studying entrepreneurship.
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 $1.1 million in scholarships and grants specifically to undergraduates studying entrepreneurship. The school also awarded $234,000 in total cash prizes in its competitions last year. One of the school’s signature competitions – the Fowler Business Concept Challenge – will announce winners later this week.
“Our values-based, mission-driven approach is drawing students who want to make an impact on the world. In fact, 16 of the 32 semifinalists in our current Fowler Business Concept Challenge are social ventures,” Associate Dean Laura Dunham said. “We are honored to be recognized and are thankful for our generous benefactors including Dick Schulze and Ron Fowler. Entrepreneurs will play a more important role than ever as we rebuild our economy, and we are passionate about preparing the next generation for success.”
Examples of innovative business ideas submitted for this year’s Fowler Business Concept Challenge include: The Empathy Project, an app-based approach to polarization on college campuses through empathy; A Memory Shared, an app that aims to help Alzheimer's disease patients feel less alone by connecting them to their loved ones; and VitiSchedule, a virtual schedule for children with autism.
Many noteworthy businesses were born at St. Thomas, including Love Your Melon, The Social Lights, College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors, and more. Undergraduate alumni of the past 10 years have started more than 150 companies, raising more than $73 million in funding.
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.