It has been a busy summer for Tommie entrepreneurs.  

In early August, Amy Helgeson, a Schulze School of Entrepreneurship junior and Schulze Innovation Scholar, and her business partner, Hufsa Ahmed, tied for first place in the Social Impact Product track of the Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs. The team won $7,500 in seed capital for their business venture Solupalaeco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic bags that is both biodegradable and water-soluble 

Finalists for the MN Cup competition for emerging entrepreneurs were recently announced and included businesses with St. Thomas ties – CASP Technologies and BetterYou 

First-year student and Schulze Innovation Scholar Payton Mass is part of CASP Technologies and its Operation Serenity app team in the MN Cup’s Youth Division. The app helps pediatric surgical patients with their anxiety and fears by offering a variety of tools to help familiarize themselves with their procedure. It also helps patients connect to local resources and organizations in their community to help support them emotionally throughout their surgery timeline.  

Sean Higgins ‘12, ‘14 MBA is MN Cup finalist in the Education and Training Division for his company BetterYou, a Schulze Innovation Fund recipient. BetterYou is a digital coaching app that helps users achieve their goals. 

“The MN Cup helps connect start-ups with mentors and programming from the community,” Higgins said. ” We are thrilled to be a finalist in our division and applaud all of the change taking place in higher ed and beyond to help people put their best foot forward. St. Thomas was a definite launchpad for myself and several members of our team (MBA candidate Rachael Rinehart, Bailey Faust ’19, Hayley Kraft ’20). There I learned the fundamentals of business (marketing, finance, negotiations) that I applied to my first company through its acquisition and now into BetterYou. If you are looking to build the future, the hardest step is to just start building.”

MN Cup division winners will be announced in early September. Division winners will then move forward to compete for the $50,000 grand prize that will be announced Sept. 22. 

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