Carlson School of Management

Business Hatchery

The mission of the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship is to inspire and educate the next generation of entrepreneurs. In addition to promoting experiential activities inside the classroom, the Holmes Center supports student's efforts to "learn by doing" through the launch and operation of new ventures while enrolled in school.

The Business Hatchery in Room 2-212A serves as a focal point for student business start-up activity, and enables a select number of students to share ideas and utilize external resources necessary for launching their business. Entrepreneurial students will utilize this space to conceive, launch, and "hatch" their own independent businesses, with help from outside legal, accounting, research, and other advisory services.

Experienced members of the local entrepreneurial business community have volunteered to advise the students on their efforts. These "Entrepreneurs-in-Residence" will coach the students on the analysis and execution of their venture, providing access to their network of industry and functional contacts. Thanks to the generosity of several partners in the local business community, students will also be provided with a limited amount of pro bono professional services as they launch their businesses.

Admission Process

A select number of students from across the University will be admitted to the Business Hatchery during the fall of 2011. Finalists in the Minnesota Cup competition and winners of the most recent BizPitch elevator pitch contest are automatically admitted. Interested University students should apply online or contact John Stavig.

The Tom Auth Entrepreneurial Seed Capital Fund and the Ann & Robert Jackson Seed Capital Investment Fund have been established to provide small grants of seed capital to worthy student entrepreneurs. Students participating in the hatchery are eligible to apply for annual grants of up to $2,000 to get their business off the ground.

Auth and Jackson Entrepreneurial Seed Capital Fund Grant Application

Business Hatchery Resources

Admitted students will be provided with access to the hatchery room, professional services and participating entrepreneurs to assist in building their businesses:

  • Shared computing and communications resources
  • Business planning and accounting software
  • Legal advisory services via the University Law School Multi-Profession Business Law Clinic, Gray Plant Mooty and other local law firms
  • Accounting advisory services via John A. Knutson & Co. and other local accounting firms
  • Entrepreneur advisory services from local alumni
  • Small seed funding grants available from Auth and Jackson endowment funds

Admitted Students: Getting Started Utilizing Hatchery Resources

Room 2-212A

You now have access to room 2-212A for use in working on your business. You may utilize the computers, phone, printer and office space for these purposes. BusinessPlanPro and Peachtree accounting software are available on these computers. This room will also be utilized by the Entrepreneurship in Action students. Please keep the room in a clean condition and be respectful of other approved use.

Legal/Accounting Assistance

If you require legal or accounting advice/assistance, please contact John Stavig to initially discuss the issue and he will put you in touch with the appropriate individual for professional assistance. Assistance with the formation of a legal entity and basic contractual agreements are typically available on a pro bono basis. Preliminary guidance can be provided on more complex legal issues (IP, employment agreements, etc.), but may require out-of-pocket expenses. Accounting assistance offers preliminary guidance on employment, sales, and income tax reporting, in addition to general advice on setting up your accounting and financial reporting systems.

Seed Capital Funds

Two endowments have been established specifically to support student-run businesses. The targeted annual payout is currently $6,000. Attached is an application to apply for grants from this fund, which are limited to $2,000 per business. These funds will be distributed without any strings, but carry an expectation that you will assist future University students if/when your business becomes successful.

Support from Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

Attached are brief biographies on our initial listing of entrepreneurs-in-residence that have offered to assist you in developing your student-run business. You may contact them directly, but please abide by the following expectations. I would also encourage you to discuss with me who would be the most appropriate contact or at a minimum to review their bios prior to contacting them.

Expectations of Student Entrepreneurs

  1. Be very clear in what assistance you asking for.
  2. Ensure that your request is reasonable and that you are asking the most appropriate individual (contact John Stavig in advance, if in doubt).
  3. Request contact via very brief and specific email, unless otherwise directed by entrepreneur. Copy John Stavig on all initial contacts.
  4. Prepare any questions/requests in advance of meetings/calls.
  5. Allow a reasonable time for a response from entrepreneur - be sympathetic to entrepreneur's schedule and time constraints.
  6. These are busy individuals and you are not their top priority.
  7. Understand that you must first earn the respect of the entrepreneur before they will invest their time and provide access to their network.
  8. Be respectful of any referrals/contacts.

Expectations of Entrepreneur-in-Residence

  1. Be available to meet/speak with student entrepreneurs during the September through May academic year.
  2. Provide timely advice and feedback on plans and directional questions.
  3. Provide introductions to your network of industry/functional contacts (when deserving).
  4. Forward John Stavig any requests that are unreasonable or that your schedule will not allow.
  5. Total time commitment should not exceed 2 hours/month or 15 total hours per year.

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