Entrepreneurial Innovation Center

Posted on September 29th, 2022 by

The Entrepreneurial Innovation Center is a new center on campus where students will be able to learn about entrepreneurship and thrive with their ideas. Katie Boone, director of the Center, sees room for the growth of entrepreneurship on campus and is excited to see what this year brings, along with the interactions she is going to have with students, faculty, and alumni. The Center is having a kickoff event on October 3rd from 6:00-8:00 PM in the Dive with guest speaker Dante Curtis, a 2015 Gustie graduate. Open to all alumni, faculty, students, and staff!


Katie was happy to sit down and answer some questions that students might have about the EIC.


Q1: What is the Entrepreneurial Center of Innovation?

The Entrepreneurial Innovation Center is being incubated by students right now in the course Entrepreneurship I. It is a place designed for students, alumni, and faculty to do anything with entrepreneurship by creating equity and access for students to thrive, start their own things or become new entrepreneurs by building the skills that are required to succeed. Starting in October, there are going to be events for students to come pitch and grow the ideas that they have, learn how to market those ideas, and how to contact companies that would utilize the ideas. Basically, we are creating an ecosystem of entrepreneurial practice that integrates students, faculty, and alumni into the community of Gustavus.

Q2: How is this different from entrepreneurship in the past at Gustavus?

This is different because there are going to be people who will come into the center and expand entrepreneurship and help students find out what their purpose is and what they are trying to do. The classes that are offered for entrepreneurship will take a new form as every class is a social innovation lab, space for co-creation and design, and experiential and hands-on learning.

Q3: What are your key goals for the year?

There are a few goals that we would like to see:

  • We want to infuse entrepreneurship into this campus
  • We want students to see themselves in new ways and with new resources, no matter what department they are majoring in
  • We want to have events and engagement that invites anyone and everyone to come and learn what entrepreneurship is
  • We want to make entrepreneurship and the EIC sustainable as it gains traction

Q4: What are some of the events that are taking place this year?

  • Entrepreneurial Innovation Center Launch Event: October 3rd from 6:00-8:00 PM. Join us to listen to Dante Curtis, 2015 Gustavus Alumni and founder of Catch Your Dream Consulting, talk about the ABCs of Entrepreneurship. Open to alumni, faculty, students, and staff (appetizers and drinks will be provided)
  • Gustie Entrepreneurial Leaders Network (GELN): This is the start of a new network that is led and driven by students through weaving together alumni, students, and the community to promote the continued development of entrepreneurial minds here at Gustavus.
  • EIC Startup labs: Taking place each month, students can get ideas from Katie Boone and Emilie Moeller, from Career Development, about their Entrepreneurship ideas. Be on the lookout for the dates to be announced soon!
  • EIC Pitch Events: Students can practice their presentation skills and the ideas they are working on. Be on the lookout for the dates to be announced soon!
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week: During the week of November 14-18, Katie will be hosting 1-2 up-and-coming entrepreneurs, InnoNative Consulting will be conducting webinars and various workshops will be taking place.

Q5: What academic entrepreneurial courses are going to be offered?

There are four classes going to be offered. None of these classes have any prereqs so students do not have to worry about the order that they are going to take them in.

  • Entrepreneurship I: offered in fall semesters. Students will use effective and cutting-edge entrepreneurial methods and frameworks to critically evaluate and evolve innovative ideas.
  • Creative Economy Entrepreneurs: offered J-Term. students will have an opportunity to leverage their full creative potential by learning what makes up the creative economy ecosystem in Minnesota and what it takes to bring their unique potential into the creative economy.
  • Entrepreneurship II-Launch Lab: offered in spring semesters. Students will further develop innovative ideas. Students will be strongly encouraged to pitch their concepts at the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup!
  • Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship: offered in spring semesters. This course recognizes the unique role that entrepreneurial innovators have in addressing the complex challenges of our times. Students will gain skills and address dynamic and complex challenges facing our communities to create a more equitable and just world for both people and the planet.

Q6: What can students expect to learn and take away from these courses, programs, and the EIC?

Students will learn how to thrive and grow their ideas in a community and classroom that is designed for and by entrepreneurs. Not only will they learn skills, but there will be valuable hands-on opportunities and labs for students to gain the experience to put their ideas and thoughts into motion.

Q7: Do you need to be an E/M major to participate in these events and the center?

No, everyone is welcome! We strive to be a place of an open community where anyone, regardless of major or background, can come in and pitch their ideas. We all have different ideas and we welcome everyone.

Q8: How would a student that is interested in entrepreneurship and the EIC get engaged?

Come to our kickoff event on October 3rd from 6:00-8:00 PM in the Dive, where there will be a guest speaker, Dante Curtis, speaking on the ABCs of Entrepreneurship.

If you are not able to join us then, feel free to reach out to me by:

  • email, kboone@gustavus.edu
  • stopping by my office in Beck Hall 137. I have office hours Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30-12:30 and by appointment whether virtual or in-person.

Q9: What else would you like students to know about this year with the Entrepreneurial Innovation Center

There are ideas inside all of you. This is an opportunity that can help drive students’ curiosity and we can take those next steps in a community of people that care!


Comments are closed.