Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
Founded in 2005 by Dr. Jon and Betty Kabara


To the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. We strive to bring together students, faculty, community members and entrepreneurs to innovate, develop and grow the entrepreneurial sprit.

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Upcoming Events

Women Founders Panel: Passion Lived Out

October 21 — 12:00-1:00 P.M. Science & Learning Center, RM 200

In honor of Women Entrepreneurship Week 2019 we will be hosting four outstanding women entrepreneurs and founders on campus for a panel discussion. Come hear how they got started, what they are doing now and how they live out their passions through their vocations. Check out their companies by clicking on the hyperlinks below!


Melanie Brennan

Founder, CEO & Executive Director — ExercisABILITIES

Amanda Hedlund

Executive Director — Habitat for Humanity

Benya Kraus

Co-Founder & Executive Director — Lead for America

Leena Pradhan-Nabzdyk

Co-Founder & CEO — Canomiks

What’s Next?

We always have more events in store! To view more calendars and to learn more about future upcoming events, visit our Events Page, or check out our Facebook and Twitter feeds below to always stay updated on times, locations and photos posted after events.

Calling All Innovators

Every year, Kabara hosts an annual Elevator Pitch competition to help further enhance the entrepreneurial spirit within our Saint Mary’s students.

Students have 90 seconds to pitch their business, product or non-profit organization to our panel of judges. Winners receive cash prizes, and all participants have the opportunity to continue the development of their ideas with help from the Institute afterwards.

Check out our Events Page for a list of our previous winners or read up on the official rules and requirements to prepare for this fall’s competition on November 19, 2019!

The Elevator Pitch Competition was an amazing experience that allowed us to explore and share our ideas to a larger community.

It gave us confidence about our ideas and the opportunities to start them if we wanted to.

Anna Dale & Sarah Hardy

2018 Winners, "Ensemble"

Guest Speakers

Kabara hosts a guest speaker on campus once a month during the academic school year. From entrepreneurs to social advocates, our guest speakers pique the interest of students and allow them the opportunity to network with professionals. For a list of this year’s speaker topics and dates, visit our Events Page.

We would like to extend another thank you to our recent speakers! If you missed their presentation but are still interested in learning more about them and their business endeavors, click on the links below.

Meredith Speier 


Maggie Sonnek

Mill City Creative

Susan Langer

Live. Give. Save.

Tim Bauer

DCM Services

Expanding Opportunities

When students aren’t on campus pitching their ideas or enjoying our guest speakers, they are engaging in on-site visits to entrepreneurial ventures or competing in regional competitions.

Last spring students from SMUMN, WSU and MSC Southeast collaborated in the Winona Student Startup competition.

To read more about the competition and the experience, visit the article in Saint Mary’s Campus Notes.