Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

Events & Competitions

ATTENTION: Please note that all events are currently being held in a virtual format.

See event details for sign up. Note: Event log in details will be sent to all registered attendees. 

Upcoming Event Info

Below are details, dates and locations for our upcoming events. For updates leading up to an event be sure to follow us on Facebook @KabaraSMUMN and also on Twitter @KabaraSMUMN.

Kabara Guest Speakers

Kabara is honored to host an array of entrepreneurial guest speakers throughout the year on SMUMN’s Winona Campus. Below are the Fall 2020 speaker topics and dates. Tune into our Facebook page for times and locations leading up to the event.

WE Forum Events

Women Entrepreneurs Forum events are great opportunities for women entrepreneurs to network, connect and enhance their entrepreneurial spirits. Check out the 2020 calendar below or view the WE Forum 2020 Calendar.


All WE Forum events care currently being held virtually.


When things change, we will once again meet in person at:


Saint Mary’s University Rochester Campus – Cascade Meadow Wetlands


2900 19th Street Northwest


Rochester, MN 55901



2020 Calendar


January 16


Turning Interests into Businesses  “How to Make the Leap”


February 13


Doing Business in Med City — “Catering to the Patient Experience”


March 19 – 


Investing in Your Business  “When to Spend Money in the Early Stages”


April 16 


Should You Consider Franchising?  “Value in Name Recognition”


May 21


What Does it Take?  “Grit, Gumption, and Resilience”




Summer Break


July 16 


Selling Online  “The Good and Bad of Offering Online Sales”


August 20


Staying Current “Using Continuous Learning to Stay Relevant”


September 17


Building a Side Hustle While Still Working Full Time


October 15


Protecting Your Business “Copy Write, Trademarks, IP”


November 19


Marketing with Social Med “How to Attract Customers”




Winter Break



1 Million Cups


1 Million Cups is a monthly event that brings together the local community of entrepreneurs for a cup of coffee and a conversation. It is a great opportunity for those looking for first-hand entrepreneurial advice from start-up business owners.

1 Million Cups Winona

1MC Winona takes place on the second Wednesday of every month at the

Garage Co-Work Space

123 Lafayette Street

Winona, MN 55987

To stay updated on all things Winona 1MC, be sure to stay connected to The Garage on Facebook @TheGarageCoWork.

1 Million Cups Rochester 

1MC Rochester takes place on the first Wednesday of every month at

One Discovery Square

201-299 4th St SW

Rochester, MN 55902

To stay updated on all things Rochester 1MC, be sure to follow them on Facebook @1MCRochester.

Recent Event

SMIF Student Bridge Competition

After previously winning first place in SMUMN’s own elevator pitch competition last spring, James Perreault spent the summer developing his pitch even further to present his ideas at the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s Entrepreneurial Bridge Competition.

Perreault, a Finance and Entrepreneurship double major, entered the Competition with his idea, the “UV Canopy,” a product that would use UV-C lighting to disinfect bacteria off the surfaces of many day-to-day items.

Overall, Perreault not only showcased his entrepreneurial ideas within his presentation, but also his entrepreneurial spirit; he was an admirable representative of the SMUMN community.

To hear more about Perreault’s journey, check out his story on the Student Spotlight page.

Elevator Pitch Competition

Kabara hosts a annual elevator pitch competition where students have the opportunity to pitch their business idea in 90 seconds or less for cash prizes. Learn more about the competition by reading the rules and requirements.


Fall 2019 Winners

Caily Landers & Isabel Bettag with “Atmos-here”


Cole McElwain with “Generation Z”


Trevor Paradise with “The Warm Wagon”


“SMU Alert Banner System”  Steve Reamer & Jacob Coleman

“Haystak”  Sarah Hardy


BioTape  Christain Beamer

Fall 2018 Winners

Sarah Hardy & Anna Dale with “Ensemble”


Carolyn Klaesges & Luis Avila with “Drive Coin”


Jakira Robinson with “#GIRLCHAT”


“Athletes United”  Justine Schultz & Kris Shepard

“Providing Opportunities for Prosperity”  Katherine Lofquist

“Eat Green and Go”  Lily Figel


“Weight to Wake”  Izamar Leon

“Solar Pot”  Taliya Harris

“Soaker Socks”  Stephany Beck

Spring 2018 Winners

James Perreault with “Sani-Cart”


Jake Mencacci, Bailey McKnight, Steven Reamer & Alex Kleve with “RIGHTFITSports”


Rowan Flynn & Carolyn Klaesges with “Utilizing Predictive Modeling”

Business Plan Competition

To further foster the entrepreneurial spirit within its students, the Saint Mary’s University Business Department and the Kabara Institute will periodically sponsor the business plan competition to engage and encourage business-minded students at SMUMN.

Learn more about the competition by reading the rules and requirements.