Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

Events & Competitions
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 2019/2020 speaker topics and dates. Stay tuned for speaker info and location details.

24 February

Tech & the World of Start Ups

23 March

Franchising: Leveraging a Proven Model

20 April

It Runs in the Family – Creating & Continuing a Family Business

WE Forum Events

Women Entrepreneurs Forum events are great opportunities for women entrepreneurs to network, connect and enhance their entrepreneurial spirits.

All WE Forum events take place at

Saint Mary’s University Rochester Campus – Cascade Meadow Wetlands

2900 19th Street Northwest

Rochester, MN 55901

12 December

WORKSHOP: Evaluating your Business – “Pivot or Fresh Start”

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 follow them on Facebook @1MCWinona.

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.

Our 2018 Fall Semester Winners were:

1st Place – Sarah Hardy and Anna Dale with “Ensemble”

2nd Place – Carolyn Klaesges and Luis Avila with “Drive Coin”

3rd Place –  Jakira Robinson with “#GIRLCHAT”


“Athletes United” – Justine Schultz and 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

Our 2018 Spring Semester Winners were

1st Place – James Perreault with “Sani-Cart”

2nd Place – Jake Mencacci, Bailey McKnight, Steven Reamer & Alex Kleve with “RIGHTFITSports”

3rd Place – Rowan Flynn and 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.