Winona Initiatives

Garage Co-Work Space

Responding to the need for a centralized space for emerging entrepreneurs in the Winona area, the Kabara Institute partnered with the Port Authority, Winona State University, and the Winona Main Street Program to collaboratively support the launch of the Garage Co-Work space in Winona. As co-founders and economic supporters, these organizations also collaborated to bring the Kaufmann 1 Million Cups program to Winona and host it at the Garage Co-Working space. Giving individualized training on topics such as “the Business Model Canvas,” “Lean Startup,” and “Design Thinking.” Visit them online at or follow them on Facebook @TheGarageCoWork.

Guest Speakers

The Kabara Institute is proud to host a wide array of guest speakers on Saint Mary’s Winona Campus throughout the school year. We welcome anyone from the SMUMN community and the local public to join us for any of our guest speaker events! If you would like to attend one of our speaker events, check out our list of upcoming dates and topics below, or if you’re interested in becoming a future guest speaker, please visit our Get Involved Page.

Speaker Dates

24 February

Tech & the World of Start Ups

23 March

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


Winstart is a program that brings students together from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Winona State University and Southeast Tech and connects them with local business leaders to develop solutions for their business challenges. Winners will be automatically entered into Red Wing Ignite and SMIF Bridge competition and will have the opportunity to dine with the leaders of the local business community.

2020 Program Dates

Idea Fair 

27 January  4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Businesses and students come together to explore innovative and entrepreneurial solutions for local issues, problems and opportunities.

Location: Sandusky Center, Minnesota State College Southeast


4 February — 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Students meet at The Garage to form work teams and choose opportunities to work on as a follow up to the Idea Fair.

Location: The Garage Co-Work Space

Team Check-In

18 February — 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Idea Fair teams can check in to report progress and seek additional help.

Location: The Garage Co-Work Space


24 March — 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Teams give a dry run of their pitch presentations.

Location: The Garage Co-Work Space

WinStart Competition

6 April — 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Teams compete for cash prizes and merchandise in the WinStart Pitch Competition.

Location: Miller Ingenuity

Previous Years

Last spring, SMUMN sent a group of students to the competition who worked in collaboration with students from Minnesota State College Southeast. To learn more about last year’s competition and experience, check out the article posted in Saint Mary’s Campus Notes.