STARTUP Winona State

Entrepreneurship is not only starting a new business, but identifying issues in our society that need new solutions or new products that meet the challenge or issues we encounter in our lives.

It’s about facing challenges at each step of creativity and innovation.

Even as our world needs more innovative solutions, it can be hard to take an idea to a successful business or non-profit all on your own. That’s where STARTUP Winona State comes in.

STARTUP Winona State is an organization that connects people with ideas and energy with resources and training they need to take action and bring their ideas to the next level.

The STARTUP Winona State organization seeks to:

  • Provide a supportive environment and professional resources so students can incubate their ideas
  • Foster opportunities for student groups to form and create innovative solutions that make positive impacts on their school, community and lives
  • Bring together alumni, faculty, business and non-profit leaders to mentor students
  • Connect local and regional businesses with fresh entrepreneurial energy and ideas
  • Offers students the resources, networking and learning experiences to bring their ideas into focus
  • Give access to prototyping, fabrication fab labs, makerspaces and other labs
  • Develop skills through a variety of classes, seminars, workshops and in-class projects

In this entrepreneurial ecosystem, students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members will become founders, creators and community-builders.

Together, we’ll become the next generation of entrepreneurs and drive economic growth throughout Winona and Southeast Minnesota.

How to Get Involved

Through the STARTUP Winona State process, students will:

  • Learn how to strategically develop and launch a new venture or innovative initiative
  • Develop professional skills and habits for working with mentors, partners and other key stakeholders
  • Be prepared to present ideas to panels of experts and entrepreneurs

Here’s how it works.


Start with an Idea

Every business and non-profit started with an idea to solve a problem in peoples’ lives or somehow improve the community.

At this stage, you’ll be challenged to consider what needs or opportunities exist and then brainstorm ideas on how you can fulfill those needs.

You could focus on new innovations within existing companies, non-profits, government, organizations or even at WSU. Or you could decide to pursue a new entrepreneurial venture.

You may find other students at Warriors Innovate who want to address the same problem and create a team to work on possible solutions.


Develop an Idea

Once you have an idea that excites you, the next stage is about working through the details to figure out what it will take to make your idea a reality.

Not all ideas will come in at the same level of readiness, and that’s ok.

You’ll have access to tools, resources and mentoring to help develop your idea into an action plan and the skills to see it through.


Pitch an Idea

If you’re ready for it, it’s time to pitch your idea to local, regional and state-wide competitions.

You’ll continue to have access to mentors and resources at Warriors Innovate to help you prepare for pitch presentations.

This how ideas take off into full-fledged businesses as you receive feedback on your plan and practice telling your story.

And hopefully you'll get awarded venture capital funds to launch your business!

Upcoming Events

Keynote & Workshop: Ben Whiting – Sidewalk Entrepreneur

6-8pm on Sep. 30
103 Stark Hall

How does a street performer end up consulting for Fortune 50 companies without ever taking a business class?

Ben will take the audience through his journey from street performer to nationally acclaimed magician to business consultant.

He will talk about his experiences, perform magic, and highlight those skills necessary to be successful in business.