College of Business Hosts Innovative Workshop for Career-focused Students

Julia Barton ® Staff Writer|

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship within the College of Business hosted an Innovation workshop.This online event was held Tuesday, Jan. 26 featuring one of Minnesota State University, Mankato successful alumni and business professional Dakota Crow.

Crow, the Vice President of Innovation for U.S Bank, facilitated this Design Thinking workshop giving participants a guide to success and how they can kick start their own ideas regarding their business.  

This problem-solving process focused on listening to your target customers, collaboration, experimentation, and creating opportunities, which were just some of the content discussed within this workshop.

The three-hour long workshop was loaded with content that MNSU students and non-MNSU students were able to participate in via Zoom.

Throughout this Innovation event participants were able to collaborate and go through multiple exercises that included writing, planning, and sketching.

Crow stated, “Mentors are very important, find mentors where you can, there are lots of good people that you can ask to get guidance from in the business world.” 

Offering new ways of thinking, how to begin an idea for a potential business, how to promote and drive your business, and the importance of mentors were also presented in this workshop.

Yvonne Cariveau, Director for the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at MNSU gave her thoughts on the workshop, “The most important takeaway from these workshops is letting students or anyone who is an entrepreneur, realize that there is help, and a lot of people are eager and willing to help them get their businesses off the ground.”

Teaching the values of strategy, marketing, consumer behavior, and management skills are skills to be learned from the expertise of many professionals and professors that host these events.

“Having a support network full of other people who understand what you are trying to do and know how to get you past the hard stuff is really important. I want students to know that if they have a crazy idea, it might not be so crazy, find some other crazy people to talk about it and we might be able to actually make it happen.” Cariveau continued.

Geared toward informing students with additional thoughts on how they can improve their ideas, these workshops prove to be very beneficial.

Jack Bates, MNSU student who attended the workshop said, “The biggest take away from the workshop for me was the idea of pain when thinking of a business plan, saying how figuring out your pain will lead you to your gains. This is my first workshop and I think listening to speakers like Dakota give good insight on what the real world is going to be like.”

Scheduled for Apr. 13, 2021 is the Big Ideas Challenge. This is a competition that encourages and celebrates innovative business ideas ranging anywhere from agricultural ideas to high-tech models. 

Participants will have the opportunity to present their ideas as well receive exposure for their ideas along with a total of $19,000 dollars in prize money that will be awarded.

MNSU students and alumni within two years of graduation can submit their ideas; the deadline is Jan. 31, 2021.

Header photo courtesy of MNSU.

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