shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Page address:
Serving the students and faculty of Minnesota State University, Mankato and the broader regional community, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship was formally established in November, 2016.
It's mission is to facilitate the launch of the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and dynamic organizations through education, outreach and research.
Cultivating innovation, accelerating entrepreneurship.
The CIE will:
  • bring together existing innovation and entrepreneurship programs to help nurture and expand them, such as
    • the innovation & entrepreneurship minor
    • the Big Ideas Challenge
    • student entrepreneurship organizations
  • provide expanded innovation and entrepreneurship education - academic and continuing education
  • facilitate student and community innovation projects
  • serve as a resource in elevating faculty innovation and research expertise through grants and entrepreneurship training
Main collaboration spaceDue to the generous donation of space by Curt Fisher, the CIE is located in 4000 square feet on the second floor of the Hubbard Building at 424 Riverfront Drive. 
The CIE resources include:
  • the Small Business Development Center's many free services
  • Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) counselors
  • access to university faculty with expertise in many areas
  • a space for videotaping business pitches and presentations
  • a large and a small training room for workshops
  • an open collaboration space where multiple groups can meet and work on projects
  • several small meeting rooms for project work in teams
  • prototyping materials to help teams visualize and communicate their ideas quickly
  • a 3d printer and scanner for prototype creation
  • unique spaces and furnishings to stimulate creativity
Community businesses and organizations
Do you have a problem you'd like a student team to work on with you? A project that needs an innovative approach or a new venture that you'd like help getting off the ground?
Or are you looking for an innovative space for your event?
Students and faculty
Do you have a big idea that needs resources or help to take it to the next step?
Do you need a space for a retreat or presentation?
Does your student club need a great space to meet in?
Contact us by emailing
Hubbard Building 
424 North Riverfront Drive Suite 210
Mankato, MN 56001
Director of the Center: 
Yvonne Cariveau, Ph.D.


Dream Big, Learn Big, Go Big Workshop
On September 25th from 3-6pm at the center, three finalist will compete for the Dream Big, Learn Big, Go Big $20,000 grant, available through a Community Growth Initiative grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. After the three, 30 minute presentation, a regional community-based leadership team will select the winner, or winners, of the grant funding. 
The three finalists are:
·            Mankato Makers Guild – creating opportunities for people to make things and learn new skills
·            Minneponics – an indoor, hydroponic farming initiative
·            Rotating Shelter – a multi-church initiative to provide shelter in the Mankato area
        This event, and the grant, are made possible by a 'Community Growth Initiative' grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. The program is designed to accelerate economic growth and foster more business activity in the 20 counties served by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.



Click here to view pictures from the workshop event. 


Coming up at the CIE:

  • Social Media Breakfasts - second Friday morning of each month at 7:30am
  • SCORE meetings - morning of 3rd Weds of the month
  • Mankato Makers Meet Ups - Aug 17, Sep 21 and Oct 19 at 6pm
  • Entrepreneurship Club meetings - starting in August, 2017
  • Entrepreneurship class - Wednesday evenings 6pm

We are also hosting retreats, board meetings, strategic planning sessions, etc. for MSU and community groups.  Contact us to reserve the space.


The first director for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is Dr. Yvonne Cariveau.  Dr. Cariveau has more than 24 years of experience as the owner and President of Internet Connections, Inc. (known as VoyageurWeb from 2001 to 2016). She is a regional Internet pioneer who has worked with many area businesses and nonprofits to create their online presence. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards and is active in the arts and as a community leader. Dr. Cariveau has her PhD from the Carlson School of Management at the University of MN and her MBA from Minnesota State Mankato. She has been teaching Entrepreneurship for two years and taught various business courses here and at the University of MN.


Channing Pick is the Graduate Innovation & Entrepreneurship Fellow. She is a graduate student studing Communications. Channing manages the Global Entrepreneurship Week events and the Big Ideas Challenge, our business plan and pitch competition. She also works with Dr. Cariveau to advance other initiatives of the Center. Email Channing


For more information about the Center, contact Dr. Yvonne Cariveau, or 507.389.1018.