About the Program

The United Prairie Bank Integrated Business Experience (IBE) allows students to combine a suite of required courses into a semester-long real-world entrepreneurial experience that gives them a head-start on their business careers. As they work together to apply their knowledge to planning, launching and operating an actual business, the students gain the leadership skills, entrepreneurial mindset and hands-on experience that employers look for in new hires.

The process of developing, launching, managing, and closing a business creates a real-world context in which students can practice the basics of business, including finance, marketing, sales, operations, human resources, information technology, and general management. Professors teaching in the IBE introduce these basics in a specific sequence that maps to the startup process, exposing students to topics on an as-needed basis so that they are prepared for each stage of the startup experience.

About United Prairie Bank

The United Prairie Bank Integrated Business Experience (IBE) was formed through a generous gift from United Prairie Bank. The initial pilot program in Spring 2012 included 16 students and increased to 51 students by Spring 2016.

United Prairie Bank not only provides exceptional financial support to the IBE program but also professional mentorship to students. Local United Prairie Bank staff are actively involved in reviewing business plans, critiquing product and service pitches and attending College of Business networking events. United Prairie Bank’s partnership with the College of Business has provided numerous high quality learning experiences for students inside and outside the classroom.

College of Business students posing for a photo while visiting the United Prairie Bank


The United Prairie Bank Integrated Business Experience was awarded The 2022 Brian Fazio Business Education Partnership through Greater Mankato Growth Business Hall of Fame. The Brian Fazio Business Education Partnership award recognizes partnerships that enhance education and business in Greater Mankato.

Corporate Philanthropic Partner of the Year

United Prairie Bank was named Minnesota State Mankato's 2020 Corporate Philanthropic Partner of the Year for its work with the Integrated Business Experience. Their involvement provides hands-on experiences working with a real-world bank, giving our business students an edge in the industry.