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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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College of Business students with laptops

College of Business

Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship (MnREM-Wired) Grant Outcomes

Starting a business is an especially difficult endeavor; especially in emerging industries.  Through support from the Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace-WIRED (MnREM) this grant allowed for a focus on supporting the area of renewable energy entrepreneurship by partnering and creating capacity with other organizations such as Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Riverbend Center for Enterprise Facilitation, Greater Mankato Growth, Minnesota Biobusiness Alliance, International Renewable Energy Technology Institute (IRETI), Region Nine Small Business Development Center, Center for Rural Policy and Development as well as other private and public organizations.  What started to emerge is that sophisticated and regional is critical and necessary.  The green economy won’t just happen; innovation and entrepreneurial activities will require coordinated and intentional leadership from many sectors of society, including higher education.    

Cleantech Open Partnership

By meeting with clean technology and sustainability entrepreneurs  (broader terms that include renewable energy) we learned that they most often have the technical expertise but are in need of support and assistance in securing capital and communicating their business concept.  To this end we partnered with North Central Cleantech Open, an organization whose mission is to find, foster, and fund clean technology companies.  We were pleased that one of the grant’s clients, Environmental Technologies, was recently announced as a 2010 competition semifinalist.  Co-founders Matt Johnson and Dr. Janet Moldstad participated in many of the MnREM grant activities including a March clean technology breakfast briefing, an April Cleantech webinar, a May renewable energy marketing seminar, and one-on-one marketing training delivered by Envision of St. Peter.  The MnREM grant also sponsored Environmental Technologies initial application to the Cleantech Open.  We wish Matt and Janet the very best as they move onto the national level of competition. 

International Sustainable Enterprise Author, Professor, and Leader Visits MSU

Professor Malcolm McIntosh, the director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise at Griffith University, traveled to Minnesota from Australia in May to meet with faculty, staff, and administrators as well as to deliver the premier lecture “Sustainability:  Humanity’s Next Great Project.”  Located in the AACSB accredited Business School at Griffith University, the Centre partners with an international network of leading organizations to foster the development of teaching and research in sustainable enterprise.  Influential university, community, and regional leaders attended his premier lecture and we benefitted greatly from his decades of international experience and thought leadership.

Faculty Team Attend AACSB Sustainability Conference

Grant funding also provided for a team of faculty from Minnesota State Mankato to attend the AACSB Sustainability Conference in Denver, Colorado June 14-16, 2010.  The cross-college faculty team included (in order, left to right):   Daniel Swart (Chemistry), Brenda Flannery (Management), Kristin Scott (Marketing), Anaam Hashmi (International Business), Hyuna Park (Finance), and William Hudson (Electrical and Computer Engineering and Technology).  The team attended the conference to learn about sustainability curriculum, programs, and strategic directions in higher education.  Funding for the grant ended June 30.   The award provided us with an opportunity to begin to build an awareness of and an intellectual capacity for the broad area of sustainability entrepreneurship.  If you are interested in more information about the grant activities and outcomes or have comments about this area, please contact grant co-principal investigators Brenda Flannery ( or John Frey (