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Entrepreneurial Studies

Experiential minor program fuels business creativity.

If you dream of your own business, you’re already thinking like an entrepreneur.

What you need is experience in what it takes to create, run and grow your own business. That’s what Augustana’s experiential minor in entrepreneurial studies will do for you.

What makes this minor experiential is the hands-on part of the curriculum. You’ll have two options: 
• complete an internship at an entrepreneurial firm or an organization in its early, formative stage, or
• create an in-depth business plan, supervised by the director of Augustana’s EDGE Center.

What is the EDGE Center? EDGE stands for Entrepreneurial Development through Guided Experiences. The center is a hub of entrepreneurial activity centrally located in the Olin Center, where students of all majors (many with the entrepreneurial studies minor) work on assets needed by local organizations to better communicate, manage or market their businesses or not-for-profit.

Many Augustana alumni say their EDGE Center experiences—and the portfolios they created—stood out on applications and set them on their distinctive career paths. Students with minors in entrepreneurial studies receive a formal certificate of their competence in entrepreneurship.

What you'll learn

Creative thinking

Creative thinking

Combine ideas to create something new. Use imaginative ways of solving problems.

Collaborative leadership

Collaborative leadership

Make decisions and act for the good of the community as a group.

Intercultural competence

Intercultural competence

Understand real and imaginary similarities and differences. Use more than one perspective to view issues.

Critical thinking and information literacy

Critical thinking and information literacy

Judge and construct arguments, raise questions and define problems. Make a conclusion based on evidence.

Communication competence

Communication competence

Read and listen carefully. Express ideas (writing or speaking) suited to the audience.


• Supervised by EDGE Center staff, students in the EDGE Center complete a wide range of projects, including web development, design and photography, video editing, strategic marketing plans, social media management and marketing, event planning, media relations and more.

• EDGE Center staff also provide students expert help in developing their personal business plans. Many students submit their business plans to the annual $10,000 Augustana Business Plan Competition, in which the five best plans are chosen by a panel of business professionals to compete for monetary awards.

• The Augustana Creative Enterprise Fund (ACEF) funds the annual business plan competition and also provides grants to students interested in entrepreneurial ventures such as business and social entrepreneurship, education, sustainable community programming, and more. Students who can link music education or the arts to their proposal are especially encouraged to apply.

Advertising Developers (ADs) and the Augustana Web Guild are two student groups of special interest for entrepreneurial studies minors.

Recent graduates

Laura Keenan '22 is a marketing and creative strategist for Republic Companies in the Quad Cities.

Alexa Pedersen  ’20 is a lead designer at Glass Nebula in Chicago.

Liem Gearen  ’19 is a senior software engineer with John Deere in the Quad Cities.

Alyssa Mish  ’19 is a senior registration manager with Creative Group, Inc.

Kristoffer Kizer '18 is a private syndicate investor with VU Venture Partners, a venture associate with Iron Key Capital, a private investor with Rebel One and an independent business strategy and innovation consultant with OpenExO.

Andrew Kladiva  ’18 is a territory aftermarket business manager at John Deere in Manchester, N.H.

Kris Kizer
More Than I Imagined Kris Kizer
“The EDGE Center and CORE were the biggest driving factors that convinced me to come to Augie.”
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Andrew Kladiva
More Than I Imagined Andrew Kladiva
“I got involved in the right clubs and organizations (like the EDGE Center), and they have helped me learn and experience so much more than I had ever expected.”
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Alyssa Mish
More Than I Imagined Alyssa Mish
“My peak experience was participating in the National Student Advertising Competition with the Advertising Developers (ADs) and serving as a co-president.”
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Crystal Aguilar, Doug Tschopp, Madalyn Snyder

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