U of M Partnership Launches New Grant Program

New student-owned ventures that incorporate sustainable business practices and environmental stewardship, community service, or biking advocacy are eligible for funding under the new program-which was launched by the U and Bloomington-based Quality Bicycle Products.

Bloomington-based Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) has partnered with the University of Minnesota to launch a program that helps fund student-owned ventures.

Under the program-which is called “Purpose and Profit”-QBP will provide seed funding to new student-owned ventures that incorporate sustainable business practices and environmental stewardship, community service, or biking advocacy.

The program, which was launched Monday, will be managed by the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship at the Carlson School of Management.

Through the program, grants of up to $5,000 will be available to current University of Minnesota students seeking to launch a business through the Holmes Center's Business Hatchery program.

In addition to this new seed funding opportunity, students participating in the Business Hatchery program receive legal and accounting advisory services, and mentoring from alumni and other volunteer supporters in the entrepreneurial business community.

“QBP is a great role model for this program-an extremely well-run business that also makes a tremendous impact on our community and the environment,” John Stavig, professional director of the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, said in a statement. “We're optimistic that these funds will encourage our students to apply their entrepreneurship education and make a difference in the world.”

QBP is a parts and accessories distributor in the bicycle industry, serving more than 5,000 dealers nationwide. It was founded by Steve Flagg, a University of Minnesota alumnus.