Gustie Entrepreneur Cup

Student Entrepreneurship Competition


Gustie Entrepreneur Cup

The Gustie Entrepreneur Cup student entrepreneurship competition showcases the innovative ideas of Gustavus students. Engaging with faculty, coaches, and mentors, students develop their ideas into feasible, scalable business models. Students then present to a panel of judges for the opportunity to win a share of up to $20,000 in seed funding.

Plus the first-place winner will automatically advance to the semi-finals of the Minnesota Cup. and be eligible to win additional prize funding. 


The Gustie Entrepreneur Cup is a competition that is judged based on the development of an innovative idea and the ability to create a business around that idea. For the Gustie Entrepreneur Cup, students identify real problems and opportunities, find realistic solutions, use real data, and integrate important research to develop a business model. 

Your first idea may not be a winner. Great ideas are usually created by trial, error, and collaboration. Take the next few months to brainstorm, then keep improving your idea so it can reach its full potential by the Gustie Cup. You don’t need business acumen to be innovative. With student teamwork and alumni mentorship, you can compensate for the skills you don’t possess to become a winner. Working as a team typically brings more creativity than working alone.

Awards will be made for both (1) Big innovative ideas that are scaleable and have traditionally won the Cup (2) A new category based on a community-based business idea which could provide a student a livelihood after graduation. You can win prize money for developing either a for-profit venture or a social entrepreneurial endeavor. What is most important in the competition is the criteria of concept feasibility, the incorporation of an innovative idea, the quality of planning, and of course, the ability to put together a team that can execute the plan.

Russ Michaletz

Meet Russ Michaletz 

Director of the 2021-2022 Gustie Cup, Ogden P. and Elizabeth Confer Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurism 

Russ is not new to the Gustie Cup, he helped co-found the Gustie Cup in 2015 and has been involved with the Cup ever since.

After a long career as a Tax Partner at Arthur Andersen and Deloitte, Russ retired in 2014 and began teaching Business Law at Gustavus. Russ has always enjoyed mentoring young accountants and for the last six years, young and creative student entrepreneurs. Russ would enjoy hearing your ideas for the Cup and helping you create as strong an entry as possible. Set up a meeting by sending him an email at: or stop by his office in Beck.