Macalester graduates have long been known for both business and social entrepreneurship–for stepping up to fill a need or take advantage of an opportunity.
Macalester helps students develop and launch their enterprises, whether aimed at developing a new app or solving a community need.
In 2013, Macathon was launched. Macathon is about putting your liberal arts education into action to invent a new innovative system (business, non-profit, web service, interactive application) that solves a real-world problem–or is just flat-out cool. It is a 24-hour “hackathon,” done Macalester style.
Now in its third year, Mac Startups is Macalester’s startup incubator. This year, 18 students selected from the Classes of 2017 and 2018 spent 10 weeks feverishly working to transform their ideas into reality. Along the way, they visited local entrepreneurs, including Lee Wallace ’85, founder of Peace Coffee, and Danny Schwartzman ’04, founder of Common Roots Cafe and Catering. Speakers also came to campus to discuss legal issues, business models, and other topics related to entrepreneurship.
In 2015, Kate Ryan Reiling ’00 was named the inaugural Entrepreneur in Residence. She oversees existing components of Macalester’s entrepreneurship program including Macathon, Mac Startups, and the Live It Fund, and partners with various areas of the college in creating new entrepreneurial programs. Ryan Reiling founded Morphology, Time magazine’s #2 Toy of the Year.