MSU Student-Run Business Gets Real-World Experience to Benefit United Way

    April 20th, 2022

    MANKATO—A business class though Minnesota State University, Mankato, is partnering with Greater Mankato Area United Way to get real-world experience selling and marketing products, with profits benefiting United Way’s local programs.

    This semester, students from the Stomper Grounds company from MSU’s Integrated Business Experience class are selling branded lawn chairs and five-in-one can koozies. The group is named after MSU’s Maverick mascot.

    Products available at

    “The goal of our company is to gain real-life experience through running our own business and to give back to the Mankato community,” said Abby Lundquist, Stomper Grounds’ chief marketing officer. “The Integrated Business Experience at MSU has not only allowed us to grow and learn in the business world but also understand the importance of giving back to our community. I think I speak for any IBE student when I say that this program is so beneficial not only in terms of challenging yourself and learning but also connecting with the community along the way.”

    After starting their company, the Stomper Grounds group chose United Way as their nonprofit partner. They created a business plan to present to United Prairie Bank to secure a business loan. The group quickly learned how to navigate real-world challenges, such as supply-chain delays.

    “All of us at Stomper Grounds care deeply about our school and the community as a whole,” said Stomper Grounds’ chief executive officer Max Milow. “We decided early in the program that we wanted to support local businesses and charities. United Way’s values align very well with our own, so I am glad we were able to work together.”

    About Stomper Grounds: Our mission is to deliver quality products that provide comfort and versatility that will ignite the adventure within you, while supporting Greater Mankato Area United Way’s work to improve lives through basic needs, health and education. Learn more at

    About Greater Mankato Area United Way: Greater Mankato Area United Way programs serve more than 51,000 people in Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Nicollet and Waseca counties. In 2022, Greater Mankato Area United Way is supporting 59 programs within 40 agencies. Visit the United Way website for the full agency list.