University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota


Acara is the impact entrepreneurship program of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment in partnership with the College of Science and Engineering and the Carlson School of Management. Through Acara’s courses, workshops and field experiences, students develop impact ventures that address societal and environmental challenges.

Acara Impact Entrepreneurship Header-Discover India

Do you want to explore India? In the May-term seminar (CEGE 5570), we explore development challenges through entrepreneurs and communities in India.

  • What: 3-credit, 3-week Bangalore study abroad course May 17-June 7, 2016.
  • Who: Undergrad and grad students of all majors seeking global immersive experiences loaded with incredible adventures and delicious Indian food.
  • Apply: See course webpage to apply. Priority application due 12/1/15


Acara Impact Entrepreneurship Header-Design Your Venture

Do you have an idea for an impact venture? In Social Venture Launchpad (CEGE 5572), students design a venture solution to address a challenge they’re passionate about.

  • What: 2-credit impact venture design course offered Jan 11-15, 2016.
  • Who: Any UMN student with an idea for a problem and solution.
  • Apply: See course webpage. Priority application due 12/20/15


Acara Impact Entrepreneurship Header-Fund Your Big Idea

Do you have an idea to change the world? Win $6000 and pursue an Acara Fellowship! The Acara Challenge is an annual impact venture competition to reward and support UMN students creating solutions to social and environmental challenges.

  • What: Teams compete for real funding to address global grand challenges. Winning teams will be able to pursue an Acara Venture Fellowship following the competition.
  • Who: All current degree-seeking UMN students who are up for the challenge.
  • Find your challenge: Students are encouraged to enter the Acara Challenge with new solutions to the D-Prize Challenge areas.
  • Apply: See competition webpage. Initial application due 1/22/16. Fellowship applications due in March 2016.


Acara 2014/2015 Courses and the Acara Challenge

The Acara sequence of courses, and subsequent Acara Challenge competition, offer a unique way to get involved in creating impact venture solutions for social and environmental change. Find out about the courses and the Challenge.  Learn more

Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA)

DOW SISCA Challenge Winners

SISCA, a program of IonE and the Dow Chemical Company, recognizes and rewards students and universities for innovation and research that encourages and promotes sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems.  Learn more

Discovery India – UMN Study Abroad – Bangalore, India

Acara Workshop Day 1 - Bangalore

In May 2016,  Acara will spend three weeks learning about environmental challenges and entrepreneurial solutions with UMN students in Bangalore, India. Through field trips and interactions with entrepreneurs we will explore challenges topics including water, energy, waste, and food. Learn more

Acara is the impact entrepreneurship program of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment in partnership with the College of Science and Engineering and the Carlson School of Management.