Luther College student works to tell the stories of Rochester entrepreneurs

Luther College student Eric (Min San Thu) has been working to tell the stories of Rochester small businesses as a storytelling intern with Collider, a Rochester non-profit organization with a mission to activate, connect and empower early-stage entrepreneurs. Eric's stories explain how these entrepreneurs got started and how they are staying resilient through the pandemic.

"I am mainly responsible for interviewing existing and emerging entrepreneurs in Rochester," said Eric. "I write stories about how they started their business, how they overcame adversities and COVID-19 challenges, how they adapted by changing their business models, and I include their personal advice on how to be successful in entrepreneurship."

Through his internship with Collider, Eric has gained valuable career experience, networked with entrepreneurs working in various fields across Rochester and Southern Minnesota and he has been inspired.

"I ultimately want to start my own business in the future. I have yet to know what kind of business I want to start, but working at Collider feels like I am drawing closer to that goal," he said.

And Eric hopes his stories have inspired other aspiring or established entrepreneurs while providing them with invaluable advice.

"These stories serve as prototype experiences that people can read and take lessons from. Through that, people can effectively learn the do's and don'ts of starting a business. Additionally, people can connect to the entrepreneurs I highlight in my stories for striking up a casual conversation or for future collaborations."

Collider is a company that strives to make entrepreneurship available to everyone in Rochester. The company provides guidance to those who wish to start a small business, and assistance to small businesses that are in need. Collider prides itself on maintaining a welcoming atmosphere for a wide variety of people to communicate and collaborate with each other in order to learn and grow.

Collider recently gained a partnership opportunity with Google. Because of this, Google has built its first office in Minnesota in Collider's coworking space, located in downtown Rochester. The Google office is set to open later this year. This partnership emerged because of both companies' dedication to collaboration and making connections. 

"Google's arrival makes Rochester a much more exciting and special place for business and entrepreneurship. The connection opportunities that I could have here are much  greater!" said Eric.

Eric is taking part in Luther's Rochester Semester program. Students of all interests and majors have an opportunity to study and work in Rochester and gain high impact job-related experience and foster career networking skills. These opportunities often help students discern their future career paths. 

Eric's stories are available to view on Collider's entrepreneurial journalism site rochesterrising.org.

Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu

Eric interviews local entrepreneur