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A Community of Entrepreneurs

Chihiro Gustafson '23 is a mountain bike coach, avid biker, and a small business owner with big dreams. He recently launched a bike repair shop with the support and guidance of his networks and community.

The scholarship has opened so many doors that I never even knew existed.

How has the St. Thomas community helped you grow as an entrepreneur?

"I've been fixing bikes in my garage for the past five years or so. I made Trailblazer Bicycle Repair official this past summer. It's a high-end bike repair service that supplies concierge levels of attention and detail. Right now, I'm steadily building the brand and my processes.

The Schulze Innovation Scholarship has provided me with amazing resources and mentors to help me run my business. I'll often consult with professors outside of class for practical advice, insight, and next steps.

The entrepreneurship community is incredibly impactful. My roommates and I will chat until midnight about business plans or a philosophy we learned in class. Our different backgrounds allow us to bring something new to the table. We look to each other for inspiration and ideas. We build each other up.

What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned so far?

Participating in competitions has shown me how ideas get started. I used to have a misconception about entrepreneurship - that it has to be this big grand idea. But sometimes it's the small changes that make the biggest difference. We often try and rush that journey.

Competitions have also been awesome networking experiences. I get so inspired by the spirit and accomplishments of other entrepreneurs and leaders. So far, I've met three Best Buy CEOs (Dick Schulze, Hubert Joly, Corrie Barry) at various events! 

Through the Schulze Scholar program, I've learned what's important to consumers and how to be successful working with others. Design thinking teaches you to create value that meets the customer's needs. You're the bridge to their solution.

I'm grateful for the mentors and friends who have given me advice on how to run my business. I hope to continue growing Trailblazer Bicycle Repair and eventually own a chain of high-end bike shops. 

The scholarship has helped propel my professional development. I'm incredibly thankful for this opportunity and am excited for what's next."

headshot of Chihiro Gustafson

Chihiro Gustafson '23

  • Entrepreneurship major, co-majoring in Marketing
a cluttered desk with pencils, paper, and markers


  • Freshman Innovation Immersion
  • Fowler Business Concept Challenge