The Toaster

The Toaster is a 6,500 square foot space in the lower level of Walter Library at the University of Minnesota that promotes student-centered, multi-disciplinary collaboration in service to innovation and entrepreneurship. Students are able to connect and collaborate with their classmates or student group organizations, engage with workshops and speaker events, experiment and prototype designs in the Breakerspace, and launch entrepreneurial projects and ideas.

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Our team collaborated with The Toaster in order to determine the optimal strategy for maintaining and expanding engagement within their digital community, as well as identifying outreach opportunities and methods to pull in students from all majors and backgrounds. The findings from our research were accepted at the MIRA Conference, and we will be presenting in July 2021.


We started with understanding the current student demographic that makes up The Toaster through market analysis, user personas, and quantitative analysis, which was then supplemented with 20+ user/student group interviews and 60+ survey responses. After deciphering our findings using thematic analysis and affinity mapping, we discovered several pain points that deter students from engaging with both the in-person and digital communities, which included their current marketing efforts and layout of resources available to students. We then devised strategy recommendations in order to address these concerns so that The Toaster can work toward becoming the central hub for student engagement and innovation.

Meet the Team

Governess Simpson

Anna Holmin

Anisha Joshi

Allie Nguyen