- Medical Alley Tour
- Financial Tour
- The Startup Scene
- It’s Techier Here
- It’s Outdoorsier Here
- It's Sportier Here
- It’s Artier Here
- It's Homier Here
- It's Splashier Here
- Biz Is Bigger Here
- Food & Ag Careers Here
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The Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region is the problem solving capital of the new economy, boasting a legacy of innovation and a rapidly growing startup community. That community is on display all year long, and easily visible during events like the annual Twin Cities Startup Week festival in October.
Allies from throughout many of the region’s startups, funds, accelerators, educational organizations, and more are starting to work together through the Forge North coalition. New company, incubator and accelerator launches, the next capital rounds and acquisitions, and local meetups to global summits are being announced each week. This tour provides just a sample among all the places to plug in.
Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator at Osborn370
With a legacy of food and agriculture innovation and 5 of the world’s largest food and ag giants in the MSP region, Saint Paul provided a great launch pad for the new Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator in partnership with Cargill and Ecolab.
The accelerator, housed in the Osborn370 building in downtown Saint Paul, is focused on the tech/digital side of food and agriculture. The program is looking for the best entrepreneurs across the entire food value chain, from AgTech, manufacturing and supply chains, to food safety, waste reduction and traceability.
Lunar Startups at Osborn370
The team at Lunar Startups is driven to create equitable opportunities and access for all of Minnesota’s high growth entrepreneurs. They provide dedicated space, resources, programming and stewardship to cohorts of startups.
The Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media, the Knight Foundation, and Osborn370 worked together to create and launch Lunar Startups in support of their shared mission to strengthen their local communities.
CO.STARTERS at James J. Hill Center
CO.STARTERS at the Hill is a 9-week program that equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action. There are only three prerequisites to joining this program housed within the historic James J. Hill Center in downtown Saint Paul:
(1) Having an idea
(2) Being willing to question, shape and fine-tune that idea
(3) Being willing to talk about the idea with others
The CO.STARTERS program has a global reach, serving numerous communities across the United States, New Zealand, and Australia.
Beta/Space at WeWork
Beta connects entrepreneurs with resources, like future users, investors, employees and advisers. They do that by hosting informal events where people have interesting conversations in comfortable settings. Between events they serve as a support system for our alumni, and future, featured startups.
Beta/Space is a recent partnership with global co-working giant WeWork that provides rent-free office space and other services to Beta cohort member companies. The Star Tribune describes the program in this story.
Veterans in Residence at WeWork
Through its Veterans In Residence program in partnership with Bunker Labs Minneapolis, WeWork is building specially designed Residence quarters complete with dedicated lounges and meeting rooms, providing veterans with workspaces and access to member facilities and services.
Every six months, a new cohort of 10 veterans will move into these spaces. Bunker Labs Minneapolis provides educational programming, access to resources, and a thriving local network to help military veterans and their spouses start and grow businesses.
Rise of the Rest at Fueled Collective
Rise of the Rest Seed Fund invests catalytic capital in the most promising seed stage companies located outside of Silicon Valley, New York City, and Boston. The ROTR Seed Fund is backed by a group of iconic entrepreneurs, executives and investors.
ROTR Partner Mary Grove is based in Minneapolis, where the Fund has invested in MSP startups like 75F, Kidizen, and Structural. Co-working space Fueled Collective is a member of the Google for Entrepreneurs network.
Enterprise Rising at U.S. Bank Stadium
The region is a breeding ground for enterprise technology companies, with firms like Code42, LeadPages, When I Work, JAMF Software, Field Nation, Calabrio, and many more growing up in the MSP region.
Every year, local investor and community leader Casey Allen puts on the Enterprise Rising conference for founders, investors, and collaborators in the field from throughout the Midwest. Speakers have included local leaders from the companies above and others like Sports Engine, Structural, and many more.
FINNOVATION Lab at Impact Hub MSP
FINNOVATION Lab is a social business incubator and accelerator offering a robust set of venture service programs designed to achieve and launch high impact enterprises. We empower and provide system change leaders with access to capital and support, accelerating and amplifying their impact.
The Lab is a partnership between FINNEGAN’S Brewery and Impact Hub MSP, the local chapter of an international network that brings together a community of entrepreneurs, innovators, consultants, and nonprofit professionals to take collaborative action and drive positive change. The collaboration is housed within the FINNEGAN’S House in downtown Minneapolis.
gener8tor is a nationally ranked accelerator program operating in multiple U.S. markets. The organization’s flagship concierge program invests in five companies per cohort making investments and providing access to an invite-only Global Accelerator Network.
The gener8tor team also operates two early-stage accelerator programs that require no fees and no equity. gBETA Minneapolis is sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Office of Technology Commercialization. gBETA Medtech is sponsored by Boston Scientific with additional support from organizations like Mayo Clinic and the Medical Alley Association.
Techstars Retail Accelerator at Target
Techstars Retail, in partnership with Target is a three-month intensive startup accelerator focused on bringing new technology, experiences, products, and solutions to retail. Ten companies are selected each year to work with mentors from the Techstars network and within Target.
The first two years of the program included participation from growing MSP-based companies like Branch Messenger, Inspectorio, Upsie, and Local Crate.
Schulze School of Entrepreneuship
The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas trains students to create environments where entrepreneurial ideas can flourish, to identify and evaluate new opportunities, and to transform innovations into sustainable businesses.
The Schulze School is the only of its kind within a business school, providing undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs, public entrepreneurial and business education, and opportunities for funding new ventures.
MN Cup at Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship
MN Cup is a startup competition & hub to connect Minnesota’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. They support emerging entrepreneurs through events, educational programming and an annual startup competition that provides them with tools, resources and support to launch and accelerate the development of their new ventures.
MN Cup, housed within the University of Minnesota’s Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, is now the largest statewide startup competition in the country. More than 12,000 participants have entered and over 100 million media impressions have been documented since MN Cup’s inception. Participants have gone on to successfully launch their businesses, raise capital and create jobs in Minnesota. Finalists from 2005 have raised over $230 million to spur innovation and job creation.
Grow North at Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship
Grow North supports Minnesota’s food and agricultural entrepreneurs and innovators by creating an interconnected, sophisticated, and supportive ecosystem to help scale businesses faster.
Grow North acts as a central hub for resources, a mobilizing connector and ecosystem navigator. It was launched with founding support from MSP-based food giant General Mills, with partners that include other local food and agriculture companies like Schwan’s and Land O’Lakes.
Minnebar at Best Buy HQ
Since 2006, Minnebar has been an annual technology and software conference held in the Twin Cities. Like other BarCamps, Minnebar is a user-generated conference that is participant-led. There are no keynote speakers or formal workshops, and all sessions are led by people from the tech and business communities. This event is free and open to anyone with a passion for technology!
Minnestar, which plans Minnebar and Minnedemo events, exists to create experiences where the passion and potential of the Minnesota technology community come together. We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is organized, funded, and built to serve our great community of technologists.
Healthcare.MN at Zipnosis HQ
Through five years of meetups and events, Healthcare.MN has been committed to driving healthcare innovation through creating community, building connections, educating, and representing the needs of healthcare startups in Minnesota.
From health care giants like UnitedHealth Group to fast growing startups like Bright Health, individuals and organizations have been support and celebrate each other through Healthcare.MN. Many of the group’s meetups and events are hosted in the North Loop of Minneapolis at the headquarters of startup Zipnosis.
301 INC from General Mills
301 INC is an energetic and enthusiastic team looking to collaborate with emerging food brands. They aspire to be an indispensable partner integrating a direct equity investment with the skill and capabilities of global food giant General Mills.
The group is based in Minneapolis near the location where General Mills was born more than 150 years ago. However, they are able to leverage the expertise and global networks at General Mills HQ just west of Minneapolis.
MANOVA at Medical Alley
Minnesota is known throughout the world as Medical Alley, the global epicenter of health innovation and care. The Medical Alley Association, located in Golden Valley, brings together everything from health and medical startups to the country’s top hospital in Mayo Clinic, largest insurer in UnitedHealth Group, and most innovative companies like 3M, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Smiths Medical, and more.
The MANOVA global summit, planned by 2023 Partners and Medical Alley, will bring together over 2,000 global thought leaders, executives, entrepreneurs and technologists who are innovating at the crossroads of consumer health, retail delivery and medical technology.
Dairy Accelerator at Land O'Lakes HQ
The Land O’Lakes Dairy Accelerator looks for United States-based entrepreneurs passionate about moving their companies to the next level.
Selected participants receive a $25,000 stipend in order to attend, and contribute to the three-month accelerator program in MSP. The accelerator program provides mentorship and seminars that focus on several areas, including finance, brand building, manufacturing, sales and leadership development. At the conclusion of the program, participant present their proposals and new business ideas to Land O’Lakes, Inc. leadership.
Stella Health at Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota HQ
Stella Health is a Minnesota-based company designed to nurture and scale differentiated businesses across the country to improve health in bold and innovative ways. Stella was launched by Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota to manage the company’s current investments in startup companies and engage the community through events and competitions like the Aging Startup Challenge.
Stella team members have a presence at the TreeHouse Health facility in Minneapolis in addition to Blue Cross Blue Shield HQ in Eagan.
Twin Cities Startup Awards at Palace Theater
The recently renovated Palace Theater in downtown Saint Paul played host to the very first Twin Cities Startup Awards to close out the festivities at Twin Cities Startup Week 2017.
Local startups like Branch Messenger took home awards at the inaugural event. The awards show will expand in 2018 with categories for founders, companies, and community leaders.