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Building a Social Impact Business: Lessons Learned from 4 Early-stage Founders

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Katrina Becker
FINNOVATION Lab, Fellowship Manager

Katrina Becker manages all aspects of the FINNOVATION Fellowship program. Her experience in business operations, nonprofit administration and fundraising, and research and evaluation combined with her passion for economic development and entrepreneurship make her the ideal resource for every member of the FINNOVATION community.

Katrina has a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Management from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s Degree in Development Practice (sustainable international development) from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Judd Grutman
Vonzella, Founder

Attorney, social entrepreneur & horse racing fanatic

Junita Flowers
Junita's Jar, Founder/Owner

With more than two decades of experience working with nonprofit organizations, Junita has spent her career advocating for families, equipping youth to lead fearlessly and inspiring women to embrace the good, bad and “everything in between” seasons of life. Driven by the limitless opportunities to forge new paths and strengthen community through entrepreneurship, Junita built upon her experiences from the nonprofit sector and began her work as a social entrepreneur. Junita is the Founder/CEO of Junita's Jar, a mission-driven cookie company creating conversations to educate and eliminate relationship violence against women.

Junita is a TEDx speaker, an active community volunteer and a mom to two amazing human beings.”

Michelle Maryns
We Sparkle Co., Founder & CEO

Michelle Maryns is the Founder & CEO of We Sparkle Co., a public benefit corporation that helps underestimated entrepreneurs start, operate, and grow their ventures via our suite of AI-powered software tools. Prior to We Sparkle Co., Michelle was the Chief of Strategic Initiatives at Meda, a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that helps minority entrepreneurs succeed, Associate Director of Digital Strategy & Innovation at the American Academy of Neurology, Strategy Consultant at Reve Consulting, Community Relations Specialist at the U.S. Department of Justice, and a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State.

Join us for a moderated panel of four early-stage social entrepreneurs (all alumni FINNOVATION Fellows) as they share their lessons learned from building a social impact business in Minnesota.