The Launch MN Network is working together to help startups save time accessing needed talent and resources. The goal is to improve coordination and capacity across the state’s innovation ecosystem.
The Launch MN Network
Stacy leads an amazing team at Red Wing Ignite focused on fostering entrepreneurship, facilitating innovation, and training the workforce of tomorrow. By connecting like-minded entrepreneurs, investors and mentors - RWI, and their 13 partner organizations throughout SE Minnesota in the E1 Collaborative, create a unique ecosystem fueling growth in the communities they serve.
Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs showed Stacy first-hand what it takes to be successful – hard work and dogged determination at the top of the list. She’s built on a career of service in non-profit management, helping others by developing teams that connect those in need to the resources that will help them most. Much of Stacy’s adult life has been spent living in rural Minnesota; she understands and is a strong advocate for the unique needs of our rural communities.
Business Development Director, Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, 2017-current
Policy and Legislative Director, MN Department of Human Services 2011-2017
State Representative, 2005-2012
Business Owner, Lamar Homes and Remodeling, 2003-2012
Mayor, City of St. Joseph, 2001-2005
Neela Mollgaard, Executive Director of Launch Minnesota, is working to create an environment to support entrepreneurs and nurture tech startups with a goal of fostering an innovation ecosystem across the state that draws global attention, talent, and capital.
Launch Minnesota, started in 2019, is spearheaded by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in partnership with a statewide advisory board and private sector stakeholders.
Neela’s career has involved bringing people together to create change. She has been a leader and facilitator of innovation across organizations and communities. Most recently, she served as a founder of the nonprofit Red Wing Ignite which supports entrepreneurs, businesses, and students to succeed in the 21st-century economy. By forging partnerships with government, academic, corporate, and community partners, Red Wing Ignite developed an innovative ecosystem model that garnered national attention.
She has served in a variety of leadership roles with local organizations and nonprofits. She is a former member of the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband, and founder and chair of Women Cents, a nonprofit that supports children and families. Recently, Neela was named in Twin Cities Business Magazine’s “TCB 100: The People to Know in 2020.”
As Forge North Manager, Meg leverages her passion for building community, creating connections and scaling initiatives to support a coalition of entrepreneurs, investors, corporate partners, ecosystem builders, and allies working together to make Minneapolis - St. Paul the best place for people from all backgrounds to start and scale ventures.