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The Power of Rural Innovation through Collaboration

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Stacy Nimmo
Red Wing Ignite, Executive Director

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.

Shannan Harris
Red Wing Ignite, Operations and Program Manager

As a member of the Red Wing Ignite team since January 2015, Shannan provides support across a wide scope of programming. Responsibilities include day to day management of coworking/meeting space operations, offsite Makerspace located at MN State College Southeast, administration of a variety of regional, state and federal grants, support of the entire RWI Team and E1-Entrepreneurs 1st Collaborative in SE MN. Duties include organizing, planning, tracking, reporting and directing work alongside the Executive Director. Prior to joining RWI, Shannan owned and operated Moments on Main, a local gift and décor store from 2005-20014 and continues as an entrepreneur with her design/decor business.

Pam Bishop
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Vice President of Economic Development

Pamela Bishop has worked over 25 years in community and economic development in southern Minnesota, with the last 14 years serving as Vice President of Economic Development at Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). She is passionate about entrepreneurship, building collaborations and partnering with others to grow prosperity for all who choose to live and work in the 20 counties served by SMIF

Sam Ziegler
GreenSeam, President & Director

Ziegler works with all types and sizes of businesses connected to agriculture in southern MN and northern IA to help them grow. Sam spent many years with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and Minnesota Soybean Growers Association where he worked with soybean farmers to bring new products to the market and build international relations with soy and meat buyers. Sam stays directly rooted in ag as a fourth-generation owner/operator of Ziegler Farms, near Good Thunder. He graduated from South Central College in Ag Business. Most importantly Sam is lucky to have married his high school sweetheart and is proud to have two boys.

Jack Kilian
Poultry Patrol, Co-Founder / CEO

Jack is serial instigator generating new robotic ventures. He has combined several forces at the Digi Labs incubator space to form Poultry Patrol, a four wheeled autonomous robot to help turkey farmers handle their tedious tasks. He's previously developed a simple, bipedal robot curriculum for MnDRIVE at the University of Minnesota while working on the power electronics of a solar aircraft including a transforming solar quad-copter called SUAVQ. He completed his Master's of Electrical Engineering in 2019.

Poultry Patrol is in early seed stage with letters of support from from several of the Poultry Industries' largest players like Cargill, Jennie-O, PHW Grupe, and more. Currently, Poultry Patrol is expanding their fleet of robots to deploy in to more turkey barns while developing more advanced autonomy features.

We're always looking for help so if you have an idea or know somebody that could help please reach out through our contact form on !!!

Chris Lukenbill
Shrpa, Co-founder

Chris is an entrepreneur currently building out, Shrpa, his 4th company, after two successful exits. Shrpa is a platform built for local explorers looking to find and share unique places to discover in their local community.

Jamie Sundsbak
Collider, Director of Operations

Jamie Sundsbak is the Director of Operations of the Collider Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that focuses on creating an inclusive and healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem in Rochester, MN. The Foundation facilitates space, events, education, and storytelling that surrounds and supports Rochester’s entrepreneurs. He is a co-organizer of Startup Weekend Rochester, 1 Million Cups Rochester, and Walleye Tank, a life science business pitch competition. He has facilitated over 400 entrepreneurial events in the Rochester, MN area over the last eight years.

How can collaboration strengthen the potential for impact in our communities?  The E1 of SE Minnesota is a collaboration made possible by a LaunchMN DEED grant.  We are elevating entrepreneurs by leveraging the strengths of our 14 partner organizations.  Be part of the discussion on how we are making this happen!