Investing

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

- CDT
Generating Sales Via Your Website: A Beautiful Website Is Not Enough
Kitty Hart
Kitty Hart
Denamico, VP of Client Engagement
Ava McFarlane
Ava McFarlane
Denamico, Digital Marketing Consultant

Is your website increasing your close rate or is it just a fancy brochure?
A website is arguably your most important sales and marketing asset. It works around the clock—nights, weekends, and holidays. But many websites don't pull their weight in the sales process. From lead generation to conversion, learn how your website can be your most powerful sales enablement tool. When built with revenue-generation as the primary goal, you won’t need to hire a huge sales team right away—you can let your website do the heavy lifting. Join 25-year industry veteran, Kitty Hart, for fresh takes on how to build a powerful, sales-focused website that drives growth for your business.

Following this session join the speaker(s) in the Community Lounge for a 15 minute Q&A.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

- CDT
5 Things About 5 Things That Every Startup Should Know
Aleida Conners
Aleida Conners
Fredrikson & Byron, Attorney
Noah Huisman
Noah Huisman
Fredrikson & Byron, Attorney
Courtney Thompson
Courtney Thompson
Fredrikson & Byron
David Winkler
David Winkler
Fredrikson & Byron, Partner

Join us for a fast-paced overview of the necessary legal steps startups should take in order to be successful. Panelists from Fredrikson & Byron will cover the basics, providing attendees with answers to key questions they face when running a startup and answer questions like: 

•    Does entity choice matter, and why?

•    When raising money, what do you need to do to ensure you comply with securities laws??

•    What kinds of rights should I give investors? 

•    How do I decide who will be an employee and who will be a contractor?

 •    Why do I need to get IP assignments, and when?

Following this session join the speaker(s) in the Community Lounge for a 15 minute Q&A.

- CDT
Why Every Startup Needs To Think Like A Lobbyist - Even Yours
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Shawntera Hardy
Civic Eagle, Cofounder + Chief Strategy Officer

From startups to Fortune 500 companies --  every business needs to build a leadership team that is public policy literate for both compliance and delivering on their growth strategy. Join Shawntera M. Hardy, Cofounder + Chief Strategy Officer at Civic Eagle, in a discussion about the core principles to building a public policy engagement strategy that empowers businesses to track, analyze and influence the policies that matter most to their bottom line. No matter if it’s people, profit and/or planet.

- CDT
The Real Pitch MN
Brett Brohl
Brett Brohl
Bread and Butter Ventures, Managing Partner
Mary Grove
Mary Grove
Bread and Butter Ventures, Managing Partner

Real companies. Real investors. Real feedback. Minnesota founders will pitch their startups for experienced investors, including Brett Brohl and Mary Grove, from Bread and Butter Ventures. The investors will give feedback and provide insight into what investors are thinking when listening to a pitch.

Join the speaker(s) in the Community Lounge at 4:30 for a 30 minute Q&A.

- CDT
Fundraising During COVID-19
Ryan Broshar
Ryan Broshar
Matchstick Ventures, Founder & Partner
Rob Weber
Rob Weber
Great North Labs, Managing Partner
Mary Grove
Mary Grove
Bread and Butter Ventures, Managing Partner
Andrew Felbinger
Andrew Felbinger
Urban Innovation Fund, Senior Associate

An inside scoop from VCs on what's changed, and how to stand out

Following this session join the speaker(s) in the Community Lounge for a 30 minute Q&A.

- CDT
Uplifting Founders: Delegate to Elevate
Ethan Bull
Ethan Bull
ProAssisting, Co-founder
Stephanie Bull
Stephanie Bull
ProAssisting, CEO

Learn how career, top-level executive assistants integrate into their principal's lives to free up their time and increase their productivity.

- CDT
Happy Half Hour
Brett Brohl
Brett Brohl
Bread and Butter Ventures, Managing Partner
Mary Grove
Mary Grove
Bread and Butter Ventures, Managing Partner
Rob Weber
Rob Weber
Great North Labs, Managing Partner
Ryan Broshar
Ryan Broshar
Matchstick Ventures, Founder & Partner
Andrew Felbinger
Andrew Felbinger
Urban Innovation Fund, Senior Associate

Mix up your favorite cocktail and join the speakers of The Real Pitch MN and Fundraising During COVID-19 for Q&A!

- CDT
gBETA St. Thomas Virtual Pitch Night
Jake Smith
Jake Smith
gener8tor, Director, gBETA St. Thomas

Join us as we take our Pitch Night virtual! The Summer gBETA St. Thomas companies will each present a five-minute pitch followed by Q&A. Come prepared to learn all about these companies' innovative ideas and enter to win a variety of prizes!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

- CDT
THE “MN AFTERSCHOOL ADVANCE” STORY: COLLABORATE TO INNOVATE
Marcus Pope
Marcus Pope
Youthprise, Vice President
Matt Norris
Matt Norris
Youthprise, Policy Director & Dir. of MN Afterschool Advance
Jeff Ochs
Jeff Ochs
Venn Foundation, CEO

Out-of-school time programming has been consistently underfunded in Minnesota, and disparities in access to these activities is one of the leading drivers of the achievement gap. Learn how Youthprise and Venn Foundation, two local nonprofits, combined their expertise to leverage two underutilized tools—program-related investments (PRIs) and the K-12 Education Tax Credit—to pilot and implement an innovative financing model to help low-income families pay for afterschool and summer activities. But the innovation didn’t stop there. Hear how the organizations pivoted in the midst of a global pandemic to use their model to rapidly respond to the distance learning needs of low-income students as well.

Following this session join the speaker(s) in the Community Lounge for a 15 minute Q&A.

- CDT
Mentor Morning: Financing Scaling from Traction to IPO!
Dave Neville
Dave Neville
Infinity Robotics, President
Charlie Youakim
Charlie Youakim
Sezzle Inc., CEO
Tyrre Burks
Tyrre Burks
Player's Health, CEO
Lois Josefson
Lois Josefson
Greater Minnesota Development Services, LLC, Principal
Liz Giorgi
Liz Giorgi
soona, CEO

Minnesota Innovates welcomes the Founders of five companies as they share insights and their experiences funding the growth of nationally and internationally successful companies.

- CDT
Developing Culturally Relevant Content to Improve Student Engagement
Mondo Davison
Mondo Davison
Schoolz, Co-Founder
Dario Otero
Dario Otero
Youth Lens 360 / Undemo/ Schoolz, CEO/Co-Founder
Mychal Batson
Mychal Batson
Schoolz, Co-Founder and Creative Director

Hear from the founders of education startup Schoolz as they merge tech, art, and media to bring culture to Google Classroom, in an effort to drive student engagement and support teachers

Following this session join the speaker(s) in the Community Lounge for a 15 minute Q&A.

- CDT
Stories from EdTech Founders
Vikas Mehrotra
Vikas Mehrotra
Virtue Analytics, Founder & CEO
Elizabeth Orme
Elizabeth Orme
Creatively Focused, Founder and CEO
Eric Nelson
Eric Nelson
Fanschool, Founder
Sabina Saksena
Sabina Saksena
Cytilife, Founder/CEO

Each founder will have a few minutes to showcase their education startup and tell us about their personal background and entrepreneurial journey. Then, we'll talk about adjustments and pivots we've been making in light of COVID-19.

Following this session join the speaker(s) in the Community Lounge for a 15 minute Q&A.

- CDT
GETTING YOUR STARTUP READY FOR FUNDRAISING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Patrice Kloss
Patrice Kloss
Fox Rothschild LLP, Partner
Kathryn Dehn
Kathryn Dehn
Fox Rothschild LLP, Attorney
Lisa Crump
Lisa Crump
Cairn Ventures/Sofia Fund, CEO/Managing Partner

What is a “cap table”? What agreements should be in place with your co-founders, employees and independent contractors? How do you prepare a slide deck?  What does a typical financing term sheet look like? Hear from a panel of experienced lawyers, as well as a veteran angel investor, about what you need to do to prepare your startup for fundraising.

Following this session join the speaker(s) in the Community Lounge for a 15 minute Q&A.

- CDT
OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation Accelerator: Big Plans and Big Expectations
Troy Vosseller
Troy Vosseller
gener8tor, Co-Founder
Josh Slayton
Josh Slayton
ECMC Group, SVP, Business Development

Learn about the new OnRamp Education & Workforce Innovation presented by ECMC Group and gener8tor

Following this session join the speaker(s) in the Community Lounge for a 15 minute Q&A.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

- CDT
Development Stage Strategic Investments with Acquisition Rights
Aleida Conners
Aleida Conners
Fredrikson & Byron, Attorney
Jeff Steinle
Jeff Steinle
Fredrikson & Byron, Attorney

While early stage healthcare companies may seek resources from established healthcare companies, they often want to remain independent while they pursue their healthcare-related vision and build value. 

Established healthcare companies expand and enhance existing product portfolios by acquiring early-stage technologies. They also want certainty that, if they help nurture an early-stage company, they will be able to acquire it once it is ready to exit without risk of being outbid by a competitor. 

To balance these issues, companies often use a structured acquisition, in which the established healthcare company invests in the early-stage company, often obtains some degree of commercial rights and negotiates an option to acquire the company at a pre-agreed price. Join attorneys from Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. as they explain the rationale for, structure of, and pros and cons of a structured acquisition.

- CDT
Executive Compensation for Start-ups
Clayton Morris
Clayton Morris
J.P. Morgan, Client Advisor
Kaylin Klinger
Kaylin Klinger
J.P. Morgan, Executive Compensation Specialist

We will cover important topics such as entity structure, options and equity compensation, pre-transaction (acquisition or IPO) planning, and more! Whether you are just starting to form your company, looking to optimize equity awards, attract and retain talent, or have your eye on a potential exit, this session is for you!

- CDT
Founder Friendly Ways to GET STARTED and Get Funded
Zack Steven
Zack Steven
Cloudburst, SBC, Co-Founder | CEO

For many entrepreneurs, independence is more valuable than anything. There are new models emerging that enable founders to get started more efficiently than ever and get funded while preserving options and control. This session will be an overview of some of the new models (indie.vc, Earnest Capital, Tiny Seed), tools (Zapier, Airtable, Glide) and examples of entrepreneurs who are charting a different path.

- CDT
How Healthcare is Using Impact Measurement to Promote Equity
Callie Chamberlain
Callie Chamberlain
optum, social responsibility
Joan Pennington
Joan Pennington
M Health Fairview, Senior Director, Community Benefit & Measurement
Timothy Roman
Timothy Roman
Ecotone Analytics GBC, CEO & Co-Founder
Jokho Farah
Jokho Farah
Peoples Center Clinics & Services, Chief Information Officer & Chief Quality Officer

The microscope on the structural and systemic issues that have been laid bare and/or exacerbated by the realities of COVID and racial inequity have never been more important in our communities or in our healthcare system. Join us for a panel discussion to hear about strategies, challenges and innovations from policy, payor, provider, and community perspectives. Opportunities for entrepreneurs exist as vendors and service providers, changemakers, and community supporters. Connecting entrepreneurs to the accelerator and investment community will be critical to driving change, increasing equity and expanding opportunity along the way.

- CDT
IP Secrets to Supercharge Your Startup

Victor Hugo, the renowned French writer, famously said: "There Is one thing stronger than all the armies In the world, and that Is an Idea whose time has come.”  

This is a rapid fire, engaging session to bring intellectual property (IP) principles out of the legal stratosphere down to the level of the fired up entrepreneur looking to blaze a trail into the future.

We'll explore at least 5 insider secrets about IP law that can fuel greater enthusiasm of your investors, team members, and customers as you build lasting businesses with greater differentiation, profit margins, and exit potential.

Learn how patents actually do encourage innovation from you and your team.

Learn how the classic boy-meets-girl romance can improve your understanding of patent law.

Learn how to go from patent filing to patenthood in 6 months or less.

These and other insights will leave you with a new sense of possibility for leveraging IP to supercharge your business results.

Monday, September 21, 2020

- CDT
Want to angel invest? Here’s how to write your first check
Reed Robinson
Reed Robinson
Groove Capital, Founder & Partner
Sara Russick
Sara Russick
Gopher Angels, Founder and Managing Director

Minnesota has a burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem complete with a healthy pipeline of emerging startups from a variety of industries, mentor networks, accelerators, competitions, and more. The State of Minnesota is also home to tens of thousands of professionals who meet the Fed's description of an accredited investor.

In this session leaders from Gopher Angels & Groove Capital will be focusing on how to connect angel investors with investment opportunities in the area's top early stage startups.

If you've ever thought about angel investing, but have not yet taken the leap, this session is for you. The session will cover high level topics like qualifications for investing, reasons to include venture in your investment portfolio, how to assess an early stage investment opportunity, best practices for writing your first check, and options for investing alongside other angels.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

- CDT
Program-Related Investments: A Capital Tool for Social Enterprises
Jann Eichlersmith
Jann Eichlersmith
Venn Foundation, Director of Social Enterprise Division
Jamie Glover
Jamie Glover
ASIYA LLC, President & COO, Co-Founder
Fatimah Hussein
Fatimah Hussein
ASIYA LLC, CEO, Co-Founder

Learn about Program-Related Investments (PRIs), what they are, how they fit with your fundraising plans, and what to expect when pursuing PRI capital.  Hear first-hand from a social enterprise about its experiences with PRIs and how it effectively uses them.

- CDT
Unlocking New Revenue for Social Innovation
Sara Gibson
Sara Gibson
20 Degrees, Co-Founder & CEO
Tom Bartlett
Tom Bartlett
20 Degrees, Co-Founder & CEO

Whether targeting impact investments or growing new revenue streams, organizations need to think differently about partnerships, finances, and change. It can be difficult for mission-driven leaders to know where to start. 

Join this workshop as experts from 20 Degrees, provide a systematized approach to growing revenue and acquiring new impact capital. The team from 20 Degrees helps nonprofits and social enterprises add complementary revenue streams to their existing income, enabling organizations to test holistic revenue models and bring more predictability to income. 

Together we will walk through the key steps to unlocking how an organization can blend charitable and non-charitable dollars into one cohesive approach. Walk away with tangible ideas that can ensure that your mission is driving the budget, not the other way around.

- CDT
Founders Panel: Lessons Learned in Growing Your Social Enterprise
Isaiah Goodman
Isaiah Goodman
MoneyVerbs, CEO
Emily Hunt Turner
Emily Hunt Turner
All Square, Founder & CEO
Lori Most
Lori Most
Binary Bridge / BackpackEMR, Founder / CEO
Timothy Roman
Timothy Roman
Ecotone Analytics GBC, CEO & Co-Founder

Join us for a panel discussion to listen and learn from three social enterprise founders their lessons on bruising shins, empathy and humility, and harnessing the power of outcomes and impact and the value it provides in ops, strategy, and marketing & communications.

- CDT
Disrupting the Status Quo in Your Organization and Community
Dave Mathias
Dave Mathias
Beyond the Data, Founder
Sarita Parikh
Sarita Parikh
Jomanity, Cofounder

Are you trying to move your organization, or even your community, out of the status quo? Are you looking for effective ways to disrupt while keeping your credibility and social capital? If yes, join us for practical strategies on how to successfully move toward more innovation and more modernization. That is, how to disrupt without being disruptive.

- CDT
Building a B Corp: A Panel Discussion
Sarita Parikh
Sarita Parikh
Jomanity, Cofounder
Christopher Marquis
Christopher Marquis
Cornell University, SC Johnson Professor in Sustainable Global Enterprise
Alejandro Fenn
Alejandro Fenn
Jukko, Global Gaming Initiative, COO, Head of Partnerships
Lee Wallace
Lee Wallace
Peace Coffee, CEO & Owner

Are you building a business as a force for good? One that balances purpose and profit? B Corps are driving a global movement of business as a force for good. Join us for a panel discussion with three Minnesota B Corp founders and hear about their journeys becoming B Corps, benefits and challenges, and their recommendations for businesses considering B Corp certification.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

- CDT
Smart City - Smart North. Session 1: Getting Back To Better
Tom Fisher
Tom Fisher
College of Design, University of MN, Professor
Virajita Singh
Virajita Singh
Unversity of Minnesota, Associate Vice Provost/Senior Research Fellow
Mary Rick
Mary Rick
City of St. Paul, Director of Business Development, Planning & Economic Development
Jason Barnett
Jason Barnett
Flarean, Founder/CEO

During this pandemic, we hear the refrain over and over “I can’t wait to get back to normal.”  There is an honest and earnest feeling behind that sentiment, however, we have been asking ourselves - is “normal” what we want to get back to? In many ways our past “normal” was not nearly good enough and even exasperated many of the problems we are facing during this pandemic.  In this session we’ll outline some of those not-so-good “normals,” how they put us in a worse situation relative to an international crisis and how we have the opportunity to “get back to better” through acknowledging the bad, identify technology and non-technological solutions to address a better tomorrow by making our cities smarter and more responsive to our communities. “Smart North” is a collaboration of people working in and around smart city development thinking deeply around how our cities and communities can better work together and more efficient in building a better normal.

- CDT
Smart City - Smart North. Session 2: Can 5G Enable Equitable Digital Access for All?
Sabina Saksena
Sabina Saksena
Cytilife, Founder/CEO
Timothy Johnson
Timothy Johnson
T-Mobile, Director, IoT Sales Public Sector
Stuart Benington
Stuart Benington
Cloud & Infrastructure M&A, Senior Manager, Cloud & Infrastructure M&A
Morne Erasmus
Morne Erasmus
Commscope, Director, Smart Spaces
John Unger
John Unger
Vaultas Data Centers, President

COVID 19 has further exposed the catastrophic
gaps in equity to digital access that in
turn impact access to healthcare, education,
employment among-st many others. In this session
we will explore the role of 5G in making this a reality.

- CDT
Smart City - Smart North. Session 3: Building Smarter Sustainable Communities and Cities
Tracy Nordstrom
Tracy Nordstrom
Towerside Innovation District, President
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Russ Stark
City of Saint Paul, Chief Resilience Officer
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Kim Havey
City of Minneapolis, Director of Sustainability
Nina Axelson
Nina Axelson
Ever-Green Energy, Vice President of Sustainability and Outreach
Ben Wallace
Ben Wallace
Minify Energy, Co-founder & Building Solutions Consultant

The Twin Cities have come together to build smart and sustainable collaboration centers to foster entrepreneurial-ism and innovation around energy solutions that deliver resiliency, minimize climate impact and assure healthy sustainable working environments. Join entrepreneurs and sustainability leaders from the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul as they share how their city plans, development and implementation have leveraged smart, sustainable technologies for climate and human livelihood.

- CDT
Smart City - Smart North. Session 4: Building Smarter Resilient Community in the Midway Corridor
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Catherine Day
Storyslices LLC
Chad Kulas
Chad Kulas
Midway Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director
James Garrett Jr, AIA
James Garrett Jr, AIA
4RM+ULA, managing partner + architect
Justin Borrell
Justin Borrell
Minnesota United FC, General Manager, Allianz Field
Ling Becker
Ling Becker
Ramsey County, Director Of Workforce Solutions

The Midway area of St. Paul has a rich history, combined with the diverse surrounding communities, aging infrastructure, and the busiest intersection in the state (at Snelling & University). Many stakeholders have been working to create a more resilient and vibrant community in Midtown, in addition to heightened near-term demand from 2020 COVID-19 and social justice unrest along University Avenue. Minnesota entrepreneurs bring a wealth of offerings to the equation, leveraging connected technology and data to help (re)build a better community.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

- CDT
Spilling the early-VC tea: the secret to getting your first check
Liz Giorgi
Liz Giorgi
soona, CEO
Adam Burrows
Adam Burrows
Range Ventures, Co-founder and Managing Partner

Ever wonder how to get funding for your startup before you have launched a product? While crowd-funding works for some businesses, it’s not a one-size-fits all solution. If you have a software product or you are building a platform business, you will likely need to access capital before you launch. In this session, you’ll learn how to put together a plan and a pitch to attract early capital.

- CDT
Funding Your Start-Up: Beyond VCs, Angels, and Accelerators
Sheryl Carlson
Sheryl Carlson
Village Bank, VP, Cash Management
Michael Berling
Michael Berling
Village Bank, VP, Commercial Banker
Megan Effertz
Megan Effertz
Village Bank, Chief Experience Officer

Join Village Bank’s panel of financial industry experts as they dispel common business banking myths, discuss common financing options, and provide valuable financial tips for entrepreneurs just like you! Panelists will be diving deep into discussion topics including: 

-What role does a community bank have in your entrepreneurial path, and how they can be a gift to entrepreneurs and the community as a whole 

-Demystifying SBA lending; misconceptions will be addressed, benefits will be highlighted, and tips will be shared to determine whether this option would benefit you 

-Pitfalls to avoid as you balance the management of your personal finances alongside your business finances 

Whether you’re just starting up or gearing up for growth, this panel conversation is for you.

- CDT
Bitcoin, not Blockchain
Brandon Quittem
Brandon Quittem
Swan Bitcoin, Director of Marketing

Understanding Bitcoin, debunking "blockchain" hype, and exploring the separation of money and state. No technical experience required.

- CDT
Diversity in Venture Capital & Entrepreneurship
Josh Schaub
Josh Schaub
Gutwein Law, Attorney
Mike Asem
Mike Asem
M25, Katie Birge, Associate, Head of Platform
Kelli Jones
Kelli Jones
Sixty8 Capital, Partner
Meghan Sharkus
Meghan Sharkus
ExpressionMed, Founder and CEO

It's no secret companies with more diversity are more successful. So why are the venture capital and tech startup sectors lagging behind in funding and hiring? In this panel discussion, we discuss the importance of equal access and the best ways entrepreneurs and VC's can promote diversity.

- CDT
Financing your Startup
Robert Keeley
Robert Keeley
CLA, Senior
Rob Weber
Rob Weber
Great North Labs, Managing Partner
Sue Marshall
Sue Marshall
NETZRO, SBC, Founder & CEO
Cody Anderson
Cody Anderson
Carta, business development

Listen to our panel as they discuss various experiences and advice they have relating to financing of startups. Our panel includes a founder with firsthand experience going through various funding activities recently for their startup, as well as an investor who has invested in various startup companies over the years. They will cover a wide range of topics including how to prepare for financing, when should you begin considering searching for outside funding, and what investors are looking for among others topics during the session.

- CDT
How Students Add Value to Venture Capital: Atland Ventures
Patrick Zhao
Patrick Zhao
Atland Ventures, General Partner
Hunter Babcock
Hunter Babcock
Atland Ventures, Managing Partner
Jagmehr Madan
Jagmehr Madan
Atland Ventures, General Partner

Learn about how we leverage our positions as students to make investment decisions and add value for our portfolio companies, as well as how we navigate the modern VC world.