Mission-driven week

The Twin Cities was a busy place with Startup Week, Food/Ag Ideas Week and the Blacks in Tech Conference all happening at once! Over 200 panels, workshops, trainings and networking events took place throughout Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Impact Hub/FINNOVATION Lab was proud to be the home of 12 of those inspiring events.

Excitingly, the majority of our events were hosted by our very own members! Cogent Consulting kicked off the week with a panel of advocates fostering and funding startups that are run by, provide services to and/or are led by people of color. Learn more in this Star Tribune article.

If you were in our space during the week, you could have started your day with Ecotone Analytics and a crash course in Impact Measurement, then moved into a session on the confessions of a venture capitalist with Urban Innovation Fund and finished the day learning how to manage your unconscious bias with Wiserwolf. And that’s not all...

Each day included at least one event to equip, inspire and prepare the Twin Cities Startup community for success. Software for Good led a hands on workshop to give individuals a clearer vision to share with developers and investors who can help build their dream app. The Social Lights provided insights on current social media trends, Avisen provided real-life examples of legal blunders to learn what NOT to do and 301 Inc set up individual office hours for entrepreneurs to meet one on one.

Some of the best events happen when individuals are able to share their personal stories of entrepreneurial success and strife. 301 Inc hosted a Mission-Driven Brands Panel for Food/Ag Ideas week and Social Enterprise Alliance hosted a Mission-Driven Companies Panel. Both events featured stories and Q & A with Social Business leaders in Minnesota and throughout the country. Learning from others is what this ecosystem is all about!

Finally, the Venn Foundation hosted a Program Related Investments 101 while also making an exciting announcement! Thanks to the support of the Bush Foundation, Venn has $250,000 ready to be deployed for up to 10 early-stage social businesses in our region. Their goal is to leverage this $250,000 commitment from Bush Foundation into $1 million invested in social businesses by 2020! Learn more and apply!

It was impossible to attend every event, even just here at the Hub. This just goes to show the amazing network of talent, energy and inspiration in our community. Thank you to everyone who made the week a success! We know the learning and connecting will continue well beyond the week.