Twin Cities Startup Week is the second-largest free entrepreneurial festival in the U.S and, like many other events, it will be going fully virtual this year. To learn more, Peter speaks with Casey Shultz, Executive Director of BETA, and Damola Ogundipe, CEO of Civic Eagle, about the importance of TCSW. Casey speaks to the silver linings of hosting the event at such an unusual time, and why one of its programs is actually responsible for her moving to Minnesota. Damola talks about how he may never have started Civic Eagle without TCSW, and the how the local startup community is working to turn racial justice conversations into actions.
The Regional Economic Framework was developed to support the economic well-being of the Minneapolis Saint Paul region and its businesses, communities, and residents. The Framework represents a partnership between the Metropolitan Council, the Center for Economic Inclusion, and GREATER MSP. Now adopted, the Framework qualifies the region for funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for COVID-19 pandemic disaster recovery and resiliency funding. This week, Amanda Taylor provides her insights into the key learnings from developing the Framework, including how the collaboration in developing the Framework has strengthened alignment of economic development strategies with comprehensive planning and community development. Read more here.
Mary Grove and Brett Brohl, Forge North Leadership Council members and managing directors of Bread and Butter Ventures, share how they are supporting early stage entrepreneurs through their new fund and what it will take to double the number of startups raising early stage capital in our region.
This week, Peter talked with Mary Grove and Brett Brohl, founders and managing partners of Bread and Butter Ventures, a new early-stage venture capital fund based in MSP and investing globally. They talked about the future of the innovation economy, MSP’s startup ecosystem, and the region’s bold goal to double the number of startups accessing early stage capital in MSP. Mary Grove spoke discerningly to the geographic location of MSP – in the dead center, the “bread and butter” of the country- being a huge advantage for our region and making it an excellent place to grow and invest. In 2019, the GREATER MSP Partnership, having also recognized this opportunity, invested in and launched Forge North, the region’s startup and innovation ecosystem-building initiative. The coalition brings together MSP’s massive startup ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, corporate innovators and other allies. Both Mary and Brett serve on Forge North’s Leadership Council and were instrumental in building the coalition. This week, the intel team is analyzing venture capital deal data for 2020-to date to see how venture financing activity is trending through the COVID-19 pandemic and to examine trends for our regions core sector verticals.
Problem solving is the heart of innovation and the Minneapolis Saint Paul region is a place that prides itself on solving big problems. In times of crisis, we innovate. The COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge for the region, and the economic upheaval that has followed is a threat to MSP’s prosperity. But it is our innovative capacity, our agility and adaptability, that brings hope for a reimagined MSP. This week we explore five reasons we see MSP being well positioned to move quickly and innovatively to be a global leader in the New Climate Economy. MSP has the assets to make it happen, but we cannot wait until the economy has restarted to get serious about the climate crisis.
COVID-19 forced a shift in individual behaviors that is creating a temporary reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Lasting progress on climate solutions will require new thinking and long-term investments. Dr. Jessica Hellmann, Director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota has ideas about how we can make the most of this moment of change to re-imagine our future and build back better to create a more sustainable, equitable and competitive economy in our region.
The future of work is here. New technologies are emerging that require new skills and qualifications. There are jobs that exist now that did not five years ago. There is no better example than the recent emergence of skills in data science. Along with artificial intelligence and machine learning, demand for talent with skills and experience in these emerging technologies is skyrocketing globally.
The future of work is here, and we have no choice but to understand and respond. In 2019, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) published a report titled, The future of work in America, analyzing the disparate impacts of automation on jobs across the country. The report stated that in the decade ahead, the next wave of automation technologies may accelerate the pace of change and that the future of work is coming at us faster than we may have expected. At the time, no one could have imagined what 2020 had in store for our region, state, country, and world. COVID-19 has unequivocally accelerated the pace of change the MGI report described.
The work of diversity, equity, and inclusion is being faced with new challenges and a new sense of urgency as the world responds to COVID-19 and the killing of George Floyd. To discuss what these changes look like, Colette Campbell, SVP and Director of Talent Acquisition, Diversity and Inclusion for Bremer Bank spoke to Peter Frosch. She shared her thoughts about how to keep positive momentum going in difficult times, the importance of designing for internal and external accountability, and the need to emphasize collective action in the face of the isolating effects of fear.
Two key takeaways emerged from Peter’s discussion with Colette Campbell this week. One, DEI in the workplace is challenged by the economic pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two, the momentum in racial equity and justice that followed the killing of George Floyd can sustain when there are dedicated actions to advance workplace inclusion. This week the intel team explores two recent efforts through Partnership that respond to Colette’s points. First we explore survey findings from the Discover MSP intern event series, showing that the resounding majority of these young professionals are passionate about racial justice and equity, Second, we share research included in the Regional Economic Framework that represent the need for our region’s sectors of strength to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion if they are to see sustained growth.