About Us

Led by a growing coalition of entrepreneurs, investors, corporate innovators, entrepreneurial support organizations and others, Forge North is a movement to make Minneapolis-Saint Paul the best place to start and scale ventures that build wealth by solving global challenges.


Forge North is meant to be a platform for diverse partners to work together. As many of these partners worked together to build the coalition, they drafted a set of operating principles that guide our efforts.

We believe collaboration is necessary, because no one individual or organization leads an ecosystem

We embrace economic diversity as a strength, because new and scaling ventures include tech, but also food, health care, retail, finance, and more

We intentionally prioritize inclusion, because people drive our success, and we acknowledge the inequities that exist among people in our community

We operate with open networks, because the best idea can come from anywhere, and work to drive communities forward should be transparent and clear

We celebrate each other, because the success of one individual or organization in our ecosystem is a win for everyone when it advances our goals

We track our performance, because the measures that matter to our partners may differ, but we value shared understanding of where we are today, and where we are headed


The Forge North Leadership Council is assembled from across the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region’s startup & innovation ecosystem. The Council will work to steer and grow the coalition’s efforts to set ecosystem-wide goals and priorities guided by the operating principles described above.

The Council will also work to grow the broader coalition. Beyond the council, the Forge North coalition includes teams and groups of peers that are working together to advance the overall ecosystem. Stay tuned for more information on 2020 teams and priorities.

Amy Langer


Co-founder, Salo & Board Member, GREATER MSP Partnership

Anisha Murphy

Community Reinvestment Fund

Owner, Just Law LLC & Director of Community Advancement - Twin Cities, CRF

Ann Holder

Odanata Medical

CEO + Founder

Brett Brohl

Techstars Farm-to-Fork

Managing Director, Techstars Farm-to-Fork & Managing Partner, Bread & Butter Ventures

Brett Carter

Xcel Energy

EVP and Chief Customer + Innovation Officer & Board Member, GREATER MSP Partnership

Brian Gustafson


Managing Director, Investments, Carlson Family Office

Damola Ogundipe

Civic Eagle

Co-Founder + CEO

Jason Breen


Senior Director, Enterprise Accelerators

Jessica Berg

Minnesota Cup

Executive Director

Mary Grove

Bread & Butter Ventures

Managing Partner

Michael Jones

TCF Financial Corporation

President and Chief Operating Officer, TCF National Bank

Michelle Maryns

Founder + CEO

We Sparkle

Sam Ndely

Center for Economic Inclusion

Director of Employer Inclusivity, CEI & Co-Founder, Graveti


Forge North was designed to be a coalition that brings together a massive ecosystem. It could only happen thanks to the efforts of dozens of people and organizations that power our region’s startup & innovation ecosystem. An interim board led the transition. Thanks to Jen Alstad (bSwing), Jessica Berg (MN Cup), Liz Carraro (Securian), Adam Choe (Gener8tor), Amanda Heyman (Lunar Startups), Maria Ploessl (Minnestar) and Scott Moore.

Many others worked for years to build the foundation of the Forge North coalition, including leaders at: 26 Letters, 75F, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, Allianz Life Ventures, Arthur Ventures, bSwing, BETA, Bremer Bank, Brown Venture Group, Bunker Labs, Bush Foundation, Capita3, Center for Economic Inclusion, City of Minneapolis, City of Saint Paul, ConnectUp MN, The Coven, Dundee Ventures, Fearless Commerce, Fueled Collective, Gener8tor, Gopher Angels, Graveti, Great North Labs, Grow North, HabitAware, Healthcare.MN, Impact Hub MSP, Itasca Project, Kindly, Knight Foundation, Loup Ventures, Lunar Startups, Medical Alley, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, MinneAnalytics, Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory, Minnestar, Northside Economic Opportunity Network, Pear Commerce, Players Health, Recovree, Revolution, Rhymesayers Entertainment, Runerra, Securian, Sense Datum, LLC, Social Enterprise Alliance, Sofia Fund, Sonder, Starting Eleven, Starting Up North, The Syndicate Fund, Target, Team Dynamics, TECHdotMN, Techstars, Twin Cities Startup Week, U.S. Bank, United Properties, University Enterprise Labs, University of Minnesota, Visus Group, Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator, WeSparkle, Workmand, Yonder

There are hundreds more organizations and thousands more people who fuel our local ecosystem. Later this winter, the Forge North Leadership Council will share how you can officially join or renew your commitment to the coalition.


Forge North is now a strategic initiative of the GREATER MSP Partnership, the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region’s economic development partnership. As a result, the GREATER MSP Partnership is committed to providing backbone support to grow the coalition and rally regional partners around its goals.

Support to build and grow Forge North is made possible by the Bush Foundation.

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