Forge North is an effort to accelerate startup growth and innovation throughout the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region. Led by a growing coalition of entrepreneurs, investors, corporate innovators, entrepreneurial support organizations and more, Forge North is a strategic initiative of the GREATER MSP Partnership.


The Forge North Leadership Council is a group of leaders from across the region’s startup & innovation ecosystem. The Council works to steer the broader coalition’s efforts by growing and engaging the coalition and working in alignment with the board & staff of the GREATER MSP Partnership.

These Council Members are committed to steering the initiative in accordance with the operating principles described above, and the core values of the GREATER MSP Partnership, including: Accountability, Alignment, Inclusion, Innovation & Transparency.

In addition to the Council, the Forge North coalition will announce leaders to steer specific priorities of the coalition, including collaborative projects and peer groups. Watch for more announcements soon.

Brett Carter

Brett Carter

EVP and Chief Customer and Innovation Officer, Xcel Energy
Mary Grove

Mary Grove

Partner, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
Angie Bastian

Angie Bastian

Co-Founder, Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP
Jason Breen

Jason Breen

Senior Director, Enterprise Accelerators, Target
Sam Ndely

Sam Ndely

Business Consultant, MEDA; Co-Founder, Graveti
Amy Langer

Amy Langer

Co-Founder, Salo; Board Member, GREATER MSP Partnership
Brett Brohl

Brett Brohl

Managing Director, Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator; Syndicate Fund
Anisha Murphy

Anisha Murphy

Owner, Just Law LLC; Director of Community Engagement, Northside Economic Opportunity Network
Neela Mollgaard

Neela Mollgaard

Executive Director, Launch Minnesota
Mark Henneman

Mark Henneman

Chairman & CEO, Mairs & Power; Co-Manager, Growth Fund and President & Trustee, Mairs & Power Funds Trust
Jessica Berg

Jessica Berg

Director, MN Cup, Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship
Damola Ogundipe

Damola Ogundipe

Co-Founder, Civic Eagle


Forge North was made possible through the direct efforts of dozens of people throughout the region’s startup & innovation ecosystem. We are thankful for their efforts and collaborative spirit. These partners and others worked to build projects and peer groups, develop the shared ambition of the Forge North initiative, and/or steered the initiative’s original leadership teams.

Stay tuned in late 2019 as the Council shares more about teams and official coalition partners.

  • Jeffrey Aguy, Lunar Startups
  • Jen Alstad, bSwing
  • Eddie Baeb, Target
  • Don Ball, Fueled Collective
  • Greg Beaufait, Dundee Ventures
  • Marcus Bolen, Bunker Labs
  • Tyrre Burks, Players Health
  • Melissa Carmichael, Bremer Bank
  • Elizabeth Carraro, Securian
  • Brandon Champeau, United Properties
  • Adam Choe, Gener8tor
  • Brittany Clements, Allianz Life Ventures
  • Cathy Connett, Sofia Fund
  • Dakota Crow, U.S. Bank
  • Mandy Ellerton, Bush Foundation
  • Justin Frieberg, Itasca Project
  • Shawntera Hardy, Fearless Commerce
  • Amanda Heyman, Starting Eleven, Lunar Services
  • Aneela Idnani, HabitAware
  • Ben Ihde, Visus Group
  • Frank Jaskulke, Medical Alley
  • Caroline Karanja, 26 Letters
  • Melissa Kjolsing, Recovree
  • Dan Linstroth, Kindly
  • Steve London, Gopher Angels
  • Eric Martell, Pear Commerce
  • Kevin McArdle, Sureswift Capital
  • Patrick Meenan, Arthur Ventures
  • Scott Moore, Wynn Resorts
  • Alisa Mulhair, Sonder
  • Andrew Murphy, Loup Ventures
  • Sibi Murugesan
  • Dana Nelson
  • David Ness, U.S. Bank
  • Aleckson Nyamway
  • Conner O’Brien, Healthcare.mn
  • Tim O’Neil, Bunker Labs
  • Phuong O’Neil, Knight Foundation
  • Trina Olson, Team Dynamics
  • Marcus Owens, African American Leadership Forum
  • Elliott Payne, Sense Datum
  • Shauen Pearce, City of Minneapolis
  • Nels Pederson, Livefront; BETA
  • Marcus Owens, African American Leadership Forum
  • Elliott Payne, Sense Datum
  • Shauen Pearce, City of Minneapolis
  • Nels Pederson, Livefront; BETA
  • Maria Ploessl, Minnestar
  • Lauren Pradhan, Grow North
  • Bharat Pulgam, Runerra
  • Stephanie Rich, Starting Up North
  • Mary Rick, City of Saint Paul
  • Reed Robinson, BETA
  • Alex Rodriguez, Workmand; Graveti
  • Skye Rossi, Rhymesayers Entertainment
  • Diane Rucker, University Enterprise Labs
  • Sara Russick, Capita3
  • David Russick, Gopher Angels
  • Casey Schultz, BETA
  • Josef Siefert, Great North Labs
  • Lily Shaw
  • Deepinder Singh, 75F
  • Jess Stalbaum, Techstars
  • Danielle Steer, Lunar Startups
  • Tom Strohm, United Properties
  • Marcq Sung, City of Saint Paul
  • Santiago Vallejo, Carlson
  • Sarah Van Slyke
  • Rob Weber, Great North Labs
  • Ryan Weber, Great North Labs
  • Alfonso Wenker, Team Dynamics
  • Jai Winston, Knight Foundation


Forge North is now a strategic initiative of the GREATER MSP Partnership, a public-private economic development partnership for the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region. As a result, GREATER MSP is committed to providing backbone support for the coalition’s growth. The Leadership Council steering the effort is aligned with the Partnership’s Board of Directors and the Partnership’s regional economic development strategy.

Other strategic initiatives of the GREATER MSP Partnership include efforts like Make It. MSP., the region’s talent attraction & retention initiative, the Regional Air Services Partnership, an effort to add new direct routes at MSP International Airport, and ConnextMSP, an inclusive talent network connecting young adults with professional and career opportunities. Each initiative is a coalition of its own, led by teams of from area companies, local governments, professional associations, non-profits, universities, and many other types of organizations.

To learn more, please visit greatermsp.org.