People built the Forge North coalition to go further together. And those people have a bold ambition here in the Startup Capital of the North.

By 2030, the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region will be the best place for people from every background to start & scale ventures that build wealth by solving global challenges.

To realize this ambition we need a big tent. Today, we’re excited to announce the creation of a team committed to realizing inclusive growth and expanding that tent.

The Forge North Leadership Council represents diverse networks across a big ecosystem – including entrepreneurs, investors, corporate & government innovators, and community builders. This team, powered by the GREATER MSP Partnership, will look to the community to set goals & take action at scale.

“We must dream bigger to achieve the next iteration of ourselves,” said Brett Carter, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer & Innovation Officer at Xcel Energy. “Working in partnership gives us a chance to be competitive in the new American economy. The strong base of established large companies and the vast number of entrepreneurs is a great basis for a new platform.”

Forge North Leadership Council members

  • Angie Bastian, Co-Founder, Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP
  • Jessica Berg, Director of Minnesota Cup, Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Jason Breen, Senior Director, Enterprise Accelerators, Target
  • Brett Brohl, Managing Director, Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator; Managing Director, The Syndicate Fund
  • Brett Carter, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer & Innovation Officer, Xcel Energy
  • Mary Grove, Partner, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
  • Brian Gustafson, Managing Director, Investments, Tonkawa, the Carlson Family Office
  • Mark Henneman, Chairman & CEO, Mairs & Power
  • Amy Langer, Co-Founder, Salo
  • Neela Mollgaard, Executive Director, Launch Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • Anisha Murphy, Director of Community Engagement, Northside Economic Opportunity Network; Owner, Just Law LLC
  • Sam Ndely, Business Consultant, Metropolitan Economic Development Association; co-founder, Graveti
  • Damola Ogundipe, Co-Founder, Civic Eagle

This team isn’t alone. They stand with dozens of partners that worked to build the Forge North coalition, including many who worked to design and recruit this council. Leaders from organizations like Minnestar, Gener8tor, BETA and Twin Cities Startup Week, and others are already directing teams and projects of the Forge North coalition. More opportunities to join in will be announced this winter.

“We’ve seen how the wisdom of crowds has helped improve society and decision making,” said Damola Ogundipe. “By working in partnership, we’re harnessing that wisdom to create a region that looks, feels, and acts inclusively while creating opportunities.”

To help the Council and this growing coalition take its next steps, you can weigh in on big goals for the local ecosystem in 2020 and beyond. You can vote on specific options or add your own by clicking here. The Council’s survey will remain open until December 8.

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