A top goal the Forge North coalition set for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region over the next three years is to double the number of local ventures that raise an early stage funding round.

We’ll be working towards that goal in all sorts of ways, from helping bring more investors from around the world to our region’s local startup events, to expanding efforts to help local entrepreneurs visit leading investor events across North America. Throughout 2020, the Forge North Leadership Council will source all kinds of other ideas from the startup ecosystem.

One such idea came from a group of leaders at local venture capital firms right here in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. (There are many great firms here in our region that you can discover using the MSP Startup Compass.)

Throughout 2020, we will support a series of free, accessible educational events to help demystify venture capital – both for current and prospective entrepreneurs as well as prospective investors.

The series won’t focus on any one firm or topic, but instead will provide a range of views and ideas covering topics like: Pre-seed and Seed Valuations, Pitch Decks, Managing Boards and Investor Relations, Becoming an Accredited Investor, and much more. By opening up the dialogue, we hope to foster a culture where more people share their questions as well as their ideas.

The first session was held on March 25, 2020 and led by Brett Brohl and Mary Grove, whose conversation targeted to entrepreneurs looking to Fundraise Faster. View the recording here.
A second session was held on May 6, 2020, led by Eric Kijak of 3M Ventures and Andrew Felbinger of Urban Innovation Fund focused on asking founders “Is venture capital right for you?”. View the recording here.
A third session was hosted on Oct 22, 2020 and led by Clarence Bethea, founder and CEO of Upsie, and Andrew Murphy of Loup Ventures who discussed the life of a VC dollar. View the recording here.

We will make each installment of the series available to download and will share these resources with the region’s entrepreneurial support organizations. Forge North Leadership Council members Mary Grove of Bread & Butter Ventures and Brett Brohl of The Syndicate Fund/ Techstars / Bread & Butter Ventures took the lead to get this series started. In 2021, they will be joined for additional installments by colleagues at firms like Great North Labs, Allianz Life Ventures, Dundee Venture Capital, Capita3, Sofia Fund, Invenshure, and others to follow.

While we intend for most events to take place in the community to help foster new relationships, in light of ongoing public health concerns we are currently hosting all sessions virtually.