Each year, Beta hosts Twin Cities Startup Week, an annual week-long series of seminars, discussions, demos, and networking events designed to continue to grow the area’s startup ecosystem.
This week, thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, academics, and corporate executives will attend events in the Twin Cities designed to help them grow and finance their businesses, change their work culture, or simply enhance the metro technology and innovation industry.
We asked some attendees what they hope to learn this week and why they are involved in Startup Week. Read or listen to their responses below.
Derek RuckerSaint Paul
technical director, StoryForge; angel investor
“I’m a tech guy, a data guy. I’m much more comfortable with the code and stack side of things, but my startup requires marketing and PR heavily. We require creatives and we require the development of a community. I don’t know how to do these things, and neither does my daughter, who is the CEO. So while we can create the platform for creative people to improve their production and their craft, I can’t get the message across, not for me I need to find people who can help me and who are willing to help me.
tyler hitzemanSaint Paul
“I’m booted right now. I’m interested in grants and loans and other government stuff, but it’s all very vague and confusing to me. There’s a couple of sessions on that and a couple more sessions on how to be a self-employed founder and on what’s different from venture-run companies. Venture company stuff is so loud and noisy that I need a little insight on how to do it the way I want to do it.”
charlotte clarkKansas City, Missouri
Co-founder, CTO, Foresight
“I just hope to meet more like-minded startups. People who want to help founders and who want to make a difference. I hope to bring some of that knowledge on how to build and thrive (in a) startup ecosystem in Minneapolis and bring some from that possibly to Kansas City. Really open to meeting a lot of new people and making connections.”
Founder, CEO, Axon Athletics
“I have this vision of protecting and preserving the sporting experience of our young athletes and I also know that our young athletes can’t or won’t pay for those kinds of services. For me, it’s up to the leaders within these sports.” organizations are willing to step up and help in some way. However, I also understand that there are also the barriers that they face, (being) between a rock and a hard place. So he’s trying to figure out how we model the business in such a way that it’s mutually beneficial to student-athletes, schools, but also mental health professionals who work with our athletes.”
Lisa J SmithSaint Paul
Founder, CEO, Smith Co.
“As a new and entrepreneurial company, I have the ability in the Twin Cities to have a platform, especially as a women-led organization, to talk about what I’m doing and try to spread my message as a company to get new business. I’m also here to connecting with the entrepreneurship ecosystem in cities, which was much bigger than I could have imagined. It’s quite amazing… I’m looking for more innovation and a better understanding of how to connect potential investors in the future if I want to scale. I’m really interested in understanding that better, but because I’m not a technology-focused company and I’m looking at entrepreneurship from a service perspective, I hope I can connect with other people who are also interested in that.”
Vice President, Co-Founder, Bridgemakers
“I’m 20 years old and I’m starting an organization and I’ve realized that the company culture is huge. I’ve done the logistics. I’ve done the fundraising. I’ve done all of those things. And I realize that some of the simplest things are actually the biggest and most important in the entire company The company culture, which helps me be a better leader, share power and create a winning culture and a culture that is comfortable, fun, exciting and reflective of our values is something I’m really looking for this week.