Entrepreneurs seek guidance, connections during Twin Cities Startup Week

Each year, Beta hosts Twin Cities Startup Week, an annual, week-long series of seminars, discussions, demonstrations, and networking events tailored to further grow the region’s startup ecosystem.

This week, thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, academics, and corporate executives will attend events across the Twin Cities designed to help them grow and fund their businesses, transform their work culture, or simply improve Metro’s technology and innovation industry .

We asked some attendees what they hope to learn this week and why they are attending Startup Week. Read or listen to their responses below.

Derek RuckerPaul

Chief Technical Officer, StoryForge; angel investor

“I’m a tech guy, a data guy. I’m much more comfortable with the code and the stack side of things, but my startup requires a lot of marketing and PR. We need creative people and we need community development. I don’t know how to do these things, and neither does my daughter, the CEO. So while we can create a platform for creative people to improve their performance and hone their craft, I can’t get the message across, not alone. I have to find people who can help me and are willing to help me.”

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Tyler HeatmanPaul

Founder, Switchback

“I’m currently bootstrapping. I’m interested in grants and loans and other government stuff, but it’s all very vague and confusing to me. There are a few sessions on this and a few other sessions on how to be a bootstrapped founder and how that differs from venture-led businesses. The Venture stuff is so loud and loud that I need some information on how to make it the way I want to make it.”

Charlotte ClarkKansas City, Mo.

Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer, Foresight

“I just hope to meet more like-minded startups. People who help founders and want to make a difference. I hope to bring some of that knowledge on how to build and thrive (in a) startup ecosystem to Minneapolis and possibly bring some of that knowledge to Kansas City. Really just open to meeting lots of new people and just socializing.

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Jordan JohnsonMinneapolis

Founder, CEO, Axon Athletics

“I have this vision to protect and preserve the sporting experience for our young athletes, and I also know that our young athletes cannot afford or will not pay for these types of services. For me, it’s up to the leaders in these sports organizations to be willing to step up and help in some way. However, I also understand that there are also barriers they face, between a rock and a difficult place. So it’s trying to figure out how to do it. We’re modeling the business in a way that’s mutually beneficial to the student-athletes, the schools, but also the mental health professionals who work with our athletes.”

Lisa J SmithPaul

Founder, CEO, Smith Co.

“As a startup and as an entrepreneur, the Twin Cities gives me an opportunity to have a platform, particularly as a women-led organization, to talk about what I do and try to spread my message as a company to do new things I’m also here to connect with the ecosystem of urban entrepreneurship, which has been way bigger than I could have ever imagined. It’s quite amazing… I’m looking for more innovation and a better understanding of how to connect. I’m really interested in understanding this better, but as I’m not a technology-oriented company and looking at entrepreneurship from a service perspective I’m hoping I can also connect with other people who are interested.”

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Cole StevensMinneapolis

Vice President, Co-Founder, Bridgemakers

“I’m 20 years old and I’m starting an organization and I’ve found that the company culture is huge. I’ve done the logistics. I did the fundraising. I’ve done all of these things and I’m realizing that some of the simplest things are actually the biggest and most important thing in your entire organization: culture that helps me be a better leader, sharing power, and a culture of winning and a culture Making winning comfortable, fun, exciting and reflective of our values ​​is something I’m really, really looking for this week.”

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