We're so excited for this year's State of the State event, taking place Thursday, February 25 from 6pm-7pm CST on Zoom!
Take a look at our fantastic speakers, who will cover a variety of topics to give attendees an informative download on the current state of the Minnesota startup ecosystem!
Steve Grove is the Commissioner of MN DEED, the state’s principal workforce and economic development agency, where he focuses on growing the state’s workforce, closing the opportunity gap and providing businesses with the help they need to grow, stay and thrive.
Previously, Grove worked as an executive at Google for 12 years, led YouTube’s first news and politics team, and wrote for The Boston Globe and ABC News. He also served as an advisor to the White House and State Department on counter-terrorism strategy, and serves on the advisory boards of Witness, a video human rights nonprofit, and Report for America, a nationwide service organization to improve local news.
As the Executive Director of Launch Minnesota, a statewide collaborative effort to accelerate the growth of startups in Minnesota, Neela Mollgaard focuses on fostering an innovative ecosystem across the state by supporting entrepreneurs and nurturing tech startups. Previously, she was the founder of Red Wing Ignite, a nonprofit that works to support entrepreneurs, businesses and students to succeed in the 21st-century economy.
The Managing Partner of Bread and Butter Ventures, Mary Grove has nearly two decades of leadership experience in technology, early stage investing and startup ecosystem growth. Prior to Bread and Butter, Grove was an investment partner at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and served as the founding director of Google for Startups.
She is also the co-founder and executive director of Silicon North Stars — a nonprofit that helps young Minnesotans from underserved communities pursue careers in tech — and serves on the boards of Vital Voices, the Minneapolis Foundation, and the Techstars Foundation.
Our very own Executive Director, Casey Shultz brings years of startup leadership to the table. After working in the Bay Area in executive roles for multiple startups and managing a startup accelerator in Silicon Valley, she moved to the Twin Cities after participating in the Twin Cities Startup Week Fly-In Program.
Shultz is passionate about diversity in technology and showcasing the meaningful work that companies are doing in Minnesota.
Andrea Jenkins is a writer, performance artist, poet, and transgender activist. Currently the Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council, she is the first African American openly trans woman to be elected to office in the United States. Jenkins has also worked as a vocational counselor for Hennepin County government, and is a curator for the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota's Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies.
You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear valuable updates about the Minnesota startup ecosystem, business trends, and more!