Launch Minnesota, for which the GSDC is the West Central Minnesota Region hub, just opened this year’s application period for entrepreneurs seeking up to $35,000 in Innovation Grants. Those funds may be used for business operations, including R&D, direct business expenses and technical assistance.  St. Cloud area businesses have been among the 149 grant recipients to date, who were awarded a total of $4.8 million. More than 60% of Innovation Grants have been awarded to targeted businesses that include those that are woman-owned, veteran-owned, BIPOC-owned or located in Greater Minnesota.

Click here to apply by August 31.


We’ve given you fair warning in previous editions of Developing News, but now it’s time to get serious.

This Friday, July 22, is the deadline for nominating an area innovator (perhaps yourself) for a GSDC Innovation Award.  Do it now!

Photo – Two-time Paralympic medalist Mike Schultz and
his wife, Sara, received a GSDC Innovation Award in 2018.




More than 300 people attended the July 9 EV Expo at River’s Edge Convention Center, 149 of whom took an electric vehicle for a ride. In surveys completed by those who took test drives, 89% indicated they are either somewhat more likely or much more likely to purchase an EV as their next vehicle.

Contributions and matches during the event resulted in $10,000 being donated for our local VEX Robotics activities. Thank you to all the generous participants.

The GSDC was pleased to co-sponsor the event.  The organizers, Recharge Minnesota, plan to host another EV Expo here in late spring or early summer 2023.

VEX MN Robotics is the largest and fastest-growing robotics program globally for elementary, middle and high school students.  Recharge Minnesota has partnered with a community-focused organization for each of its test drive events in order to give back to the communities with which it works.

In St. Cloud, that organization is VEX Robotics. For Recharge St. Cloud, The Olseth Family Foundation and Initiative Foundation pledged to donate $40 for each “EV Experience” at Recharge St. Cloud (up to a maximum of $5,000). An EV Experience was either a test drive or a completed event passport, a tri-fold brochure that attendees took to exhibitors and get stamped.  Recharge Minnesota then matched the donations provided by Olseth Family and Initiative Foundation up to an additional $5,000, resulting in the grand total of $10,000.

The event was organized in partnership with the City of St. Cloud, Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, the Initiative Foundation, St. Cloud Technical Community College, VEX MN Robotics, Gilleland Motors, Eich Motors and Xcel Energy.

Recharge Minnesota is a state-based public education initiative aimed at increasing the number of electric vehicle drivers and expanding the supporting charging infrastructure in communities throughout Minnesota. The program is part of the national Recharge America initiative, which mobilizes support for electric vehicle adoption at the community level to help keep energy dollars local, boost local economies, and help communities capture the benefits of clean transportation. For more information visit www.recharge-america.org or www.recharge-minnesota.org.

Photo by Paul Middlestaedt, courtesy of the Initiative Foundation 


WSB is a design and consulting firm specializing in engineering, community planning, and environmental and construction services. Created in 1995, WSB serves the sectors of transportation, construction, community, environment, energy and transportation – including from St. Cloud.

Learn more about them here.



You are invited to participate in special face-to-face Demo Day events on Wednesday, July 27 with the Founders in our spring/summer Lean Startup Innovation and Advanced Lean Startup Innovation cohorts.

These fun and engaging events give our aspiring Founders practice in describing and promoting their venture concepts.

Event 1:  ILT Academy – C13 Advanced Lean Startup “Demo Day”

  • Date and time:  Wed, July 27, 2022, 12 PM – 4 PM CDT
  • Location:  ILT Studios, Davidson Opera House, 113 5th Ave S, St. Cloud, MN 56301
  • Description:  After a light lunch that ends at 12:30 PM, our Advanced Founders will take turns giving their 5-minute pitches to the assembled group.  After 3 PM the event will transition to informal social and networking time.
  • Who are our Advanced Founders?  Advanced Founders have refined their concepts, markets and products and are getting close to commercialization.  See where they are from here and read more about their concepts and traction here.
  • RSVP here

Event 2:  ILT Academy – Intro Founder Showcase for the West Central + Fargo C12 Cohort

  • Date and time: Wed, July 27, 2022, 6 PM – 9 PM CDT
  • Location ILT Studios, Davidson Opera House, 113 5th Ave S, St. Cloud, MN 56301
  • Description:  An informal showcase event for Founders who are earlier in their entrepreneurial journey.  Participants move from Founder to Founder, learning about their venture concepts and asking questions to help them sharpen their skills.
  • Who are our Intro Founders?  Learn more about their ventures in the Cohort 12 Lookbook and see where they are from here.
  • RSVP here

Bonus Event:  Monthly Startup Social

  • Date and time:  Wed, July 27, 2022, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM CDT
  • Location:  Olde Brick House, 102 6th Ave S, St Cloud, MN 56301  (One block from the ILT Studios, Davidson Opera House)
  • RSVP:  Please email Nick Tietz of ILT Academy if you plan to attend:  nick.tietz@iltstudios.com
  • Description:  The Startup Social welcomes anyone interested in the startup community in Central and West Central Minnesota.  No agenda – just time to learn, connect and support each other over a beverage of your choice.
  • Haven’t been to a Startup Social?  Check it out!


That’s not our headline, it’s taken from an interesting article we found online that may be applicable to your hiring challenges.

Here’s the introductory paragraph:

 “I don’t have goals. I don’t have ambition. I only want to be attractive.” This apathetic declaration is the start of a TikTok rant that went viral for its blatant message: to reject hard work and indulge in leisure.

How widespread is this feeling, and what can you do about it? Find out here.

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Contact Our Staff Team

Patti Gartland, President
pgartland@greaterstcloud.com | 320.260.2442

Leslie Dingmann, Business Development Director
ldingmann@greaterstcloud.com | 320.493.9003

Gail Cruikshank, Talent Director 
gcruikshank@greaterstcloud.com | 320.260.6775

Tammy Campion, Communications & Program Specialist 
tcampion@greaterstcloud.com | 320.252.5185