Local Businesses to Receive Free, Nationally Ranked Startup Support

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:
Larry Hosch, Greater St. Cloud Dev. Corp, (320) 761-4570, lhosch@greaterstcloud.com
Shannon Wiger, Moss & Barnett, (320) 654-4851, shannon.wiger@lawmoss.com
Ryan Weber, Great North Labs, (320) 224-7020, ryan@greatnorthlabs.com
Abby Taubner, gener8tor, (414) 477-1227, abby@gener8tor.com

Local Businesses to Receive Free, Nationally Ranked Startup Support

gener8tor to bring gBETA and gALPHA programs to St. Cloud and the surrounding region


St. Cloud, MN – Nationally ranked startup acceleratorgener8toris expanding its gBETA and gALPHA programs into St. Cloud and greater Minnesota. Collective efforts led by theGreater St. Cloud Development CorporationGreat North Labs, andMoss & Barnettbrought together a regional collaboration of over a dozen St. Cloud-based organizations who are committed to investing in innovation knowing that a strong start up and entrepreneurial ecosystem is one of the most impactful ways to drive economic development. gBETA and gALPHA accelerator programming will be offered to startups throughout the St. Cloud region and greater Minnesota by providing intense development, guidance, and support to local entrepreneurs and startups over the course of the four- and seven-week programs.

“Speed is essential to startup success,” said Ryan Weber, Managing Partner at Great North Labs. “ Until now, there hasn't been a leading accelerator program offered in greater Minnesota, leading to increased friction in supporting local entrepreneurs despite there being incredible interest and enthusiasm to support them. Now, entrepreneurs can benefit from working closely with gener8tor to provide an efficient program with global reach.”

gBETAis a free, seven-week accelerator for early-stage startups with local roots. The program requires no fees and no equity. Each gBETA program is capped at five companies to ensure meaningful engagement with and intensive and individualized coaching from the gener8tor team, program stakeholders, mentors and investors. The program is designed to help startups gain early customer traction on their product or idea, and establish metrics that can make them competitive applicants for full-time, equity-based accelerators or seed investment.

gALPHAis a free, four-week venture creation workshop for individuals who are interested in building a startup. Applicants need not apply with an idea, because gener8tor helps facilitate “reverse pitches” with local organizations (e.g.corporations, tech transfer offices, nonprofits) to provide industry problems for these technologists and innovators to build solutions around.

gBETA and gALPHA are completely free to participating entrepreneurs and startups. Several
organizations who understand the critical need to encourage and promote local innovations have banded together to generously sponsor gener8tor’s local presence for the next three years. These organizations includeGreater St. Cloud Development Corporation,Great North Labs,CentraCare Health,Granite Logistics,Moss & Barnett,Kensington Bank,Central McGowan,Schlenner Wenner & Co.,Park Industries,St. Cloud Technical Community College,St. Cloud State University,College of St. BenedictSt. John’s UniversityandGranite Equity PartnerswithMicrobiologics,DeZURIKandGeoComm.

“Moss & Barnett helps start and grow innovative companies throughout the Midwest,” said Shannon Wiger, Director of Business Development at Moss & Barnett. “Through that work, we note that without fail, communities that are truly thriving have a strategic effort focused squarely on cultivating an ecosystem that is a magnet for entrepreneurs, investors and talent. Collectively those places take great ideas and make them real. That momentum positively impacts the regional economy in dramatic and unmatched ways.”

A local, full-time director will be hired to run gBETA and gALPHA and further evangelize the startup community in the region. Free office hours and “Lunch and Learn” sessions will be open to the public and held on a regular basis. The programs will culminate in showcase events to celebrate the innovation and accomplishments of the participants, which will be free and open to the public. Director applicants, startup founders, mentors and investors are encouraged to visit gBETAstartups.com/greater-mn-st-cloudto learn more and get involved.

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About Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation
GreaterStCloud.com
The Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, a private collaboration of more than 260 regional business and community leaders within Benton, Sherburne and Stearns counties, was formed in 2011 to lead economic development for the benefit of the Greater St. Cloud region. Its office is at 501 West St. Germain Street, Suite 100; its phone number is 320-259-0300.

About Great North Labs
GreatNorthLabs.com
Great North Labs is an early-stage venture fund investing in tech startups in the upper Midwest from its St. Cloud headquarters. In addition to cultivating successful tech companies, Great North works to develop the startup ecosystem by partnering with local universities and international organizations, while promoting grassroots economic development through venture-based value creation, and growing local startups to global scale.

About Moss & Barnett
lawmoss.com
Moss & Barnett, with offices in Minneapolis and St. Cloud, provides a full range of legal services to businesses and individuals throughout the Upper Midwest. Our team works closely with our clients and communities to create solutions that achieve their objectives, promote efficiency and maximize success. We listen and strive to understand each client’s business and personal needs, and then we assemble the right team and work aggressively to offer practical business and litigation strategies to minimize risk, maximize opportunities, and provide effective solutions.

About gener8tor
gener8tor.com
gener8tor is a turnkey platform for the creative economy that connects entrepreneurs (startup founders, artists and musicians) investors, universities and corporations. The gener8tor platform includes pre-accelerators, accelerators, corporate programming, conferences and fellowships focused on entrepreneurs, artists and musicians. gener8tor is a nationally ranked, GOLD-tier accelerator in the U.S. as ranked by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project: seedrankings.com.

Facts about gBETA

  • This will be gener8tor’s 16th gBETA market.

  • gBETA has worked with 198 companies to date.

  • gBETA’s goal is for 1/3 of companies who have graduated from the program a year or more ago to raise at least $50K, participate in a full-time equity-based accelerator, and/or get acquired. To date 52% of companies who have graduated a year or more ago have hit this metric.

  • 67 companies have raised at least $50K.

  • 22 companies have participated in a full-time, equity-based accelerator.

  • 3 companies have been acquired.

  • gBETA companies have collectively raised $29,648,500 in total follow-on financing.

  • To date, gBETA companies collectively employ 430.5 employees. (Part-time employees count as “.5”)

Posted on May 17, 2019 .

Festoon Lights Brighten 5th Avenue So.

Photo: Inventure Properties

Photo: Inventure Properties

Source: St. Cloud Times, April 9, 2019 by Alyssa Zaczek

ST. CLOUD — Fifth Avenue in downtown St. Cloud is about to get a little brighter. 

The stretch of Fifth Avenue South between St. Germain Street and First Street South will soon feature permanent festoon lighting strung overhead, according to Jolene Foss, executive director of the St. Cloud Downtown Council. 

Last spring, a group of local business owners and community members launched the Fifth Ave Live concert series with the intent of using the proceeds to fund the festoon lighting project. 

Installation of the lights will begin by mid-April, according to Foss. A brief lighting ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 19, to coincide with the CentraCare Earth Day 5K festivities in downtown St. Cloud that evening. 

"I believe you'll see the installation go up just the two or three days prior (to the ceremony,)" Foss said. 

The lighting style characterized by oversized glass bulbs is often used in downtown districts, restaurant patios and other outdoor venues to create a warm, festive ambiance. 

Those contributions supplemented proceeds from the Fifth Ave Live concert series, which was spearheaded by Foss, Boser, Ray Herrington, Katie Virnig and Shannon Wiger. 

In June, Boser estimated that the first stage of the project would cost $80,000 to $100,000. Foss did not know the final cost of the project Tuesday, and Boser could not be reached for comment. 

According to a press release from the St. Cloud Downtown Council, the organizers of the project do envision festoon lighting for additional sections of Fifth Avenue and St. Germain Street, though no specific dates or portions of those streets have been officially designated. 

The Fifth Ave Live concert series will continue in 2019, according to the press release. The live music event will begin June 6 and occur every Thursday until the end of August.

Posted on April 30, 2019 .

Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

By Patti Gartland, GSDC President

Last month (March) was Women’s History Month. Its origins as a national celebration date back to 1981 when Congress authorized and requested the president to proclaim the week of March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week”. For the next five years, Congress repeated the action. And in 1987, the celebration evolved to “Women’s History Month”.

 And, this year marks the 100 year anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right vote. These two occasions have resulted in the showcasing of a rich array of women in history.

 One of my favorite reads of the women featured over the past month is Hedy Lamarr. Ms. Lamarr was a 1940’s vintage Hollywood actress regarded as “the Angelina Jolie of her day”. But she was also an inventor and entrepreneur. The wireless communication system she helped create in the 1940’s was ultimately used during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And tech companies eventually used it as a basis for inventions leading to today’s Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. Bravo, Hedy!

 Because tomorrow’s history is being made today, I think it’s also an opportune time to recognize and celebrate extraordinary women leaders in our midst right now. And there are many. So today I wish to shine my light on six phenomenal women who are making an amazing difference in our community and in our organization through their service on the GSDC Board of Directors.

 ·         Dr. Annesa Cheek – President, St. Cloud Technical & Community College; GSDC director

·         Dr. Mary Hinton – President, College of Saint Benedict; GSDC director and Governance Committee

·         Heather Pieper Olson – Associate Vice President, College of Saint Benedict; GSDC director and Marketing Committee Chair

·         Joan Schatz – Co-President, Park Industries; GSDC director & Talent Team Co-Chair

·         Caryl Turnow – Executive Director, Central MN Community Foundation; GSDC director

·         Dr. Robbyn Wacker – President, St. Cloud State University; GSDC director

 

Our community is better for these leaders. It bears repeating. Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

 

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Posted on April 30, 2019 .

St. Cloud Shines: GSDC Kicks Off Place-making Campaign

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St. Cloud Shines is a campaign initiated in January, 2019 by the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation to generate and share the good things happening across the Greater St. Cloud region. Building our region's brand into one that's positive, strong and dynamic takes input and collaboration from those living and working in it.

A campaign kick off event was held on April 25 at Capital One. Katie Virnig, local independent marketer and project visionary, along with help from Lacey Schirmers, GREAT Theatre Managing Director, shared an inspiration-filled vision for branding our area and led a discussion on the work currently being done to support it. All attendees received a St. Cloud Shines branded shirt.

Individuals, employers and organizations are encouraged to use the campaign to promote the region and the high quality of life we enjoy. Follow “Greater St. Cloud” on Face Book and Instagram to stay up to date and tap in to this very positive vibe. Use #StCloudShines in your social media posts to help us share the good things happening in all our regional communities.

Posted on April 30, 2019 .

GSDC Hosts Global Business Curriculum Listening Session for CSB/SJU

This past March, GSDC hosted a listening session with area business leaders and Global Business faculty at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (CSB/SJU).

CSB/SJU’s business department (called Global Business Leadership or GBUS) has gone through a period of program review and is considering some new curriculum options for GBUS majors. The department faculty are conducting a series of focus groups with business leaders and alumnae/alumni in the St. Cloud region and in the Twin Cities. 

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L to R:  Luke Riordan (DAYTA Marketing), Brad Goskowicz (Microbiologics), Gail Cruikshank (GSDC), Pat Lynch (Granite Logistics), Pat Edeburn (Granite Equity Partners), Hassan Hussein (CSB/SJU), Lisa Lindgren (CSB/SJU), Kingshuk Mukherjee (CSB/SJU) Wendy Gray (Capital One), Qiang Yan (CSB/SJU), Gail Ivers (St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce), Georgia McCann (ATS) and Russ Sand KDV). Not pictured: Peter Spaniol (US Bank), Bill Kemp.

Posted on April 29, 2019 .

Regional Businesses Benefit From Workforce Development Grants Totaling $508,000

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St. Cloud State University, Nahan Printing and AAM held a signing ceremony on April 22 pertaining to workforce development grants totaling over $500,000.

The university earned training grants amounting to $300,000 in partnership with Nahan Printing, Inc. and $208,000 with American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM).

The grants were given to the university by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) as part of the Minnesota Skills Partnership.

The grants are intended to help these companies create a workforce through training that has cutting-edge knowledge of the business.

This is the second time that a grant has been given to St. Cloud State and AAM in the past four years.

Copy Source:

https://www.kvsc.org/st-cloud-state-university-to-host-deed-training-grant-ceremony/

Posted on April 29, 2019 .

Connecting Entrepreneurs

Pictured left to right: Jessica Berg (MN Cup) and Maria Ploessl (Minnestar)

Pictured left to right: Jessica Berg (MN Cup) and Maria Ploessl (Minnestar)

The greater St Cloud tech and entrepreneur community had an opportunity to meet the leaders of Minnestar and MN Cup to learn more about the largest tech community in the State and the most celebrated pitch competition in Minnesota on March 19th. Minnestar’s Maria Ploessl and MN Cup’s Jessica Berg shared information about their programs during a lunch meeting and then held one-on-one meetings at GSDC offices after the event.

Great North Labs's managing partners and GSDC investors Ryan and Rob Weber have been instrumental in advancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in greater St. Cloud and bringing opportunities such as this to our region .

Posted on April 29, 2019 .

GSDC Hosts Opportunity Zone Roundtable Discussion

(Pictured left to right: Steve Schueller, (Schlenner Wenner & Co.), Patti Gartland, (GSDC), Norm Jones (Winthrop & Weinstine) and Greg Hohlen (Minnwest Bank).

(Pictured left to right: Steve Schueller, (Schlenner Wenner & Co.), Patti Gartland, (GSDC), Norm Jones (Winthrop & Weinstine) and Greg Hohlen (Minnwest Bank).

#opportunityzones #greaterstcloud #stcloudshines #centralminnesota

On March 27th, GSDC hosted 20 local investors to participate in a round table discussion led by Norm Jones, Shareholder/Attorney at Winthrop & Weinstine. Norm’s vast experiencing connecting developers, investors and lenders in forming partnerships provided thoughtful insight and discussion on how local developers and investors can structure projects in Opportunity Zones. St. Cloud is home to three designated Opportunity Zones including East St. Cloud, Downtown St. Cloud, and South St. Cloud. 

We thank GSDC investors and Business Team members for Greg Hohlen (Minnwest Bank) and Steve Schueller (Schlenner Wenner & Co.) for their leadership on advancing the Opportunity Zones conversation.

Posted on April 19, 2019 .