Education. Connectivity. Events. Onramps. Intersections. Support. Community.
At Grow North, we work to create an interconnected, sophisticated, invested, and accessible ecosystem for Minnesota’s entrepreneurs and innovators across food and agriculture.
Join us on June 7th on the FINNEGANS patio, starting at 4:30 PM for food, drinks, and live music. Hear from regional leaders Pete Speranza (CEO of Wicked Foods), John Haugen (Founding Partner of SEMCAP), Michael Stern (Founding Partner of Gather Venture), and others on the state of the ecosystem and how you can be a part of a vibrant community that will be home to the decade's blockbuster brands.
Calling all current (and future) entrepreneurs! Join MN Cup, InnoNative Consulting, and LAUNCHKIT for an intensive startup sprint—a fully guided walkthrough to bring you from an initial idea to launch and beyond!
The theme of this new event is Indigenous Entrepreneurs: this launch-a-thon is open to any Native-led and Native-serving concepts and startups.
More information and a full agenda to come, but we hope you can join us and spread the word!
Early Stage Startup Funding
This session will address some of the key tactics and resources concerning startup funding. Based on your venture's growth potential and business model, various funding options may be appropriate, including SBIR/STTR and other grants, bootstrapping, angel investors, loans, crowdfunding and (occasionally) venture capital. Panelists will also discuss how venture competitions not only offer prize money and in-kind benefits, but also lay the groundwork for funding
Four Steps to Product Pricing Success
Most emerging brands think that pricing based on ingredient and packaging cost is sufficient. But more often than not, brands are not taking into account the additional costs associated with retail sales. Additionally, pricing is more than a math equation and strategic pricing means that you understand the SRP, price sensitivity and margin norms for your category, who the high, mid and low-priced leaders are, how heavily-promoted and how stable or volatile your category is.
We are excited to welcome CPG industry leader Kate LaBrosse to speak on the important, but often misunderstood and miscalculated, topic of pricing your products for success. She will walk you through a 4-step, tactical approach to pricing your products and leave you with a useful tool that you can use to calculate the right price for your products.
Growing Indoors: The Future of Controlled Environment Agriculture in Minnesota
Join us April 28, 2022 from 12-1 p.m. CT for a webinar featuring a panel discussion with industry thought leaders highlighting scalable specialty indoor crops, with an eye to the future of CEA applications in Minnesota. Following the webinar, join the AURI team at Bushel Boy indoor growing facility in Owatonna, MN at 3 p.m. for a tour of its R+D Greenhouse. We also invite you to attend our networking event, co-hosted by AgriGrowth and Grow North, from 4-6 p.m. at Corks and Pints in Faribault, MN.
Learn Funding 101 with Brandjectory and Gather Venture Group
We are thrilled to welcome back Brandjectory and hear from partners at Gather Venture to speak on how to best raise funds for your startup on March 2nd from 1-2pm CST. Brandjectory’s mission to help early-stage CPG brands make the most of every investor interaction is accomplished by offering investor-readiness preparation and business fundamentals education, paired with ongoing opportunities for discovery and interaction with investors, on the platform and in virtual meet-up and coaching sessions. If this sounds like something you need now or in the future join us to learn more and see how you can get on the platform and accelerate your raise! All are welcome to this free, virtual event.
February Monday Mingle for Grow North Members
During this month's Monday Mingle we will kick off the hour hearing from Brendan Kurvers, a Principal in CLA’s Food Manufacturing Group. He will be sharing information about how CLA supports CPG companies with fractional CFO services and other advice within the finance sector. Additionally, Brendan has worked with CLA’s Transaction Advisory services team to help growing and scaling businesses achieve their dreams. Come learn how CLA might help your growing business and meet new Grow North Members!
Angel Tax Credit Certification Lunch 'n Learn
If you're an entrepreneur raising capital from Angel Investors don't miss this event which will demystify the process to apply for the MN Angel Tax Credit Certification, which you must have in order for your Angel Investors to get the tax credit. Minnesota’s Angel Tax Credit stimulates private investment in emerging businesses. It provides tax incentives to investors or funds that invest in start-up businesses that are researching or developing a proprietary product, process or service in the fields of agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, manufacturing (CPG), transportation or businesses focused on high technology. During this session, Stephen Wolff from DEED will walk us through the steps and answer questions to ensure you have peace of mind when applying. Additionally, we will hear from John Waller, CEO of Humble Nut Butter, who recently received the certification to talk about his experience applying for it as a CPG company.
December Educational Event - Funding Your Business
Raising capital means speaking the language of investors, framing your business opportunity in a different way than you would to a consumer or retail buyer, having a grasp on your business drivers and risks that gives an investor confidence you will be a good steward of their capital, and much more. In this Grow North education session on December 1st, Michael Movitz and Tom Malengo, Co-Founders of Brandjectory, will review key capital raise preparation best practices, and the art and science behind investor criteria.
New Blog Post!
Check out our blog post on the recent Global Food Forum, powered by the Wall Street Journal. The event included conversations with a host of incredible leaders within the food and agriculture realm speaking on some of the most top-of-mind topics facing agriculture today, including innovative movements on global sustainability, international relations, and an address on the current state of American Agriculture by the United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. Access the blog post here.
Racial Equity in the Food and Ag Ecosystem
Grow North was proud to sign the pledge put forth by Forge North to take specific and meaningful action to build an inclusive startup community and advance racial equity across the Minneapolis – St. Paul region. We are bringing this to life by shifting spending and partnership opportunities to BIPOC-owned companies, supporting, mentoring and highlighting work by the BIPOC community, and committing to have diverse and representative panels and speakers at all of our events. If you are interested in partnering with us please connect with us!
A Digital Destination for Resources and Information
Scaling ideas require resources and support. We aggregate resources in one digital destination so entrepreneurs, resource providers, and more get what they need in fewer clicks and coffees. We have over 200 resources in Grow North's Resource Navigator database and are always look for more.
Education and Connectivity Programming
Growing business that will drive change in our food system requires expertise on commercialization and scale. Our programs strive to 'democratize the accelerator' and give broader access to high quality, industry-specific education as well as drive interconnectivity across the food and agriculture sector.
Experiences that Elevate and Inspire the Entire Ecosystem
We lead large scale events and experiences to create onramps to our community, drive intersections and connectivity, and spotlight Minnesota's ecosystem of entrepreneurs, innovators, experts and industry leaders.
Act as Ecosystem Connector and Navigator
We make it easier to navigate and maximize Minnesota's growing ecosystem by acting as a starting point for growth-focused businesses as well as organizations and individuals who want to get more involved. We represent Minnesota as a sought after speaker at leading industry events and also convene leaders working across food and agriculture to drive collaboration and maximize potential.