Archived Seminars

MN SBIR Visual

SBIR/STTR Deep Dive

March 8th, 2022

9:00 – 11:00 AM

Virtual

Join us to learn how startups can get up to $2 million to develop deep technologies. After this session, you will learn the basics of applying NSF SBIR/STTR Programs, how to get started and the key components of a competitive proposal and team.

GN Visual

Learn Funding 101 with Brandjectory and Gather Venture Group

March 2nd, 2022

1:00 – 2:00 PM

Virtual

Brandjectory is an innovative platform dedicated to connecting early-stage CPG founders with CPG investors. Their mission to help early-stage CPG brand make the most of every investor interaction and 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

Developing into a Successful Startup CEO

Developing into a Successful Startup CEO

Monday, October 4th, 2021, 2:55 – 4:30 PM CDT

Online Event

Join us to gain insight from a panel of investors and a startup CEO and hear what it takes to be successful as a startup CEO. What attitudes, skills, and support networks do successful startup CEOs have? How do I prepare to be a startup CEO? What does "coachability" mean? Get the answers to all of these questions and more during this panel session.

LNL X003 - Section 005

LNL X003 - Tech Entrepreneurship @ The Toaster Section 005: Crowdfunding Strategies and Opportunities

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Online Event

Crowdfunding is a potentially valuable and multi-faceted tool for many startups. This panel session will look beyond the hype to hear from experts and entrepreneurs discussing opportunities available for startups to test market acceptance, create awareness, fund initial production runs or potentially to raise equity/debt capital.

LNL X003 - Section 004

LNL X003 - Tech Entrepreneurship @ The Toaster Section 004: Startup Revenue Models

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Online Event

What’s the best way to generate revenue: subscriptions? transaction fees? advertising? affiliate? What are the other options? Our panel of startup experts will provide an overview of the pros and cons of different revenue models, their key metrics, and their impacts on the bottom line.

Conversing with David Swinghamer

Conversing with David Swinghamer-Former Shake Shack CEO & Industry Advisor

Thursday, June 10th, 2021, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Online Event

Join us for an intimate conversation with David Swinghamer, Carlson alumni and former CEO of Shake Shack, who led the expansion of the brand from its humble beginnings as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park to a multi-national burger company with over 80 locations prior to its IPO. Aside from sharing lessons learned during his tenure at Shake Shack, he’ll be talking about current trends in the restaurant industry, short and long-term impacts of COVID, and what he’s most excited about as we look into the future for dining out.

Packaging Insights

Shelf Appeal: Packaging Insights to Ensure Your Brand Stands Out!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Online Event

So you’ve got a great new product or product idea and you need a beautiful package to make it shine. You know you need to create something that truly represents your brand and is eye-catching so consumers will grab it time and time again. But wait, there’s more. Don’t forget about the importance of label regulatory compliance and technical content. Please join Capsule and Artisan Row as they share insights on all things package development. They will cover how to best showcase your brand, key benefits, technical content, and the importance of collaboration between the design and technical teams to avoid common pitfalls and deliver a beautiful AND regulatory compliant package. They’ll bring these concepts to life through the package design journey of up-and-coming brand Verse Chocolate.

Making Your First Hire

Making Your First Hire: A Conversation Led by Mesh Founder Dalton Scott

Thursday, May 13th, 2021, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Online Event

Join us as we welcome Dalton Scott, an expert in connection and hiring as he discusses the uncharted territory for entrepreneurs when they make their first hire. We know that can be extremely daunting, so join us for a conversation around making that first hire and setting up your company for success by creating a culture based in empathy, openness, and diversity.

Discovery Launchpad

Mon, April 26, 2021
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CDT
Online Event

Please join the University of Minnesota's Technology Commercialization Venture Center to learn how startups can best position themselves for a merger or acquisition.

Vendi Presents: Drive Bigger and Better Traffic to Your Website

Vendi Presents: Drive Bigger and Better Traffic to Your Website

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Online Event

Need a new website but don’t know where to start? Have a great website no one sees? Have a ton of site visitors but it’s not translating into sales? Let the experts from Vendi Advertising explain the top strategies to improve your digital marketing and drive quality traffic to your website. We’ll cover the importance of consistent brand messaging, building a strong social presence and how to effectively track your efforts to better understand your customers. Following the presentation, there will be ample time for Q&A.

Presented by

View Resource One Pager

Early Stage Startup Funding

Emerging Opportunities Forum: Early Stage Startup Funding

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Online Event

This panel session will revolve around some of the key tactics and resources concerning startup funding. Based on your product and business model, various funding options may be appropriate, including SBIR/STTR and other grants, bootstrapping, angel investors, loans, and (occasionally) venture capital. Come learn from our panel about how to navigate this challenging topic.

Sales Channel Strategy and Optimization

Sales Channel Strategy and Optimization - Where and When to Sell

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Online Event

Next-level sales strategy means placing the customer at the center of everything you do. In order to meet customers where they’re at, your sales and marketing approaches must be able to resonate across audiences and harmonize together. The Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed and RealTime Solutions teams walk through their industry-leading strategies, which customize every interaction along the customer journey, bringing the brand story to life in tangible, personal and memorable ways.

Securing Intellectual Property

Securing Intellectual Property

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Online Event

This 90-minute session will provide an overview of intellectual property and discuss procedures for cost-effectively securing IP assets. 

Discussion topics:

  • Overview of key intellectual property categories
  • Patent basics
  • Trade secret, trademark, and copyright basics
  • Advanced patent topics:
    • Provisional patent applications
    • International patent applications
    • Freedom to operate
  • Introduction to patent trademark research resources

Attorneys from Fish & Richardson will share their advice and experience from a broad range of technology-related businesses.

Driving Sales for Startups

Driving Sales for Startups

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Online Event

Please join the University of Minnesota's Technology Commercialization Venture Center to learn from Star Tribune sales executive Mike Moore on how startups can plan their sales strategy and execute to meet sales milestones.

Speaker: Mike Moore

Strategic sales and marketing leader with expertise in exceeding revenue targets and developing teams in start-up and legacy business environments. Demonstrated success in taking teams from weak positions to peak performance. Demonstrated success in leadership, driving culture, product marketing, strategic planning, creative problem-solving, driving change, and business development.

Knowing Your Market Fit for Effective Tactics

Knowing Your Market Fit for Effective Marketing Tactics

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Online Event

You have a great product, but how well do you really know its place in the market amongst your competitors? What problem are you solving for the consumer and have you communicated that in a way that they understand? Listen in to Kate LaBrosse from Kate LaBrosse Consulting as she discusses efficient ways to evaluate your category, maximize the impact of your products’ benefits (be it flavor, texture, nutrition, or packaging), and how to translate that knowledge into effective tactics for marketing your product to your key consumers. Join us on February 17th from 12 – 1 pm to unlock the power of your brand and product!

Understanding Your PNL

Understanding Your PNL (Profit and Loss) aka Where Does All Your Money Really Go?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021, 11:00 – 12:00 p.m.
Online Event

You know you have ingredients coming in and products going out, but where is all your money actually going? What is your true cash flow? How effective is your forecasting method or tools? Do you know what your true operating costs are? It is time to dig in and really understand where your money is coming and going so you can start the year off with clarity, and enable better business decisions to minimize waste and maximize your profitability.

NIH SBIR/STTR Accelerator Cohort Info Session

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) SBIR/STTR Accelerator Cohort Informational Session

Thursday, January 14th, 2021
9:00-10:00 A.M.

Access up to $4-5 million for your project with strong commercial potential. The National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NIH, FDA and CDC) SBIR/STTR programs invest over 1 billion dollars into health and life science companies that are creating innovative technologies that align with NIH mission to improve health and save lives. A key objective is to translate promising technologies to the private sector and enable life-saving innovations to reach consumer markets. The time and effort to prepare and submit a proposal is between 150-200 hours.

NSF SBIR/STTR Accelerator Cohort Info Session

National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR/STTR Accelerator Cohort Informational Session

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
9:00-10:00 A.M.

Access $1.75M for your transformative project with strong commercial potential. The NSF SBIR/STTR programs focus on transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit. The NSF has more than $250M in the Fiscal Year 2021 to fund high-risk, high-payoff projects across the spectrum of science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing. The NSF requires the submission of an NSF Project Pitch before a firm is invited to submit a full proposal. Based on your approved NSF Project Pitch, your firm is automatically approved in the NSF SBIR/STTR Cohort to receive individual and customized coaching to help you prepare a high-quality proposal. The time and effort to prepare and submit a proposal is between 150-200 hours.

DOD Logo

Department of Defense (DOD) SBIR/STTR Accelerator Cohort Informational Session

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
9:00-10:00 A.M.

The DOD seeks small high technology firms with the R&D capabilities, internal and external, to deliver a technologically advanced solution for their expressed need. It is vitally important to understand this landscape before investing time and money to seek funding. The next DOD SBIR/STTR pre-solicitation will be released on November 24th. The session will focus on these topics with a closing date on or around February 10, 2021. The time and effort to prepare and submit a proposal is between 150-200 hours.

Eating til Spring

Eating til Spring: How Restaurants and Customers Can Avoid the Deep Freeze

Thursday, November 19th, 2020, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Online Event

With patios closing down and indoor dining limitations, it's hard to imagine a winter where visiting your favorite restaurant is not an option. During this conversation, we'll talk to Minnesota restaurant leaders about what they are doing to keep customers fed and what customers can do to help restaurants make it through a cold, long winter. Spring will come as it always does, and we will be there to welcome it together.

Women Innovators Conference

2020 Women Innovators Conference

Monday, November 16th, 2020, 1:00 – 3:15 p.m.
Online Event

Fifth annual University of Minnesota Women Innovators Conference is a professional development summit designed to help women innovators connect the dots between their ideas and achieving positive, significant impact. This event will inspire, inform, and connect women students, faculty, and professionals. Listen to keynote speakers Angelique Johnson of MEMstim and Jayshree Seth of 3M

Industry Research Partnerships

The ABCs of Industry Agreements

Friday, November 13, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Online Event

Learn how to navigate the types of agreements often needed when partnering with industry on sponsored research projects.

The webinar will include information about:

  • Different types of industry agreements (e.g., NDA, CDA, MTA, SRA)
  • When and why different types of agreements are needed
  • Who at the UMN can help with the agreement

Webinar speakers:

  • Leza Besemann, senior manager, Marketing and Corporate Engagement, UMN Technology Commercialization
  • Lynne Schoen, associate director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, University of Minnesota Foundation
Early Stage Startup Funding

Early Stage Startup Funding

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Online Event

This panel session will revolve around some of the key tactics and resources concerning startup funding. Based on your product and business model, various funding options may be appropriate, including SBIR/STTR and other grants, bootstrapping, angel investors, loans, and (occasionally) venture capital. Come learn from our panel about how to navigate this challenging topic.

MN SBIR event

National Institutes of Health (NIH) SBIR/STTR Accelerator Cohort Informational Session

Thursday, October 8th, 9 – 9:30 AM
Online Event

Access up to $4-5 million for your project with strong commercial potential.  NIH’s SBIR/STTR programs invest over 1 billion dollars into health and life science companies that are creating innovative technologies that align with NIH’s mission to improve health and save lives. A key objective is to translate promising technologies to the private sector and enable life-saving innovations to reach consumer markets. The Cohort starts on October 15th.

MN SBIR event

National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR/STTR Accelerator Cohort Informational Session

Tuesday, October 6th, 9 – 9:30 AM
Online Event

Access $1.75M for a transformative project with strong commercial potential. The NSF SBIR/STTR programs focus on transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit. The Cohort starts on October 13th.

Securing Intellectual Property

Securing Intellectual Property

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Online Event

This 90-minute session will provide an overview of intellectual property and discuss procedures for cost-effectively securing IP assets. 

Attorneys from Fish & Richardson will share their advice and experience from a broad range of technology-related businesses.

Intro to E-Commerce

Intro to E-commerce: Platforms and Digital Marketing

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020, 11:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Online Event

Join us for a 2-hour dive into the world of e-commerce! In the first half we will have industry experts provide an overview of different e-commerce channels that can be used to drive online sales. In the second half we will provide examples of successful digital marketing strategies you can employ (i.e. how to drive traffic, use social media effectively, etc.). Finally, hear from local startups who have found success in e-commerce. This event is brought to you by Grow North in collaboration with AURI and the MN Department of Ag, who will also provide information about their cost-sharing program for e-commerce activities.

Fundamentals of Startup Funding

Fundamentals of Startup Funding

Monday, August 17th, 2020, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Online Event

Are you thinking about how to fund your venture and trying to determine what types of financing are right for you? Join us for a conversation with a fantastic panel of experienced funders and advisors as they share insight about how to approach this critical topic.

Bold Open Virtual Event

Bold Open Virtual Event

Monday, July 27th, 2020, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Online Event

The Bold Open platform and virtual event brings together leading Minnesota food and agriculture companies to highlight unique industry challenges to create partnerships with producers, entrepreneurs, researchers, businesses and creators that have innovative solutions. It utilizes an open innovation platform and a reverse pitch model to partner with creative solution providers to overcome research challenges.

Building an Inclusive Business Culture

Building an Inclusive Business Culture

Thursday, July 16th, 2020, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Online Event

When building a new business, there are myriad of things to plan and execute. While in the throes of getting your idea off the ground, it will feel like company culture isn't a priority, particularly if you're a small team (or even a team of one).

It might feel too early to focus on culture when high priorities like revenue are pulling your attention. But when you actively articulate the culture you hope to build, you are creating the strongest platform for your company's success. Planning this step early will give you the most inclusive and welcoming version of your business for your co-founders, employees and customers.

Join Team Dynamics co-founders Alfonso Tomás Wenker and Trica C. Olson as they share practical approaches/strategy for creating a company culture.

Selling on Amazon

Selling on Amazon

Thursday, July 9th, 2020, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Online Event

Liz Carson from Goat Consulting will walk through the various selling relationships with Amazon, the best fit for your company, and the strategy behind how to create great listings. The webinar will consist of a 35-minute presentation followed by Q&A.

*Of note, the session is not intended to cover the basics of starting an Amazon account. There are many comprehensive tutorials available for that purpose. This is about listing strategy and positioning your product in the vast Amazon universe.

Starting and Restarting with Digital Media

Starting and Restarting with Digital Media

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Online Event

Learn strategies and tactics for influencing your target audience with digital marketing including restarting after a shutdown.

Speaker will be Ben Theis, CEO of Skol Marketing.

This event is sponsored by University of Minnesota Technology Commercialization and the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship and Launch Minnesota

Food & Agriculture Investor Dialogue

Food & Agriculture Investor Dialogue

An investor's viewpoint on 2020: how COVID-19 has impacted decision making, the way investors look at companies to partner with while they are scouting, and ways in which the current food system is broken. A Grow North "Thought Leaders in Food & Agriculture" event.

Speaker: Pete Speranza of 301 Inc.

Thursday, June 25, 1:00-200 pm

Introduction to Financial Modeling

Introduction to Financial Modeling

Convey your plans in financial terms. What will it cost you to run the business? How much revenue do you have the opportunity to generate? Learn the basics of financial modeling, as well as tools and tips at this MN Cup event.

Speaker: Kevin Besikof and other professionals from Lurie LLP.

Wednesday, June 24, 2:00-3:15 p.m.

Walleye Tank

Walleye Tank: COVID-19 Showcase

Friday, May 15, 2020, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Virtual Event, Zoom Webinar

This spring, the biannual Walleye Tank life-sciences startup pitch competition will be taking a new approach: showcasing Minnesota’s innovation in response to COVID-19. The University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic are hosting a virtual event to showcase and support the innovators and community leaders throughout Minnesota tackling the diagnoses, treatment, and management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Walleye Tank: COVID-19 Showcase will feature updates from healthcare partners in Minnesota as well as presentations from 10-15 startups and community projects seeking support to advance their innovative solutions.

Visit the Walleye Tank website to apply to present or register to attend via Zoom.

Meet our Panel

Early Stage Startup Funding

EVENT COMPLETE 

This panel revolved around some of the key tactics and resources concerning funding. Based on your product and business model, various funding options may be appropriate, including SBIR/STTR and other grants, bootstrapping, angel investors, loans, and (occasionally) venture capital.

Learn from our panel about how to navigate this challenging topic.

UMN Venture Center

UMN Venture Center: Cap Table & Preserving Equity

EVENT COMPLETE

Join UMN Technology Commercialization's Venture Center for a VIRTUAL seminar on the startup capitalization table and preserving equity. This seminar will provide an overview on the mechanics of how cap tables function and discuss strategies and tactics for preserving equity over time. 

Speakers:

Cathy Connett, CEO & Managing Partner of Sofia Fund

Pam York, Founding General Partner at Capita3

Jodi Hubler, CEO & Managing Director of Lemhi Ventures

John Stavig, Director of Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship