Entrepreneurship Journey Committee

Support and Develop a Regional Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Entrepreneurialism is not for the faint of heart. The capacity and willingness to create, develop, organize and manage a business venture in the hopes of success is risky. Entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation and risk-taking and is an essential part of an regional economy's ability to succeed in an ever changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace.

Journey to Growth focuses on facilitating regional entrepreneurial growth by providing resources and creating connections that foster dynamic growth opportunities for startups.



  1. Host an annual national start-up conference in Southeastern Minnesota
  2. Foster entrepreneurial networking and mentorship opportunities
  3. Identify, enhance, and promote capital-formation resources
  4. Seed a local entrepreneurial pipeline
  5. Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator
  6. 504 Corporation
  7. Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation
  8. Rochester Area Economic Development Inc.
  9. Collider Coworking
  10. Red Wing Ignite
  11. Community and Economic Development Associates
  12. Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund
  13. Economic Development Fund
  14. Minnesota Employment and Economic Development

Al Berning
Jim Rogers
Board Liaison:
Jenny Hosfeld

Projects and Initiatives:

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a global set of conferences founded in 1984 and includes the slogan "Ideas Worth Spreading.” The annual conference series began in 1984 and multiple spinoffs such as TEDx have since occurred.

The Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund was formed to establish a pool of investment funds, contributed by individuals, for the purpose of providing equity financing to startup companies primarily in southeast Minnesota...

It is realized that an ecosystem cannot be created without entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs are not attracted to communities without an ecosystem.

The 4th annual Recognizing Awarding Valuing Entrepreneurs or RAVE was held November 17, 2017. This year honored three businesses for their entrepreneurial spirit and success, recognized a family owned business with a Lifetime Achievement Award and announced the RAVE Warrior of the Year.