Dreamist

Vital resources for dreamers, creators and doers. Produced collaboratively by the COCO community.

Saint Paul Innovation Cabinet: Conversations on a growing employment sector

Tuesday, February 21, 4:30pm—6:30pm

St. Paul - Lowertown

The Saint Paul Innovation Cabinet, formed by Mayor Chris Coleman and Councilmember Chris Tolbert, is leading a focused effort to identify ways to expand job and business growth around the technology and innovation sectors in Saint Paul. The cabinet is comprised of 16 experts from the technology, innovation, economic development, real estate, and workforce development sectors, who will help further the conversation around job and business growth in the field of innovation.

This group’s work will build on the local business community’s existing momentum to develop targeted strategies to expand an environment where more innovative businesses can locate and continue to grow. The cabinet will release an action strategy in July 2017.

Come learn more about the Cabinet, meet its members, and share your ideas on how to foster a culture of innovation in Saint Paul. With support from GREATER MSP, the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and COCO, the City of Saint Paul is hosting a networking event with the Innovation Cabinet on February 21.

Mayor Coleman and Councilmember Tolbert will kick off the event with brief remarks, followed by open networking with cabinet members and guests. Light appetizers and beer, courtesy of Bad Weather Brewing Company and the Beer Dabbler, will be provided.

Flight Plans for Business: How to Build your Brand

Tuesday, February 28, 9:00am—10:30am

Minneapolis - Downtown
Do you understand your brand? Do you have a brand identity? Learn what the most recognizable brands are doing right and what value it adds to their business. We’ll walk through important steps of the process from finding and working with a great designer to spending your limited budget wisely.

This class is perfect for:

  • New businesses in the process of establishing their brand
  • Businesses thinking about rebranding
THIS SERIES
Flight plans for business is a monthly series focused on bringing you the skills you need to grow and move your business from point A to point B. The series is free for COCO members.
PRESENTER
Jay Miller, Creative Director/Owner, Imagehaus
Jay brings to IMAGEHAUS’ clients over 26 years of award- winning experience in strategic branding, design and online solutions. His industry background runs the gamut from apparel to health care, from hair care to premium beer with a special place in his heart for non-profits. He has created brands from the start, launched national products, created interactive web tools and lead innovation projects for major brands. He draws from a fresh, modern and future cultural perspective which fuels his vision. Jay believes every brand should be authentic, meaningful and worth the effort—always striving for excellence adding value to the world above their product or service.

SCORE Business Coaching at COCO

Thursday, March 9, 11:00am—1:00pm

St. Paul - Lowertown

St. Paul SCORE and COCO have teamed up to provide free and confidential business counseling tailored to meet the needs of your small business. Select a 30-minute time slot to meet with a SCORE coach in-person at COCO. SCORE coaches deliver valuable, timely, and practical advice based on the current needs of your business. Whether you are a start-up or an existing business, coaches can help you open new markets, reach new customers, and achieve new goals.

Bunker Labs Minneapolis - Pitch Night

Monday, March 13, 4:45pm—6:00pm

Minneapolis - Downtown

It doesn’t get any better than this! We’re going to host 3 early stage Bunker Labs Minneapolis companies and give them the stage to pitch their business in 10 short minutes, each.

This event is for you if…

1. You’re interested in learning more about companies being created by veterans in your community
2. You can provide feedback, advice or mentorship to one of these early stage ventures
3. You’re just interested in meeting more like-minded, action-oriented entrepreneurs in a fun casual setting.

Timeline

4:45-5:15 Registration and Networking
5:15-5:45 Pitch Presentations (10 Min / Per Company)
5:45-6:00 Group Q&A, Remarks and Announcements

About Bunker Labs Minneapolis:

Bunker Labs Minneapolis is a chapter of the national organization Bunker Labs (bunkerlabs.org) a non-profit focused on inspiring, educating and connecting the next generation of military veteran entrepreneurs. Bunker Labs Minneapolis is located inside COCO – Minneapolis, a historic spot once called home by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange at 400 S 4th St #401, Minneapolis, MN 55415

Startup Grind with Joe Welu

Monday, March 13, 6:00pm—9:00pm

Minneapolis - Downtown

Joe Welu is the Founder and CEO of Total Expert, a venture-backed Software-as-a-Service technology company based in Minneapolis, MN. Total Expert currently serves three of the top 10 lenders in the nation and was recently recognized as Minnesota’s Most Promising Startup by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Prior to starting Total Expert in 2012, Joe Co-founded and led one of the top selling real estate teams in the US, achieving over $1 Billion in sales volume.

For the past 15 years, Welu has dedicated himself to the Real Estate and Mortgage industry. He has written and spoken extensively on how technology is transforming these industries including the popular article, “The Uberization of Real Estate.”

Introduction to Entrepreneurship

Saturday, March 18, 8:00am—5:00pm

Minneapolis - Northeast

Introduction to Entrepreneurship was designed with aspiring entrepreneurs in mind. The only real prerequisites are: having a business idea you’re ready, willing and excited to share and work on; and a willingness to study, shape and fine-tune that idea in a supportive, collaborative and welcoming environment. If you’re creative and community-minded and serious about exploring entrepreneurship, this workshop was designed for you.

This is an action-driven, collaborative workshop with a small and supportive group of like-minded entrepreneurs, led by an experienced entrepreneur who will introduce concepts and help you put them to work immediately through hands-on activities and exercises.

4th Annual WE* Conference: Customer, Customer, Customer!

Wednesday, April 5, 12:30pm—6:00pm

Community wide

You are invited to join hundreds of women entrepreneurs for the 4th annual Women in Entrepreneurship Conference hosted by WE*. This year, it’s all about the customer and how to keep them at the heart of your business throughout the value chain. The half-day seminar will feature successful entrepreneurs and professionals sharing personal success stories and lessons learned related to product testing, user experience, manufacturing, retail, and marketing.

The day will kick off with DEED Commissioner and entrepreneur Shawntera Hardy, followed by multiple speakers and concluding with a special keynote from ed-tech entrepreneur Cecilia Retelle of Ranku, now part of Wiley.

From TechCruch: Ranku was acquired by Wiley in late 2016 for around $25 million. A strong exit for a startup that had only raised $650,000. The startup scored that seed round in 2014 from Mark Cuban, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Microsoft Accelerator, Archangel and Deborah Quazzo. Ranku’s story is also a testament to the power of pivots. The startup changed directions several times. The company was founded in 2013 by Kim Taylor and Cecilia Retelle Zywicki.

The networking reception following the keynote will feature table-top discussions with different funding sources.

SCORE Business Coaching at COCO

Thursday, April 13, 11:00am—1:00pm

St. Paul - Lowertown

St. Paul SCORE and COCO have teamed up to provide free and confidential business counseling tailored to meet the needs of your small business. Select a 30-minute time slot to meet with a SCORE coach in-person at COCO. SCORE coaches deliver valuable, timely, and practical advice based on the current needs of your business. Whether you are a start-up or an existing business, coaches can help you open new markets, reach new customers, and achieve new goals.

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