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

iPhone Photography for Picture Perfect Photos

Tuesday, August 22, 6:00pm—8:00pm

Chicago - West Loop

Are you running a small business, starting a blog, or trying to rebrand your social media? This class is for you! Learn how using your smartphone device can jump start your project and keep you in alignment with high quality. Learn everything from lighting, to angles, and how to take self-portraits. Find out how you can turn your passion into cash in this digital media class!

A’darah Jackson

A’darah is the Lead Visual Branding Strategist at Queensview Creative Studios.
She is a creative genius and undeniably, a serial entrepreneur. Queensview Creative Studios is a
design and photography house. She is also the Founder of Society87, a premier lifestyle network
for millennial women and the brains behind TheBrknCo., a lifestyle brand for millennial leaders.

Shake Up Your Summer Social Hour

Tuesday, August 22, 6:00pm—8:00pm

Minneapolis - Downtown

We’re back with another summer social hour aimed at building connections in the Twin Cities startup community for professionals from a variety of backgrounds.

Are you someone who is interested in, or is currently working to create equitable opportunities for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds? Join us for this networking and social event and connect one-on-one with a diverse group of local minority entrepreneurs, tech startup founders, small business professionals and Twin Cities executives.

We’ve intentionally put together an event that supports the development of a diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Twin Cities. For that to be successful, people from all backgrounds and communities need to expand their professional networks. You help make that possible. See how your network can positively benefit that of an entrepreneur or small business owner working to create equitable pathways.

Meet our 2017 Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Damola Ogundipe and the Diverse Founders group of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. And, connect one-on-one with the Code2040 Diverse Founders Advisory Board.

Local Legends with Lili Hall

Wednesday, August 23, 6:00pm—8:00pm

Minneapolis - Uptown

Lili Hall founded KNOCK in 2001 after 14 years in brand-building and business development. Throughout those years, Lili dreamed of starting a branding and design firm that would fulfill her vision of a more perfect union of amazing design talent and insightful business acumen. In 2001, she made KNOCK a reality. As KNOCK’s founder and president, Lili has grown KNOCK into a successful enterprise that continually achieves proven results for clients.


  • 6-6:30 – Check-in & networking
  • 6:30-7:30 – Program
  • 7:30-8 – Networking

About the Local Legends speaker series
Startups are nothing new in Minnesota. Many of the products and services we take for granted were started by a lone entrepreneur at some time. Target, General Mills, Medtronic, 3M, Best Buy? All founded by someone with a big idea. We want to sit down with the founders of well-known and much-loved local businesses and projects and simply ask them, “how’d you do it?”

Scale Your Business: CRM: How It Can Help Your Business Grow

Thursday, August 24, 9:00am—10:30am

Minneapolis - Downtown

Most companies that have experienced growth have a customer relationship management (CRM) system. They’ve learned that investing in technology that streamlines their processes and simplifies their business sales cycle, allowing them to do more with less. Technology like a CRM system can seem like a large investment, in both time and resources, but we’ll break it down to show how it can return on investment.

Even if you are not technically savvy, this is a great opportunity to get an introduction to CRM systems and dive into the following:

  • Do I need a CRM and is it worth it?
  • How does it help marketing, sales, service?
  • How can I use it to scale my business?
  • What are a few options?
  • How to manage your pipeline of customers?
  • What are the benefits of keeping a customer history and what does it look like?
  • Some tips and tricks on how to dive into a system.

We’re putting on monthly business skills presentation focused on bringing you the tools you need to push your business to the next level. We bring you a presenter that will educate you on relevant topics to help you grow your business and career. The series is free for COCO members.

Eric Lehnen, Marketing Consultant, RedPath

AIGA UX Meetup: From Traditional to Digital - Making the Transition to UX/UI Design

Friday, August 25, 8:15am—10:30am

Minneapolis - Uptown

The transition from graphic design to UX/UI design can be challenging. In this presentation, Michelle Hagen will share the lessons she learned transitioning from her early career in graphic design to her current role leading a UX/UI team and developing business operations for a Sports app startup, Bleachr.


Michelle Hagen, Lead UX/UI designer at Bleachr

Michelle is a UX/UI designer who is passionate about how design and technology work together to provide the best solution for businesses and users. A Rochester native, she studied traditional graphic design at UW-Stout before moving to the Twin Cities where she established her design career. Curious by nature, she is constantly on the go, enjoying life’s pleasures and taking on challenges head first.

Social Enterprises: Benefit v. Nonprofit v. For Profit Corporations

Wednesday, August 30, 3:00pm—6:00pm

Minneapolis - Downtown

Come join us in the conversation about social businesses. Social Business Structuring: Nonprofit? For-Profit? Or Benefit Corporations? Many entrepreneurs grapple with a desire to do well and do good at the same time. Kim Lowe, attorney at JUX Law Firm, and Y. Elaine Rasmussen, CEO of Social Impact Strategies Group, will help attendees understand how to best position their business or idea within the array of entity options available for social entrepreneurs.

There will be a presentation by Kim Lowe and Y. Elaine Rasmussen, followed by Q&A and time for networking.


JUX Law Firm attorney Kim Lowe


CEO of Social Impact Strategies Group Y. Elaine Rasmussen


Coffee & Closers: Learn from Local Sales Leaders

Tuesday, September 12, 9:00am—10:00am

Minneapolis - Downtown

If learning how to make more money is a skill you’ve been looking to acquire, please join us at 9 a.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at COCO Downtown Minneapolis. The goal of this gathering is for attendees to authentically receive process design, tools used, and tips on what works to successfully grow revenue. This is a natural interview style format that will give you a peek into some of the top sales minds that took companies like When I Work, Fision, and Infor from good to great.

Our desire is not only to create an inspired networking environment but also provide tangible knowledge that can be applied the second you walk out the door. This series for entrepreneurs, small businesses, intraprenuers, solopreneurs, nerds, creators, inventors & everyone in between!

This Month’s Speaker: Garret Kramer
Ask anyone who has worked with or for Garrett Kramer, and the unified message is “G leads by example, and I want to go where he is going.” Garrett started his software sales career at Concur where he won multiple awards and grew the organization 200% year over year. He then took his talents to a budding startup called When I Work and helped grow them from 8 people to 60 while growing revenue over 450% under his leadership.

His tools, processes, and methodologies have made him a household name in sales leadership, and he is ready to share this knowledge with our local vibrant startup community. Come learn from Garrett at COCO Downtown Minneapolis this month, we guarantee you’ll walk away inspired!

Tech Inclusion Minneapolis

Thursday, September 14, 9:30am—5:00pm

Minneapolis - Uptown

Join us in driving an inclusive future for everyone. Come discuss jobs, access and opportunity, empathy and allyship, inclusive and accessible design, creating inclusive teams and much more!

Now more than ever we must come together to drive solutions to diversity and inclusion: as executives, hiring managers, human resources, data scientists, educators, entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and diversity and inclusion advocates. Get involved and be a part of the solution; find out more here.

Tech Inclusion events are a safe and innovative space for people across every gender, race, ethnicity, religion, country of origin, sexual orientation, visible and invisible ability, and age, as well as veterans and people formerly incarcerated. Please take a look at our Tech Inclusion San Francisco event last year as an example of content, speakers and partners: sf16.techinclusion.co.

Startup Grind with Rêve Consulting

Monday, September 18, 6:00pm—9:00pm

Minneapolis - Downtown

On September 18th, Startup Grind will be hosting another fireside chat with Rêve Consulting,  a strategy and service design consultancy, that helps people and organizations innovate and grow.  Rêve began with a mission to reinvent the strategy process. Studies show that 70 percent of all strategies fail, and Rêve aimed to do things differently. Passionate about catalyzing change, Rêve inspires their clients’ belief in what’s possible and unlocks their potential to design and deliver human-centered services, experiences and entirely new businesses. Please join us to enjoy a few hours of networking and food to learn more about Rêve Consulting.

Legal Lightning Round

Tuesday, September 26, 9:00am—10:30am

Minneapolis - Downtown

September’s Scale Your Business event will feature a Legal Lightning Round: an open forum for you to get your legal questions answered. Three attorneys who specialize in small business law, non-profit law, and tax and finance law will be ready to share their expertise. This is a great way to get some legal advice and learn from the questions your peers are asking as well!

We’re putting on monthly business skills presentation focused on bringing you the tools you need to push your business to the next level. We bring you a presenter that will educate you on relevant topics to help you grow your business and career. The series is free for COCO members.


K. Davis Senseman, Davis Law Office
Davis founded DLO in 2010 after nearly a decade of practicing in the corporate department of a larger law firm. Armed with this experience and knowledge of legal solutions used by large entities, she set out to bring the same level of service to smaller organizations and individuals. Her mission was three-fold: provide top-notch legal work, charge fair prices for it, and never stop evolving to meet the changing needs of clients. Over six years and more than 400 clients later, Davis is proud of the assistance DLO provides for companies large and small, and the expanding service they now offer for individuals and families.

Jess Birken, Birken Law Office
Jess Birken is the owner of Birken Law Office, a law firm focused on helping artists and nonprofits solve problems. Jess has worked in law for 10 years providing law services to nonprofits. She previously worked in-house at a national nonprofit organization and has been in private practice since 2013. Jess helps with nonprofit business operations, government grants and tax exemption issues. She does the paperwork so her clients can get back to their mission.

Chris Head, DAEH Law
Chris Head is a Tax Attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Financial Expert who specializes in providing advice, guidance, and representation to individuals and businesses on a range of tax, legal, and financial matters. Chris’ expertise involves providing creative, innovative, and forward-thinking solutions to the range of challenges clients encounter, and regularly entails the identification, planning, and implementation of tax strategies, financial plans, and legal solutions that maximize wealth, minimize liability, limit risk, reduce taxes, and capitalize on favorable state and federal laws.

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