I attended the April ACG event hosted at the Windows over Minnesota dining rooms on the 50th floor of the IDS tower. The event began with open networking with about ~130 in attendance and then transitioned into a served lunch for a panel discussion. The event was focused on the investment ecosystem of Minnesota. A panel of investment bankers, securities attorneys, and entrepreneurs spoke on the many steps Minnesota is taking to improve our investment and startup ecosystem. I’ve attached the event agenda to this post to highlight the various speakers. The discussion began with an overview of general investment levels in Minnesota and the initiative to pass new legislation around the rules of accredited investing. Several panelists had co-authored the Minnesota’s intrastate crowdfunding law(MNvest). The goal would be to redefine who can be considered an accredited investor and open the doors for individuals to invest in start-ups. The crowd source funding movement has began to transform how investment capital can be raised. Historically, it has been about 3% of the overall population that has been wealthy enough to be the primary investors in new ventures and of that group only about 10% are heavily involved leaving in excess of 97% of the population out of the process. New legislation and crowd funding are creating new opportunities for ordinary individuals to invest in entrepreneurial ventures. This movement began in the Obama administration, with the passing of the 2012 Jobs Act,
which opened the door to restructuring the investment landscape. Many US states are moving forward with legislation and MN had the benefit to review and incorporate the best ideas that preceded out own legislation. This is an evolving landscape and it will be interesting to see how other states evolve and respond. Other panelists included innovators who are creating 3 portals that are state approved sites for investment and connecting to opportunities.
See more images in the events gallery