2019 Minnebar Conference

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Minnebar 14 conference was hosted at the Best Buy Headquarters in Bloomington Minnesota.  The event has grown to over 1700+ attendees ranging from technologists, start-ups, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.  The all day conference featured over 160+ speakers across multiple tracks.

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Conference speaker and sessions list below:

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2019 IoT Fuse Conference

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The 2019 Internet of Things / IoT Fuse Conference was held at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  The event grows each year from attendees all around the USA.  The event was kicked off by newly appointed Minnesota DEED commissioner Steve Groves.  The keynote featured a large scale IoT Implementation from Chick-Fil-A.   They support a wide deployment of IoT devices across their franchises.  This management of this distributed environment was a point of many questions in the Q&A session.

The two days prior to the conference was workshop sessions for practitioners to get experience in the many layers of IoT sensor, coding and data aggregation.  There was a wide number of topics across several speaker tracks.

Here is an example of topics from my schedule that day:

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A large number of IoT venders and technology platform providers were at the event.

Check out more pictures of the event in the gallery

 

 

 

Minnesota Global: Growing MN Internationally

 

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Elements group attended the Global Minnesota event hosted at the Roseville Library.  The focus of the event was to discuss the future of Minnesota and how it could grow to be on the global stage in terms of brand, business and overall attraction.   A broad range of diplomatic, government, business and education speakers addressed the group to talk about both the challenges and opportunities facing Minnesota.   The event then broke into work group with audience members collaborating to work on a set of exploratory questions and reconvening for a summarization of the learnings.

Some of the key take aways:

  • Minnesota has a large opportunity to lead in many industries if it takes the initiative and has clear and inclusive planning.
  • We currently do not have a good vision of our future or leadership in place.
  • Our education systems are failing and not remaining relevant.   Need to look at new models of education and life long learning.
  • Building the right environment of learning, industry, and opportunities is key to retaining and attracting the future generations if we want to continue to grow and not stagnate.
  • We are already facing huge talent shortages.
  • Culture could be our greatest challenge in adapting to the future.

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This was the kick-off event for an ongoing exploration by Global Minnesota.

See images at the event in the gallery

 

2019 ACG Bold Awards

Logo02/26/19 – The Alliance of Corporate Growth (ACG) hosted their annual Bold Awards event held at the MUSE event center in downtown Minneapolis.   This event recognizes companies that are demonstrating strong leadership and corporate growth in Minnesota.  This event celebrates the large volume of investment and deal flow occurring within the region.   Attendees also included venture firms from China looking to help MN based companies in growing internationally.  Congratulations to all nominees and winners of this years event!

2019 Bold Winners

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Greater MSP Annual Meeting

AnnualMeeting2018-2-101Elements Group attended the GMSP annual meeting hosted at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis.  The event was widely attended and featured several songs by a quartet.   A host of speakers shared updates on their initiatives throughout the evening.  After the presentation, there was food and networking.

The announcement of Michael Langley stepping down as the head of the organization is a key turning point for the organization.   They are developing what they are referring to as a 2.0 strategy for the next evolution of their mission.   The search to replace Michael is already underway and is set to conclude in 1st quarter of 2019.

Overall the messaging was a year in review and showcased some tactical metrics of regional status.  Encouraging, was the continued development of data partnerships.  It is unclear the future direction that the 2.0 strategy may take the organization but evolution of regional development firms is normal and required.

I thought the event was well executed and the high attendance speaks to the interest level and desire for engagement by regional stakeholder.

 

See pictures of the event in the photo gallery

Global Water Leaders Summit

screenshot 1Elements Group attended the 2018 Global Water Leaders Summit in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  The two day event brought in representatives from around the world to collaborate and share technology advancements, global initiatives, and to develop partnerships.
Milwaukee, like many cities, has felt the strain of economic pressures on its industries and communities.  It began to explore what it needed to do to reposition itself as a leader in the water industry.   A large section of the downtown area was targeted for revitalization and branding to the water district.   A walking tour of Milwaukee’s Riverwalk System was now a mixture of modernized historic buildings and new construction complete with greenways.  Along the path where public displays of water technology.
The Global Water Center is the headquarters for the initiative and is a 8 story building in the heart of the water district.  A new school of fresh water science is also a new addition.   We toured the water center seeing companies, start-ups, and universities all residing within.   The center is complete with many labs where cutting edge projects are underway, as well as, partnerships and sponsor ships that surround them.
Zurn industries has a new building close to the water center and we toured their customer experience center.  From the roof top of the build we where able to look around in all directions to see the breadth of the revitalization project.
The summit itself was hosted at the near by Harley Davidson event center.  Noted speakers and topics included:
  1. Chairman & CEO of Badger Meter Rich Meeusen
  2. Guest of Honor WI Lieutenant Governor – Rebecca Kleefisch
  3. Video   Senator Ron Johnson
  4. Video Senator Tammy Baldwin
  5. Mayor Tom Barrett
  6. Student Awards
  7. Water Environment Federation
  8. Big Oil & Water
  9. Adoption of the Alliance for Water Stewardship Standards
At the event center was a large array of technology companies and start-ups showcase their wares and connecting with representatives globally.
We also got to tour the Harley Davidson Museum in the off hours of the conference.
While most North American cluster development initiatives trail far behind other global examples.  This summit shown light on a positive begin to such ambitions and can be studied as a template for how other cities could begin such a journey.
See more images from the event in the gallery.

CornerHouse: Supporting Children and Families in Crisis

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 6.35.22 PMCornerHouse hosted its annual fundraiser at the Golden Valley Country Club this week.  It is hard to describe the emotional impact of attending this event and listening to parents and children tell their stories of abuse and struggles of lifelong healing on the other side of tragedy.   The stories also bring forward key points that abuse is happening in almost every neighborhood and community and many times it is people very close to the children and not strangers.  We must all be aware of this and watch for the signs.   The courage of these individuals to get up and share their experience is amazing.  The need to drive awareness to these issues is paramount as is the work that CornerHouse does everyday.

The event grew quite a bit in size from last years topping around 400 people in attendance and more who likely donated but couldn’t make the event.   Several families and police force units announced contributions of over $5000 dollars to the cause.  The event opened with an overview of the crisis that included over 20,000 incidents of child abuse reported in Minnesota last year.  This not only impacts the children but the entire family.   CornerHouse has expanded into family services over the years to meet the needs of the family in concrete with the core mission of supporting the children.   The also provide critical interviewing services with the children to support the police in the prosecution of the predators involved in the crimes.   CornerHouse is also known worldwide for having some of the best approaches and processes to this space.  They have trained centers like themselves in every county in Minnesota,  every state in the US, and in many countries around the world.

Being deeply embedded in the community is critical in the operations of these type of support centers.  CornerHouse recently announced its expansion from Hennepin into the Rodgers area.   Expanding their reach is fantastic but will bring new challenges in terms of scale, bandwidth, and overall risk of sustainability.   This is where they need the support of funding from all of us. They are also looking for a new Executive Director to lead in the development of the next chapter of the organization.   This person needs to be both visionary and with a strong business background as CornerHouse has tremendous opportunities to grow from a small local service provider into a national and global leader on many business fronts.   If you know of qualified business people that would be interested in this new role,  please connect them with the organization and their talent search firm of CohenTaylor.

Learn more about CornerHouse

See more images of the event and speakers in the Gallery