Minnesota DEED Trade Office hosted a Smart Water Round Table event at the Uponor corporation on May 10th, 2018. Featured were a host of IoT companies showcasing their work in smart water solutions. The audience and speakers who attended came from as far away as Europe and South America. This event came on the heels of the Minnesota IoT Fuse conference. The solutions they covered spanned a vast array of topics including: precision agriculture, water treatment, smart cities, transportation, city infrastructure optimization, etc. The companies also represented specializations in hardware & sensors, data aggregation and analytics, and business model development.
The 2018 IoT Fuse Conference was an amazing event to participate in. It featured a large roster of speakers and covered all layers of IoT stack from hardware, platform, and industry companies. Minnesota is one of the largest and fastest growing IoT ecosystems in North America and is positioned to become a global center of IoT expertise. The opportunity at hand is for Minnesota to recognize the lead it currently has and begin a larger regional initiative to develop it the ecosystem to systematically build, support and attract each layer of the industry by creating true regional advantage for the industry to flourish. It must also understand the growth opportunities of both the immediate horizontal or cross sector integration opportunities to existing industries , in addition, to the vertical sector develop that will eventually occur as IoT itself becomes its own complete sector. Global competition and other US cities are not sitting still and may be more aggressive in their attempts to become a global leader.
Understanding the new frontiers in corporate strategy and innovation was a key theme University St. Thomas Spring Seminar focusing on Risk Leadership. The event was hosted April 25, 2018 on the UST campus located in downtown Minneapolis Minnesota. The event featured keynote speakers and several breakout tracks focusing on Risk Leadership and Risk Managment. The attendees were primarily senior practitioners from twin cities corporations, as well as, SMEs from consulting firms and university students are in the UST Risk Management programs.
CornerHouse 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
- Richard Davis, Executive Chairman of U.S. Bancorp and GREATER MSP Board Chair
- Michael Langley, GREATER MSP CEO
- Shawntera Hardy, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (Moderator)
- Ken Charles, Senior Vice President, Global Talent, U.S Bank
- Amy Langer, Co-founder, Salo
- Carol Surface, Chief Human Resources Officer, Medtronic
9:30 a.m. – Adjournment
I attended the ACG (Association of Corporate Growth) Awards ceremony last evening hosted at the Muse Event Center. The event was well attended by corporate members and guests to honor significant business accomplishments. Attendees voted for winners during the event through an online application. There were categories based on the size of organizations and each nominee’s success was shared with the audience before the voting and winner was announced. Winners received their awards on stage and shared their appreciation and learnings around their achievement.
The 2018 BOLD Award finalists and winners by category were:
- Bunker Labs Minneapolis
- Cookie Cart
- Autonomous Tractor Corporation (winner!)
- Roosevelt Energy
- Duke Cannon Supply Co.
- HED Cycling Products (winner!)
- Inspire Medical Systems
- Bite Squad
- Perforce Software
- Ralco Agriculture (winner!)
- Restaurant Technologies (winner!)
ACG is a long-established association of professional with over 16 chapters globally. Local chapters feature monthly events that include networking and speakers. Learn more about the organization at ACG
See images from the event in the Gallery
I attended the Greater MSP annual event hosted at the Ordway Theatre. The event was widely attended and featured several songs by the St. Paul Orchestra. A host of speakers shared updates on their initiatives throughout the evening. After the presentation, there was food and networking. The comments after the event were most interesting.
Some of the common post meeting viewpoints included:
- Seems like most of the initiatives are lead and implemented by corporate or 3rd party stakeholders and it is was unclear what value GMSP was adding.
- Given the vast number of sponsors and size of board, it is surprising to see such tactical initiatives in general that primary benefit only a few organizations.
- Now in its sixth year, GMSP is starting to work on an organizational strategy for themselves. Raises the question how much longer will they be funded?
- There is no vision or long-term plan for regional development anywhere much less near what competitive regions are doing around the world to aspire.
- Seems like industry needs to drive regional development more.
I thought the event was well executed and was surprised by the after event conversations from people who have been to many of the events or more involved in the initiatives. This was my first year attending, though I have been watching the organization for some time. Perhaps next years event will demonstrate a much more strategic approach to regional development or see a broader industry cluster start to drive economic development for the state as a whole.
See pictures of the event in the photo gallery