CommunityGiving Conference

Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 11.18.34 AMElements group attended the CommunityGiving conference hosted at the river’s edge convention center in St. Cloud Minnesota.  The event was a gathering of non-profit organizations all around the region to discuss collaboration and shared services in meeting their mutual causes.  CommunityGiving is an organization that is developing the regional non-profit ecosystem by providing shared services and funding to create a larger impact and efficiencies for the non-profits in its network.    The event was well attended and features many notable speakers talking about overall trends in the non-profit community and in organizational issues inherent in non-profits and how they must evolve.  The day featured both keynotes and break out tracks on more specific topics of funding, engaging donors, and operations.

As Elements Group has been working in the areas of regional development.   It is important for us to call out that a critical component of progressive regions is the development of these collaborative / co-opition based models.   The alignment and combining of assets and capabilities to create a larger impact and more opportunity for a region is critical to developing true regional advantage.   While we see the largest impact being when industries combine to form more powerful regional consortiums to create large opportunities and address large regional challenges,  there is a growing trend in the non-profit space.   This is usually lead by foundations uniting around some of the grand challenges of our time, but it is equally effective for localized and community based issues as demonstrated by the work that CommunityGiving is piloting.  Their model is worth study for your own local goals and ecosystem development.

Learn more about CommunityGiving

See more pictures of the event in the gallery

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SCPD Innovation Conference

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I attended the SCPD ( Society of Concurrent Product Development ) Innovation conference host on June 14th – 15th at the Minnesota Museum of Science in St. Paul Minnesota.  The multi-day event included a wide range of speakers covering topics like artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, virtual reality and other cutting edge trends affecting today’s business and society.   Speakers also participated in panel discussions and open Q&A with the audience.  The open discussion and networking periods where great opportunities to connect with both local and out of state people who are working in innovation.

Below is the agenda of speakers:

See more images from the event in the gallery

 

 

 

Robotics, Automation and AI – Investing

ACG LogoThe investment opportunities for growth in AI, Robotics and Automation will be greater than that of the internet companies like Facebook, Google or Amazon.  This was the position of William Studebaker, President, Chief Investment Officer, and Managing Partner at ROBO Global, LLC.   He was a featured speaker at the ACG event hosted at the Windows over Minnesota on the 50th floor of the IDS building in downtown Minneapolis.

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Expo2027 – Minnesota Tries Again

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Minnesota was one of three finalists bidding to host a World Expo in 2023 losing out to Buenos Aires. Had Minnesota’s bid prevailed, Expo 2023 would have been the first World Expo approved by the Bureau International Exhibitions (BIE) to be held in North America in 37 years.   The Minnesotan team collaborated with many other cities that are also bidding for various years in the bidding process.  By partnering with several USA cities they where about to work with both the Obama and Trump administrations to get the Federal government to rejoin the BIE and make US cities eligible for host the event once again.  The overall theme of Health will remain our focus and “Healthy People, Healthy Planet.”   Our mission, “Wellness and Well Being for All,” reflects our close ties to the UN’s 2030 Campaign for Sustainable Development’s Goal #3 –  Good Health and Well Being for All at All Ages.  We will follow the progress of this initiative over the coming years in hopes that Minnesota will win the bidding process for 2027.
Images of events and press releases will be added to the gallery as they develop.

IoT and Smart Water

IMG_4570Minnesota 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.

Continue reading “IoT and Smart Water”

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

 

2018 ACG Bold Awards

screenshotI 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:

Non-Profit

  • Bunker Labs Minneapolis
  • Cookie Cart
  • Cornerstone

Early Stage

  • Autonomous Tractor Corporation (winner!)
  • Foreverence
  • Roosevelt Energy

Corporate Small

  • Duke Cannon Supply Co.
  • HED Cycling Products (winner!)
  • Inspire Medical Systems

Middle Market

  • Bite Squad
  • Perforce Software
  • Ralco Agriculture (winner!)

Corporate Large

  • Kraus-Anderson
  • 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