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A Voice at the Table

In celebration of Women’s History Month we have asked groundbreaking female leaders in our community to share a piece of their story.  Rebecca Noecker is a community builder, an advocate for social justice, a wife and mother, and a proud resident of Saint Paul’s West Side.
In 2015, Rebecca was elected to represent Ward 2 on the Saint Paul City Council.  She is the youngest member of the Council and the first woman to represent Ward 2. 

For most of my life, I’ve been lucky enough not to think about gender.

Growing up, I took for granted the fact that my mother and father were both physicians, that they split the housework evenly, that no one would be there when my brothers and I got home from school. My mother’s mother also worked full-time, as an economist and a high school history teacher, while raising three children. In my young worldview, being a woman was no disadvantage at all.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize what an unusual environment I was raised in, and how the self-confidence that was baked into me by all the male and female role models around me helped me make my way in a world that still rewards traits that are typically male.

This has become especially evident to me in the world of politics and in a city like St. Paul where “old boys’ clubs”, like landmines, are all over and often invisible – until you’ve stepped on one.

At work, I’m surrounded by thoughtful, eloquent, socially aware women, many of whom occupy leadership positions. But even in the relatively progressive climate of City Hall, I sit through many meetings in which men do 95% of the talking – and not because of the quality of their ideas. At a recent meeting, after the two men in the room had left early, I looked around at the half-dozen smart women at the table – none of whom had yet said a word. “Okay,” I said. “Now that the men are gone, let’s hear from everyone else.” The best ideas of the meeting were generated in the next 30 minutes.

These experiences are making me more aware as a leader—and as a mom. I’m raising my two young boys not to take gender equality for granted, to recognize their responsibility to fight for it every day.

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A Budding Business in Replaceable Earbuds

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter Bharat Pulgam. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on March 11th, 2017.

In October 2016, the Consumer Technology Association found that 40 percent of people it surveyed planned to give headphones as a gift — making it the most popular technology gift of last year.

Headphones vary widely in quality, size, and price, and earbuds remain popular. Though often cheaper than larger sets of headphones, earbuds are also often noticeably flimsier, with many consumers buying, breaking, and ultimately discarding several pairs a year.

Bharat Pulgam noticed this problem and realized that when earbuds break, it is usually because only one component has broken, and the rest of the product still functions. He created mXers Audio in response to this problem. mXers Audio creates affordable, customizable earbuds that are easy and inexpensive to repair, making earbuds less of a disposable product.

 

Entrepreneur profile

Name: Bharat Pulgam
Age: 18
City of birth: Hyderabad, India
City you live in: Maple Grove
High school attended: Wayzata High School
Colleges attended: Will be attending the University of Minnesota in the class of 2021

Company profile

Name of company: mXers Audio
Website: https://mxersaudio.com
Business start date: January 2015
Number of employees: 8
Number of customers: 20+

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?

A: My team and I are a group of students committed to solving the problems that we and our peers face every day. Our company started with a simple problem we refused to ignore: Why do we pay for a whole new set of earbuds when just one part breaks? After breaking earbuds of our own, we finally found a solution: fully modular earbuds. Modular earbuds are earbuds that you can put together and take apart piece by piece. With modularity, you are only a snap, twist, and bam away from earbuds that look and feel as good as new.

We took this concept to the Catapult Incubator Program in Chicago, a four-month intensive business development program, which empowers young entrepreneurs to start a company from nothing more than a good idea. The company went from concept to reality within four months. We ended our first incubator with a successful pitch to a panel of investors, who provided valuable support and advice.

After returning to Minneapolis we began working with a new team and began the process of product development. The incredible support that our team has received paved the way for our successes. We’ve been able to leverage an incredible network of friends and family, raise money, and have been able to achieve support from business professionals. From patenting to incorporation, mXers has a significant network of investors and industry practitioners in the Twin Cities area.

Q. What is your business?

A. mXers Audio is an LLC that is solution-oriented and is dedicated to giving back to the community, encouraging youth innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area…READ FULL ARTICLE

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.

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She Saw a Rural Need for Natural Food

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter  Kendra Rasmusson. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on February 28th, 2017.

A 2014 poll by Harris Interactive ranked consumers’ preferences in choosing food and beverages to purchase. According to that poll, 30 percent of U.S. adults prefer to buy natural foods, and 17 percent prefer to buy organic food.

For rural consumers, however, local, natural and organic food is more difficult to come by. With limited access to specialty grocery stores, these consumers often do not have the option to purchase natural or organic food. Kendra Rasmussen’s family ran into this issue when they relocated to her hometown of New Prague. Lacking access to any nearby natural food stores, she started her own: Farmhouse Market.

Company profile

Farmhouse Market
Website: www.farmhousemarketnp.com
Business start date: Oct. 31, 2015
Number of employees: 1
Number of customers: Approximately 500 customers; more than 200 members

Entrepreneur profile

Kendra Rasmusson
Age: 33
City you live in: New Prague
City of birth: Born in Shakopee but grew up in New Prague
High school attended: New Prague High School
Colleges attended: B.S. in marketing communications from University of Wisconsin, River Falls; master’s in business communication from the University of St. Thomas

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?

A. My husband and I lived in Minneapolis after we got married. We had our first child and decided to move back to my hometown of New Prague. Shortly before her second birthday, our daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy. We decided to try some alterations to her diet as a means of seizure control. Now living in a more rural environment, we only had one grocery store option and it lacked some of the grocery options we were looking for. The closest natural foods store was at least 20 miles away. So we started looking into opening our open store, but our biggest obstacle was how to staff it to keep it open conveniently but yet keep operating costs low. So, we got creative….

Q. What is your business?

A. Farmhouse Market is a local, natural and organic foods market in New Prague. It is best suited for small, rural communities because of the way it operates. Farmhouse Market is primarily unstaffed yet open 24/7 to its members thanks to technology like a keycard entry system, self-checkout and remote video surveillance. It is open to the public for limited hours, as well…READ FULL ARTICLE

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.

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Showbiz Guy Wants to Move Bikes — Fast

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter  Rich Kronfeld . As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on January 28th, 2017.
According to a 2016 study by the Outdoor Foundation, biking is the fourth most popular outdoor activity among adults, with 12.3 percent of American adults classifying themselves as regular bike riders. Some 26 million American adults ride bikes every year, for a number of different purposes.

Bikers ride for fun, both on city streets and on trails. And many bikers also use their bikes to commute to work. Of course, this is only feasible for bikers who live near enough to their workplaces, and for those who have access to relatively safe streets to bike on.
Rich Kronfeld started Kronfeld Motors in a desire to make biking faster and safer for these commuters. The result is a bike that, when pedaled, can move as fast as a car, while also including important safety features.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name of company: Rahtmobile, changing name to Kronfeld Motors
Website: www.rahtmobile.com
Business Start Date: 2012
Number of Employees: 1
Number of Customers: None — yet

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE


Richard Kronfeld

Name: Rich Kronfeld
Age: 53
City you live in: Golden Valley
City of birth: Huntington, Long Island, N.Y.
High school attended: St. Louis Park High School
College attended: Bennington College, Bennington, Vt.

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?

A. I have been an entrepreneur and bike lover all my life. I sold tickets to watch movies in my parents’ garage as a kid, wrote and sold screenplays in Hollywood, appeared in the Paramount film “Trekkies” and produced and starred in a series I co-created and shot in Minnesota called “Lets Bowl” on Comedy Central. I’m also an Emmy Award-winning producer of the children’s series, “The Choo Choo Bob Show” on the Qubo/ION networks, which is also shot in Minnesota. I even entered and won a demolition derby in Anoka. I have volunteered for many organizations and currently serve on the board of Nechama Jewish Disaster Response. Now I have started an alternative-vehicle company, and my background in the entertainment industry taught me the importance of showmanship and new ideas. All my life, I have wanted to do something innovative and unique, and I intend to accomplish this with Kronfeld Motors.

Q. What is your business?

A. My company is Kronfeld Motors, formerly Rahtmobile. It’s the manufacturer of the world’s only highway-speed cycling vehicle. My industries are manufacturing and engineering. READ FULL ARTICLE…

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit jjhill.org/1-million cups

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How to Have a Productive 2017

At the beginning of every year it’s important to think back and check off all you’ve achieved. Give yourself a pat on the back, be proud of all you’ve accomplished, and then, look ahead. What do you want to achieve in the coming year? What are the priorities to move you and your business forward? And most important, HOW are you going to do all of this? We’ve thought back to our year here at the Hill and came up with a list of tips and actions to help have the most productive year yet!

Create short-term AND long-term goals

When setting goals for yourself and your business, it’s important to cover all bases from overall organization goals and day-to-day priorities. The short term goals help create a feeling of productivity – plus it’s satisfying to cross items off the list. These goals keep you and your employees moving throughout the day and week and ensure the small, but important tasks are done. The long-term goals push the business in the right direction and dictate the clear action plan for the organization. They tie all the small decisions together and at the end of the year – or the time frame set – it is clear whether the goal is hit and the business is moving in the desired direction.

Multi-task, but only when necessary

Decide whether you want quality over quantity for each major project and enforce it. When an employee or employer is being pulled in too many directions, work suffers. Now, this isn’t to say you can’t have a to-do list with 4 top priority items all in the works at the same time. But when you’re working on one of those items, focus. For example, don’t send emails while you’re on a conference call, keep the amount of tabs low on your browser so you’re not tempted by other projects, don’t text while you’re in a meeting. Work on one thing at a time, and do it well.

Minimize digital distractions

In the office it can be especially hard to minimize digital distractions. Most people work on a computer for the majority of the day, and it’s easy to end up on social media or reading articles when you should be checking items off of that daunting to-do list. It is ok to take mental breaks, but don’t allow them every 10 minutes. If social media is vital to your work or professional life, pick a time to check and hold yourself to that time. This feels nearly impossible, but I promise it’s not. It just takes some self-control. If you have a busy week, take social media apps off your phone. It’s an easy way to minimize this time waster.

Write everything down

It may seem simple and obvious, but keep track of everything.  Write it down, make a note on your phone, send yourself an email, use post-it notes, whatever works for you. It’s easy to have a casual conversation and a great idea to come of it, and then forget because you get pulled into a scheduled meeting or an email distracts. Along the same idea, physically writing down what needs to get down will help organize and prioritize.  It’s also important to write out goals and track the progress. You’ll be able to see the actual progress being made in a tangible way, and hopefully this encourages you and your employees.

Productivity looks different to everyone, but setting goals and minimizing distractions are easy ways to keep you and your business on track for the best year yet.  In December Forbes published a list of actual tools to help with productivity in the workplace. Goals are not achieved alone; use the people around you and all tools at your disposal.

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The Vision to Help Everyone See the Big Picture

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenters Henry Amoloja of Murol. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on January 14, 2016.

Have you ever taken a group selfie, shared it on Instagram, and found that some of the people got cut out of the frame? That’s what happens when you take a photo in landscape orientation and share it on sites like Instagram, where the photos are displayed in portrait orientation. Instead of seeing the entire photo, you only see the part of the photo that fits into a square, and anything (or anyone) appearing outside of that square is lost.

Having experienced this problem, Henry Amoloja set out to create a solution. That solution: MUROL, a landscape orientation photo-sharing app.

COMPANY PROFILE 

  • Name of company: MUROL
  • Website: www.murolapp.com
  • Business Start Date: April 2016
  • Number of Employees: 4 team members: Marketing Director Tamir Hussein, CTO Ben Fossen, Business Development Specialist Jeremiah Osopko, and Creative Director Elly Olson.
  • Number of Customers: Approaching 2,000 users

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE

  • Name: Henry Amoloja
  • Age: 24
  • City you live in: Maplewood
  • Country of birth: Desenzano Del Garda, Italy
  • High School attended: Roseville Area High School
  • College attended: University of Minnesota Duluth

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?
A. I was raised in Nigeria. My family immigrated to Minnesota in 2003 and I have lived here ever since. I took up football and track in high school. Playing sports taught me the value of hard work and the reward of the seeing the results. While at college at UMD, I took an interest in business courses like Intro to Marketing and Corporate Finance. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I just had no idea what I was good at and what products or services I would selling.

I began cutting my own hair in college because I did not trust any barbers in Duluth to do a good job with my hair. I bought a clipper set and began experimenting with different hair styles on myself. Friends took notice and became coming to me for a free haircut. I eventually got good enough to start charging $5 and I saved up to buy professional clippers and started charging $10. This was a rewarding experience for me to monetize on a self-taught skill.

I had a short stint of selling custom sunglasses in college, as well. I knew I had an entrepreneurial bone in my body but I struggled to harness it to its full potential. I began reading business articles outside of school and becoming really fascinated by branding, marketing strategies, financial statements and other components of corporations.

A co-worker named Luida recommended a book to me called “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill that completely changed my life. I feel like it was exactly what I needed to fully maximize my entrepreneurial potential. I read other self-development and business books and planned to start a company when I graduated.

After college, I decided to attend a nine-month barbering program while working to support myself. When the program concluded I accepted a job at Ferguson Enterprises and was sent to North Carolina for a five-month training program. While in North Carolina, the concept behind MUROL was conceived. When I returned to Minnesota in January 2016, I worked hard on the branding and the first public announcement of what I had been working on. I added four people to the team to help with the overwhelming tasks. We launched in the app store on June 21, 2016. Held a beautiful launch event in August which brought us to 1,000 users about eight weeks later. In December of 2016, I decided to quit my sales job at Ferguson to focus on MUROL.

Q. What is your business?
A. MUROL is the first photo sharing app that allows users to capture, display and share photos on a strict landscape-oriented interface as opposed to a portrait-oriented interface.

READ FULL ARTICLE

 

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit jjhill.org/1-million cups

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Two Friends Create Buzz Around Cold-Brew Coffee

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenters, Alex French and Andrew Healey of Get Bizzy. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on December 31, 2016

For a variety of reasons, ranging from a lack of sleep to being overscheduled and overworked, Americans are increasingly tired. A recent poll by YouGov shows that only 1 in 7 Americans report feeling well-rested every day. For the rest of us, there’s caffeine.

Whether from coffee, tea, energy drinks or pop, caffeine can provide us with the much-needed jolt of energy we need to get through the day. At the same time, many of the pre-packaged beverages on the market include added ingredients like sugar that add unnecessary calories to the jolt.

Due to hectic schedules and a need for increased energy, Alex French and Andrew Healey turned to cold-brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is increasingly trendy, but it’s time-consuming to make at home. They started Get Bizzy in response to this demand. Unlike many other pre-packaged beverages, Bizzy Coffee is sugar- and calorie-free, and because it’s pre-packaged, it doesn’t take hours for consumers to prepare.

COMPANY PROFILE 

  • Name of company: Get Bizzy, Inc.
  • Website: www.bizzycoffee.com
  • Business Start Date: May 2015
  • Number of Employees: 4 full-time
  • Number of Customers: Thousands

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE

  • Name: Alex French
  • Age: 27
  • City you live in: New Brighton
  • Country of birth: St. Paul
  • High School attended: Irondale High School
  • College attended: University of St. Thomas
  • Name: Andrew Healey
  • Age: 28
  • City you live in: New Brighton
  • Country of birth: St. Paul
  • High School attended: Irondale High School
  • College attended: University of Minnesota

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?
A. We are childhood friends who met while going to middle school in New Brighton. We stayed friends throughout high school and college. Alex went to the University of St. Thomas and Andrew went to the University of Minnesota. Alex majored in business and Andrew in mechanical engineering. After graduating, we were both hired at large corporations and felt unfulfilled with our jobs. Bizzy Coffee was founded while we were working our corporate jobs, training for World’s Toughest Mudder — a 24-hour obstacle race, and running a group fitness company that we had started several years previously. Juggling those three things was a challenge, and we needed a way to get more energy and stamina without resorting to unhealthy energy drinks. We discovered cold brew coffee at this time, and started working on a way to make it more convenient. In 2015, Bizzy Coffee was born.

Q. What is your business?
A. Bizzy Coffee is the No. 1-selling cold brew coffee on the internet. We manufacture a Certified Organic cold brew coffee concentrate that is sold in all 50 states and Canada…READ FULL ARTICLE

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit jjhill.org/1-million cups

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Company Takes Data Security to the Next Level

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews Entrepreneur and 1 Million Cup presenter, Daren Klum with company Secured2 Corporation. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on December 17, 2016

Data security is a growing issue in our society. Some of the organizations hacked in the past 5 years include the IRS, LinkedIn, Yahoo! and Target. These breaches cost companies millions of dollars to rectify and can be very harmful to consumers if their personal information ends up in the wrong hands.

Even though hackers seem to be able to breach a variety of encryption methods, encryption remains one of the most popular methods of data security. According to the 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study by the Ponemon Institute and IBM Security, there are two main data security methods applied by organizations in the United States: 52 percent of corporations use training and awareness programs to educate employees about data security, and 49 percent have expanded their use of encryption software.

Clearly, encryption alone is not enough, and yet most corporations don’t seem to be aware of other options. Daren Klum has extensive experience in information technology and software development, and he has seen evidence of the failures of encryption over the years. He started Secured2 Corp. as a better way to safely store and transmit data, by “shredding” the data so it is impossible for hackers to read.

COMPANY PROFILE 

  • Name of company: Secured2 Corp.
  • Website: www.secured2.com
  • Business Start Date: June 18, 2013
  • Number of Employees: 6
  • Number of Customers: Unlisted (note: as a security company, they want to keep that information private)

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE

  • Name: Daren Klum
  • Age: 47
  • City you live in: Shoreview
  • Country of birth: Englewood, CA
  • College attended: Mankato State University and the University of Minnesota

 

Q. What led to this point?
A. I’m a technology executive, inventor and futurist who thrives on solving global challenges, developing exciting new technology and bringing the total solution to market. With a growing list of patents and patents-pending, I continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with technology. My background includes information technology, hardware development, software development, technical marketing and corporate finance. I had the good fortune to work with Gartner, Digital River in the early days, Sprint, TW Telecom, and I founded venture-backed LiquidCool Solutions. Currently, I’m the CEO of Secured2, a data security company in Minneapolis.My abilities include idea creation, patent development, software development (coding), technology integration, technology sales and marketing, technology funding and technology investing.

Q. What is your business?
A. We are a data security software company. Through our proprietary process, we are able to shrink, shred, secure and restore data. This process makes your data unhackable…READ FULL ARTICLE

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit jjhill.org/1-million cups

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Every Cent Counts

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are approaching, the weather is turning colder and end-of-year giving messages are out. That final reminder to donate to your charity (or charities) of choice and make the tax-deductible gift shows up in your inbox.  And it works! 30% of all donations in the United States happen in December (MobileCause). But why does it work? What is it about the end of the year that pushes people to donate?

Plenty of research has been done to show people give because it makes them happier, makes them feel like they have contributed and made a difference in their community, and the tax deduction is a major incentive to give large sums. But, again, why do these matter?  The Guardian asked this same question, and came up with three slightly different – but similar – concepts, two of which I’d like to expand on.

First, the idea that charitable giving is ruled by empathy and compassion, instead of logic and reason. People donate to causes they care about because they are affected through personal experience and/or a compelling campaign. The decision to donate is pushed by these feelings.  The last months of the calendar year are focused on holidays and family, both of which drive the message of love and comfort, and in turn encourage community members donate to help those who cannot enjoy this season be it because of an illness, lack of resources or larger personal issues dictating their time. The act of giving born out of compassion and empathy in this busy and cold time at the end of the year is a very positive action for our community.

Second, the article states “charitable giving is contagious – seeing others give makes an individual more likely to give.” Donating to charity and a cause you care about sets an example for those around you, and gently encourages them to do the same. The hope in setting the example is others – coworkers, children, friends – will be inspired to give to a cause they are affected by or care about. It is the ‘pay-it-forward’ concept. It’s easy to share on your giving on social media and hope others follow suit.

Giving works and every cent counts. Giving and helping others makes us happier, gives us purpose and is tax-deductible! Donate to a cause you care about and make your money count. This season, consider donating to the James J. Hill Center and help honor the legacy of our founder by continuing to support entrepreneurial spirit in the 21st Century.

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The Key Relationship Entrepreneurs Often Overlook

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Whether you are a brand new business owner, a seasoned entrepreneur or still deciding if your idea is worth pursuing, you’ll need advice. But who to go to? The internet will have some answers. You can stop by government agencies and nonprofits – like the James J. Hill Center – to help you get started and navigate. But one of the most important relationships an entrepreneur can have is a mentor. The startup experience is full of challenges and can be unknown territory, and having a relationship with a mentor is vital to navigating the terrain.

There is no right or wrong way to have a relationship with a mentor. It can be someone you meet with on a weekly basis and closely monitor progress and planning with, or a contact you reach out to sporadically when a problem arises that you are unsure how to fix. But there are certain qualities and key characteristics a mentor should possess.

It may seem obvious, but a mentor should have experience and proven success in their own professional career. With experience comes perspective and foresight, both of which are invaluable for an entrepreneur. It is difficult – maybe impossible – to avoid making mistakes, but if you can learn lessons from a mentor’s mistakes, it’s easier to avoid mistakes or at least be prepared to handle them as they arise. A mentor with experience will also feel confident giving advice, and you can feel confident receiving it. Trust is key, and it is much easier to trust a mentor with experience and a proven track record of success or growth.

Integrity and sincerity also play a huge role in a successful mentor/mentee relationship. A good mentor will be encouraging and smart. A GREAT mentor will be honest and insightful. While compliments and soft encouragement are nice, they are not productive, nor do they set anyone up to accomplish their goals. The “tendency towards candor is so important because as an entrepreneur you have limited time to get your company off the ground and reach profitability and long-term growth” (Rob Ebrahimi, Forbes contributor). As a mentor, it is important to ask the tough questions and bring perspective on the market and the idea. Time is valuable and the conversations should be frank to ensure you and your venture are on task and on track.

Mentoring is an important relationship for both parties. The mentee receives invaluable advice and guidance and is able to expand their network and knowledge to create a company or idea to better the community. The mentor has the chance to share their experiences to better the future of a new professional and their field of expertise.  As entrepreneurs, the right mentorship relationship can set you on a positive path for success. Consider finding a mentor or becoming one to enhance your business experience.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE:

We are in the process of renovating the James J. Hill Center to make the space more accessible to individuals with wheelchairs or limited mobility. This construction includes major renovation of our interior elevator. Due to this renovation, elevator access to the building and second floor for persons with accessibility constraints will be limited. A manual mobility Liftkar operated by a trained JJ Hill staff person will be available so that individuals in wheelchairs have access to our space. To schedule assistance before your visit, or if you have questions, please contact 651.265.5500. Unfortunately we are unable to transport electric scooters. Elevator construction will begin October 31, 2016 until completion in April, 2017. We apologize for any inconvenience during this construction. Thank you for your understanding.

This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society and the F. R. Bigelow Foundation.

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