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may, 2018

02may9:00 am10:00 amSmall Biz PitchfestCelebrating National Small Business Week


Event Details


Join us at the James J. Hill Center on Wednesday, May 2nd for a FREE event in association with National Small Business week, 1 Million Cups and all of our “Small Helps All” partners in a celebration of the 500,000 small businesses in Minnesota!

Hear three local entrepreneurs and small business owners share their story and needs to a panel of experienced specialists. Be a part of the conversation and help these Minnesota companies take the next step in their growth!

Program Agenda
Doors       8:30 AM (Networking)
Program  9:00 – 10:00 AM


Hoyo is the Somali word for mother. We were founded in 2015 with a mission to empower Somali woman through Somali food.


MüD Modular
MüD Modular was established in 2009 with a belief that your customers aren’t flat or boring​ and your displays shouldn’t be either. MüD creates displays that keep your messaging fresh in everyday places.


Uptown Woodworks
Uptown Woodworks, started by Garrett Faust and Harrison Blankenship, creates custom wooden wall art and signs out of a shop in Northeast Minneapolis.



Tamara Prato
Executive Director, James J. Hill Center
With nearly twenty years’ experience in leadership roles in Twin Cities media, Tamara Prato has proven her service to the local community. She has overseen dynamic revenue growth at Twin Cities Public Television, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and Tiger Oak Media, where she was responsible for over a dozen magazines, including Minnesota Business, St. Paul Magazine, and Minnesota Bride.

John Thwing
“The SBA Guy” Anchor Bank
For nearly 30 years John has been the go-to guy in banking. He’s well known as The SBA Guy. His experience includes owner-occupied commercial real estate, business acquisitions, expansions, partner buyouts, franchise and construction financing.


Tina Rexing
Owner, T-Rex Cookie Company
Tina launched T-Rex Cookie Company in February of 2015. In the short time T-Rex Cookie has been in business she has gained national recognition as a guest on NBC’s Today Show in December 2015 as well as local appearances. Rexing opened a brick-and-mortar location in Prospect Park in Minneapolis in 2016.


Andy Kocemba
President and Co-owner of Calhoun Companies
A 2003 graduate of Bethel University, Andy is energized by his daily interactions with the owners and entrepreneurs behind the Midwest’s strong small business community. He is a member of the International Business Brokers Association, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, and Better Business Bureau.


Thanks to all our are partners for making this a fantastic Small Business Week celebration:




(Wednesday) 9:00 am - 10:00 am


Patrons with accessibility needs please access our ground floor elevator entrance via Kellogg Ave at the back of the building. Please ring the doorbell on the right hand side of door and a Hill staff member will assist you. If you have questions or concerns please call 651.265.5500. We look forward to having you visit.

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