Forge North Coalition Projects

The Forge North Leadership Council steers this growing coalition. This group of entrepreneurs, investors, corporate executives, and community leaders represents the larger coalition and works to engage all members in establishing goals and strategies and measuring the region’s progress.

Each council member plays an important role to champion groups and/or projects powered by the Forge North initiative. Each council member serves up to three years before passing the torch to another member of the coalition.

Active Projects

Forge North projects go beyond a single program. They bring together multiple organizations to work on ecosystem-wide issues. Coalition members review projects each month and consider new ideas each year.

Angel Campaign: Activating more angel investors, who provide the earliest stages of capital for new founders, is critical to accelerating the growth of startups in MSP. Project Fellow Mickayla Rosard of Groove Capital is leading a collaborative campaign to recruit more Minnesotans to become active angel investors, with intentional focus on activating more women and people of color as angels.

Enterprise Playbook: MSP is home to the country’s highest concentration of large corporate headquarters. Our goal is that 100% of billion-dollar enterprises in MSP meaningfully engage with local startup ventures. To achieve this goal, we've built a playbook that enterprise leaders can use to identify ways to support founders. Project Fellow Stephanie Rich of Bread & Butter Ventures is getting the playbook into the hands of more enterprise leaders while encouraging them to pledge to take new action to support founders here in MSP.

Builders Fund: The MSP region is home to many great entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) that provide critical early mentorship and connections. Many of these organizations are working together to build their capacity to serve founders and measure impact in partnership. Project Fellow Jessica Berg of MN Cup is leading a team on this joint fundraising campaign.

MSP Equity Fund: Venture capital is on the rise in MSP, but relatively little reaches startups led by Black, Brown and Women founders. The MSP Equity Fund is a $50 million venture capital fund of funds that will invest into a diversified pool of 10+ different venture capital funds committed to investing in diverse founders here in Minnesota. Project fellow Al Cornish of gener8tor is leading efforts to fully capitalize this fund and begin investing in several diverse and emerging fund managers.

Stay tuned to learn about these and other emerging projects in 2022.

Project Fellows

Al Cornish

General Partner
gener8tor

Angel Even

Founder/Owner/CEO
Led by TRUTH

Jessica Berg

Director
Minnesota Cup

Maria Ploessl

Executive Director
Minnestar

Mickayla Rosard

Head of Platform
Groove Capital

Stephanie Rich

Head of Platform
Bread & Butter Ventures