Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs)

ESO Community in Minneapolis - Saint Paul

Entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) include groups that lead accelerator programs, coworking spaces, competitions, technical assistance programs. For entrepreneurs in the region, ESOs provide the education, connectivity, mentorship, access, and support needed to make their startup ideas a reality.

Entrepreneur support organizations and their leaders face shared challenges and opportunities, so Forge North is proud to work with ESO leaders to host and support the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region’s ESO Roundtable. Any leader of an ESO in the region is welcome to join our community for a monthly conversation.

At our 2022 Summit, the ESO Roundtable identified three shared priorities for collaboration, which teams of ESO leaders are pursuing in 2023.

  • Persistent racial inequities in the MSP startup ecosystem: Identifying gaps in programming, support and resources for Black and Brown founders, and building collective solutions to meet founder needs. Co-leads Maria Ploessl and Angel Even.
  • Regional storytelling: Shaping regional storytelling about the MSP startup ecosystem around shared themes. Co-leads Shelisa Demuth and Connie Rutledge.
  • Increasing funding and capital: Increasing funding opportunities for founders, especially BIPOC-owned businesses. Co-leads Billy Mzenga and Elaine Rasmussen

You can join the monthly roundtable whether or not you opt into one of these ongoing working groups - just reach out via the link below!

Do you lead an entrepreneur support organization? 👋

Join our next call!

Current members of the ESO Roundtable are below.