The Entrepreneurial Future of Minnesota
October 16th | 2018

In a world of economic Goliaths, the health of regional communities will be defined by the successes of a million Davids.

Imagine traveling back in time to 1972 and telling people that in your time CEOs are as famous as pop stars and Hollywood A-listers. You’d be laughed right back into your TimeX machine. Because business used to be boring. And entrepreneurialism—while it’s always been hard to spell—has never been cooler, more ubiquitous, or more important to the economy than it is today.

From national best sellers about startup culture, to a million podcasts about innovation, it seems that starting a business is the new starting a band. And regional economies are thriving more and more, thanks to the wave of creativity and vitality that startups bring to their local ecosystems.

In the Twin Cities, there are a lot of people and organizations working hard to support our growing entrepreneurial community, from Greater MSP, to MN Cup, Beta.MN, Fueled Collective, Innovation Collective, Startup Week, and many more. About a year ago, a coalition of local leaders and entrepreneurs teamed up to corral their many efforts under a single, branded movement. One that would enable intentional collaboration across organizations, and continue to make Minnesota competitive and attractive to the current and next generation of entrepreneurs.

And they brought us in to help.

Clarifying the ambition

Through discussion, research, a deep dive into the history of Minnesota, and more discussion, we uncovered the shared DNA between entrepreneurs and our region: problem-solving. It’s what they do. And it’s who we are.

The ambition: Make Minnesota the problem-solving capital of the new economy.

And we wanted a name that would be optimistic, progressive, and ownable. A name that doubled as a rallying cry: Forge North.

Visually, we wanted a brand that was at once authentic to Minnesota, but devoid of familiar “north woods” vibes. And we wanted something that would reflect the bold, inclusive, and energizing creativity that startups bring to our state.

Just one year later, Forge North is a massive contributor to Minnesota’s startup ecosystem, connecting people throughout the community, promoting the work being done, investing in ideas that strengthen our ecosystem, and inviting everyone to participate. Along the way, we also learned how to spell entrepreneurial on the first try, every time. So, that’s cool too.

Learn more about joining the movement here.