Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference

Waseca, MN

To learn more about the community of Waseca, please visit Discover Waseca for more information.

A copy of the Full Conference Program can be found HERE.

Copies of presenter materials can be found HERE.

Comments from 2019 Conference Participants:

"Wonderful! Thoughtfully planned with engaging sessions and time for informal networking."

"Most of the sessions were very practical- there were a ton of great resources available, but not enough people know about them!"

"One of the best economic development conferences I attended!"


Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019

11:00 a.m. Registration and lunch available (Starfire Event Center, 204 2nd St. SW, Waseca MN 56093 )

11:30-12:15 Welcome and Keynote (Starfire Event Center)

Keynote: Amanda Brinkman, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe Corporation

12:15-12:45 p.m. Walk to Breakout Session 1

12:45-1:45 p.m. Breakout Session 1 (in downtown Waseca businesses)

    • Workshop 1: Agritourism Panel with Squash Blossom Farm, Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm, Half Pint Brewery with moderator Rani Bhattacharyya
    • Workshop 2: Biz Link North, a Business Succession Tool by Amy Newsom and Mark Wright
    • Workshop 3: Growing Entrepreneurial Communities by Pam Bishop and Chris Schad
    • Workshop 4: Venture Funding and Economic Development Panel with Steve Mercil, Xavier Frigola, and Jude Conway with moderator Ryan Nolander
    • Workshop 5: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Training Curricula by Kristi Kiehne and Melissa Holman

1:45-2:15 p.m. Walk to Breakout Session 2

2:15-3:15 p.m. Breakout Session 2 (in downtown Waseca businesses)

    • Workshop 1: Connecting an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem by Meg Steuer
    • Workshop 2: Creative Strategies for Filling Downtown Spaces by Bill Owens
    • Workshop 3: Broadband Program for Rural Business by Bernadine Joselyn and Ann Treacy
    • Workshop 4: Feast Initiative by Jan Joannides
    • Workshop 5: 1 Million Cups Mankato by Gary Schott and Yvonne Cariveau

3:15-3:45 p.m. Walk to Breakout Session 3

3:45-4:45 p.m. Breakout Session 3 (in downtown Waseca businesses)

    • Workshop 1: Mainstreet Programming to Support Small Business Entrepreneurs by Emily Kurash
    • Workshop 2: KCEO: Connecting students with business to inspire entrepreneurship by Tyler Gerhking
    • Workshop 3: Red Wing Ignite by Adam Gettings
    • Workshop 4: Agricultural Utilization Research Institute’s Resources for Ag Entrepreneurs by Lisa Gjersvik
    • Workshop 5: Small Business Development Center of Mankato Services for Entrepreneurs by Mike Hahn

4:45-5:30 p.m. Break

5:30-7:30 p.m. Reception and Networking Event (Club 57(across the street from Starfire)

Friday, Sept. 6, 2019

7-8:30 a.m. Breakfast on your own

8:30-9:15 a.m. Warm-up, wake-up, idea sharing (Starfire Event Center)

9:15-9:30 a.m. Walk to Breakout Session 4

9:30-10:30 a.m. Breakout Session 4 (in downtown Waseca businesses)

    • Workshop 1: Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Youth Retention Panel moderated by Ann Fitch
    • Workshop 2: Panel on Co-Working Space Models with Jamie Sundsbak, Sue Vigstol and Myron White
    • Workshop 3: Minnesota Cup Program by Jessica Berg
    • Workshop 4: Opportunities for Latino Entrepreneurship by Jamie Villalez
    • Workshop 5: Using Data to Understand Your Market by Cameron Macht and Neil Linscheid

10:30-10:45 a.m. Walk to Closing Session

10:45-12:00 p.m. Closing Session (Starfire Event Center)

10:45-11:15 a.m. Keynote speaker- Tom Smude, Co-Owner of Smude Enterprises, LLC

11:15-12:00 p.m. Minnesota DEED's "Launch" Program by Deputy Commissioner, Kevin McKinnon

12:00-12:30 p.m. Closing Remarks and Adjourn (box lunch available)

Lodging Options:

American Motel

1313 State Hwy 13, Waseca, MN 56093

Please call to make reservations under "CEC Conference"

Tel: 507-835 4300

Rooms and rates available:

20 single queen rooms @$59.90+tax

5 single king rooms @$69.90+tax

9 double queen rooms @$79.90+tax

GrandStay Hotel & Suites -Waseca

2201 N State St, Waseca, MN 56093

Please call to make reservations under "CEC Conference"

Tel: 507-835-0022

Rooms and Rates Available Until August 15th:

13 double queen rooms @$89.00+tax

4 single king rooms @$89.00+tax

3 suite rooms @$89.00+tax

2019 Conference Sponsors Include:

Deluxe, for the love of small business
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Collaborating for regional vitality
Great River Energy
Supported in part by Blandin Foundation
Discover Waseca, Waseca Area Chamber of Commerce
New Richland, Waldorf, Janesville, Waseca in Waseca County - B.E.S.T of Waseca County
City of Waseca