Wednesday, October 25, 2017 – 7:15am


Minneapolis Convention Center

Co-Hosted By


Minnesota Venture Conference / Innovate. Inspire. Invest.

The Minnesota Venture Conference attracts hundreds of investors, entrepreneurs and executives to the Minneapolis Convention Center with the goal of connecting Minnesota’s entrepreneurs with capital.

Each year, participants gather for a day of knowledge-sharing, networking, and pitches from some of Minnesota’s most promising privately-held companies.


Tickets / Registration Types + Fees

Registration fee includes admission for one individual to all sessions, lunch and reception.

Member Rate

Non Member Rate


2016 Agenda / Panels + Workshops + Networking

Co-Host Welcome

Margaret Anderson Kelliher, President & CEO, Minnesota High Tech Association
Kirk Nielsen, Versant Ventures; 2016 President, Minnesota Venture Capital Association

Panel: Startup Success Stories

Upstart companies face a number of challenges, from raising capital and hiring a talented team, to attracting customers. Despite these challenges, Minnesota startups have experienced great success in the last few years. Hear from some of today’s most successful startups and learn what it takes to grow your next venture into a successful company.

  • Ryan Broshar, Matchstick Ventures, Target Techstars, Moderator
  • Jerry Mattys, Tactile Medical
  • Carson Kipfer, SportsEngine
  • Chad Halvorson, When I Work


  • Positioning Yourself for Financing, presented by Fox Rothschild
    • This session will address optimal capital structure, considerations with public and private financings, founders’ stock, initial seed financing, strategic alliances and equity incentive arrangements for management and key employees. We will also look at terms sheets between entrepreneurs and investors; nondisclosure agreements and other confidentiality issues; valuation, dilution, preferred stock and more.
  • Why and How to Engage a Board of Directors for Your Startup, presented by University of MN: Office of the Vice President for Research; Office for Technology Commercialization; Office of University Economic Development; Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship
    • If done right, an active and engaged board of directors can create a significant, positive impact on the success of the startup.  This panel will discuss why a board is important, how to go about setting one up and how to use the expertise that you have on the board.
  • Special Situations in Capital Financing, presented by Lindquist & Vennum
    • The path from Series A to Series B rarely follows a straight line and companies may need to explore out-of-the-box approaches to addressing their capital needs.  Learn about these approaches, including MNvest and other crowdfunding capital raises, bridge financing, pay-to-play provisions, and venture debt, and how to successfully avoid common pitfalls.
  • Non-Dilutive Federal R&D Funding:  An Overview of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs.
    • Non-dilutive funding is a vital resource for early-stage companies to advance the development and commercialization of new technologies in an environment where risk capital is scarce. Non-dilutive funding also drives collaborative R&D projects that enable companies to gather critical data, validate assumptions and inspire key opinion leaders, all of which helps to de-risk follow-on investment.
    • (more…)

Panel: Minnesota’s Changing Healthcare Investment Landscape

Minnesota has a long tradition of innovation and investment in the healthcare sector, especially the medical device industry. Recently, however, this investment landscape has begun to shift, with medical device entrepreneurs finding capital harder to come by, especially for early-stage opportunities, while other healthcare sectors like healthcare services, healthcare IT, and biotechnology see increased interest. Here, a panel of healthcare investors share their perspectives on these dynamics and explore what the future holds in this space.   Panelists:
  • Kathy Tune, Thomas, McNerney & Partners – Moderator
  • Kirk Nielsen, Versant Ventures
  • Jodi Hubler, Lemhi Ventures
  • Barbara Nelsen, Nelsen Biomedical
  • Stacy Enxing Seng, Lightstone Ventures

Sponsors / Thank you to our 2016 Sponsors!

Become a sponsor

2016 Conference Advisory Committee / Thank You to the 2016 Advisors

Kirk Nielsen, Versant Ventures; 2016 President, Minnesota Venture Capital Association
Margaret Anderson Kelliher, President & CEO, Minnesota High Tech Association
Dan Carr, President, The Collaborative
Lisa Crump, Founder, Cairn Ventures
Tom Erickson, Co-President, First Green Partners
Michael Gorman, Managing Director, Split Rock Partners
Jeff Hinck, General Partner, Rally Ventures
Jodi Hubler, Managing Director, Lemhi Ventures
Joy Lindsay, President & Co-founder, StarTec Investments
Vance Opperman, President & CEO, Key Investment
Ed Spencer, Jr., Founder and Chairman, Affinity Capital Management
Dave Stassen, Managing Director, Split Rock Partners
Kathy Tune, Partner, Thomas, McNerney & Partners

Entrepreneurs / Showcase Your Startup

Entrepreneurial companies attending the Conference have an additional opportunity to create visibility for their company through the Entrepreneurial Showcase. Only companies seeking outside financing and whose business does not involve providing a product or service to growing companies will be considered for the showcase.

This is the event in Minnesota for companies with ambitious growth plans to:

  • Gain exposure and visibility to local and out-of-state investors
  • Access information regarding raising capital
  • Network with investors and other entrepreneurs


Companies interested in participating in the Entrepreneurial Showcase must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently privately held;
  • Headquartered or committed to develop in Minnesota;
  • Companies whose primary business involves providing a service/product to new and growing companies are not eligible to participate in the Entrepreneurial Showcase.


Showcase participation is free for qualified registered companies and includes a one page profile in the materials book, a one-minute introduction, and information table.

Must purchase a ticket to showcase at the event

Event Location

Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 Second Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Get Directions

Get In Touch / Send Us a Message

Past Participants / See Who Has Previously Participated

2015 Participating CompaniesPast Participating Investors/Financiers

ACG Minnesota
Astro HQ
AVL Growth Partners
Baker Tilly
Blue Belt Technologies
Civic Eagle
Corvida Medical
Coservis Corp.
FastBridge Learning LLC

Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, Carlson School of Management
Geneticure, LLC
Greater MSP
Hunhu Healthcare
International Cardio Corporation
JAMF Software
LeafLine Labs
Learn to Live
LifeScience Ally
Lindquist & Vennum LLP
LogicStream Heatlh
Medallion Therapeutics

Minnepura Technologies
Minnesota Department of Emplyoment and Economic Development
MN Cup
National Venture Capital Association
Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP
Ova Woman
Prevent Biometrics
PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP
Reflections Sciences, LLC
Revamp Consulting

Target Genomics, LLC
Trovita Health
Twin Cities Business
Univeristy of Minnesota | University of Economic Development
University of Minnesota | Office for Technology Commercialization
University of Minnesota | Office of the Vice President for Research
UpTern Inc.
Urban Organics
Vigilant Diagnostics, LLC

AAVIN Venture Capital
Accuitive Medical Ventures
Advantage Capital Partners
Aethlon Capital
AgStar Financial Services
ARCH Development Partners
Atlas Capital Partners
Black River Asset Management
BlueStream Ventures
Boston Financial & Equity
Boston Scientific
Brass Ring Capital
Capital Midwest
Cedar Point Capital
CentreStone Ventures
Ceres Venture Fund
Cherry Tree & Associates
Chrysalis Ventures
Clover Fields Capital
Commerce Street Venture Group
Coral Group
Core Innovation Capital
Core Venture Capital
Creekridge Capital
EDF Ventures

Gabelli Investments
GDN Holdings
GMB Mezzanine Capital
Gopher Angel Fund
Greene, Holcomb & Fisher
Grey Mountain Partners
H.I.G. BioVentures
Healthcare IP Partners
Hilldale Ventures, Inc.
Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin
Icon Venture Partners
J&J Development
Kaiser Permanente Ventures
Key Investment, Inc.
Khosla Ventures
Lemhi Ventures
LFE Capital
Matchstick Ventures
MB Venture Partners
Meakem Becker Venture Capital
Milestone Growth Fund
Mill City Capital
Minnesota Power
Mount Yale Venture Fund

MSP Ventures
Nascent Capital
National Venture Capital Association
North Bridge Growth Equity
Northland Securities
Norwest Equity Partners
Oak Investment Partners
Oak Ridge Financial
OCA Venture Partners
Omphalos Venture Partners, LLC
Open Prairie Ventures
Oxford Finance LLC
Piper Jaffray
PrairieGold Venture Partners
Prescher Capital
QuestStar Medical
RAIN Source Capital
Rational Equity
RiverPoint Investments
Sapient Capital
Seneca Partners
Siemens Venture Capital
Six Points Capital
Sorin Group
Space Center Ventures
Spell Capital Partners

StarTec Investments, LLC
Stellar Ventures
Sunny Hill Investment Co LLC
SWMF Life Science Fund
Technology Venture Partners
TGap Ventures
The Collaborative
Thomas McNerney & Partners
Thomas Weisel Venture Partners
Tonka Bay Equity Partners
Triathlon Medical Ventures
Tricouni Capital Partners
Updata Partners
Vencore Capital
Versant Ventures
Vesbridge Partners
Vilicus Ventures
Watasso Ventures
Waveland Capital Partners
Wells Fargo
WELM Ventures
Western Technology Investment
Whitebox Advisors