November 7, 2018


Radisson Blu, Minneapolis

Hosted By

Minnesota High Tech Assoc

Minnesota Venture Conference / Innovate. Inspire. Invest.

The Minnesota Venture Conference attracts hundreds of investors, entrepreneurs and executives to the event 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
Early-bird (register by October 11): $295

Regular: $395

On-site: $445

Non Member Rate

Early-bird (register by October 11): $495

Regular: $595

On-site: $645

Registration coming soon

2018 Agenda / Coming Soon!

New Format for the 2018 Conference

This year’s MN Venture Conference agenda will feature modules on hot technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and cyber security.

Thought leaders and industry experts will lead off each module followed by an investor panel discussion, wrapping with pitches by top startup companies in Minnesota and the upper Midwest.

Investor panels will include venture capitalists, angel investors, corporate/strategic investors, academic institutional investors and federal funding resources.

Featured content will shine a spotlight on Minnesota’s tech hubs — medical, financial, ag, food, sports and advanced manufacturing industries. 

Look for more opportunities to connect entrepreneurs, investors and service providers throughout the day. Check back soon for registration information!

Co-Host Welcome

Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Minnesota High Tech Association Kirk Nielsen, Minnesota Venture Capital Association

Keynote Speaker – Andrew Downey

Andrew Downey is a Managing Director in PwC’s Deals practice.  Based in Minneapolis, Andrew advises corporations and private equity investors on a wide range of M&A transactions including acquisitions, divestitures, carve-outs and joint ventures. (more…)

Panel: Startup Success Stories

Hear from these great local startup leaders and learn about their success stories at the Minnesota Venture Conference!
  • Lee Jones, President & CEO, Rebiotix
  • Lou DiLorenzo, COO, Bright Health
  • Matt Matsui, SVP Products and Strategy, Calabrio
  • Clay Collins, Co-Founder & Board Chair, Leadpages
  • Shawntera Hardy, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (moderator)

Keynote Speaker – Gene Munster

Hear from Gene Munster, Managing Partner at Loup Ventures at the Minnesota Venture Conference! Gene Munster is a managing partner and co-founder at Loup Ventures. Prior to Loup Ventures, Gene was a managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray where he covered technology companies including Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook. During his 21-year tenure, Gene received many acknowledgements including: Top Stock Picker from Forbes, Best on the Street from The Wall Street Journal, and was widely recognized for his work on Apple. Gene holds a bachelor's degree in finance and entrepreneurship from University of St. Thomas. (more…)

DEED Presentation or Entrepreneurial Showcase

Enjoy networking time or attend a presentation from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs
  • Jeffrey Nelson, Manager, Business Tax Benefits & Angel Tax Credit Program
  • Stephen Wolff, Business & Community Development Representative


Choose one of four.
Taking the Pulse of Minnesota Healthcare Investing: Minnesota has a long tradition of innovation and investment in the healthcare sector. This panel will focus on the dynamics of investing in this space, and will feature insights from entrepreneurs, investors, and incubators. Learn about what it takes to succeed as a healthcare startup and what healthcare investors look for when making an investment.
  • JD Blank, Managing Director, TreeHouse Health
  • Andy Danielsen, Vice Chair of Technology Commercialization, Mayo Clinic Ventures
  • Meyrick Vaz, VP of Healthcare Solutions, UnitedHealthcare
  • Jessica Zeaske, Director of Healthcare Investments, GE Ventures

What’s Cooking in Minnesota’s Food & Ag Startup Community: Minnesota is rapidly becoming known for being a food & ag startup hub. Hear from entrepreneurs and a new incubator about what’s happening in this growing innovation community.
  • Mary Kosir, Co-Founder & CEO, WholeMe
  • Tyler Carlson, Founder, Origin Meals
  • Kathy Roland, Co-Founder, Greenhouse MN
  • Hannah Barnstable, President & Founder, Seven Sundays
  • Brian Tockman, Principal, 301 INC.

Wired: Innovation in Minnesota’s Tech Community -- Minnesota’s software and technology economy continues to grow and thrive. Learn from investors and leaders of two of Minnesota’s growing software companies about what it takes to go from the little guy to a big player.
  • Chris Heim, CEO, HelpSystems
  • Joe Payne, President & CEO, Code 42
  • Cathy Connett, President and Founder of CorConnections, investor with the Sofia Fund
  • Michael Gorman, Managing Director, Split Rock Partners

Investing in the Future of Retail: Minnesota is home to both the world’s retail giants and some of the most innovative retail startups. Learn more about what it takes to succeed as a startup and what investors are looking for in companies.
  • Dori Graff, Co-Founder, Kidizen
  • Ben Cattoor, Founder & CEO, Foodsby
  • Greg Beaufait, Partner, Dundee Capital Ventures
  • Dale Nitschke, Founder & CEO Ovative/group

Sponsors /

Become a sponsor

2017 Conference Advisory Committee / Thank You to the 2017 Advisors

Kirk Nielsen, Versant Ventures; 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
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
Kathy Tune, Partner, Fourth Element Capital

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 event book, a one-minute introduction, and information table.

Must purchase a ticket to showcase at the event

Showcase applications are now closed.

2017 Showcase Companies (as of 10/24/17)

ArboryWay Labs
AcuMedical, Inc.
Aker Technologies
DaVinci Industries
Distant Calling Pictures
Extempore, The Speaking Practice App
Industrial Smart (Design Ready Controls)

Leverage Robotics, Inc.
MEI Research
Natural Process Design
Peacebunny Island
SRS Web Solutions Inc
Starting 11
UnderRecruited Preps
UR Turn

Event Location

Radisson Blu
35 South Seventh St.
Minneapolis, MN

Get Directions

Get In Touch / Send Us a Message

Past Participants / See Who Has Previously Participated

2016 Participating CompaniesPast Participating Investors/Financiers

ACG Minnesota
Activated Research Company
Aspire Beverage Company
B-MoGen Biotechnologies
Corvida Medical
Dr. In The Kitchen
Equals 3
Eva Medtec
Fox Rothschild
General Probiotics

Hema Imaging
IHB Technologies
Lite Run
Living Greens Farm
Medical Alley
MEI Research
Minnepura Technologies

Minnesota Business Magazine
Minnesota Cup
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
OX2 Therapeutics
POPS! Diabetes Care
Portfolio Strategy Solutions
Prevent Biometrics

The Big Know
United Skin Specialists
University of Minnesota – University Economic Development
University of Minnesota Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship
University of Minnesota Office of Technology Commercialization
University of Minnesota Vice President for Research
Vergent Bioscience
Vigilant Diagnostics

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