2013 Small Business Success Stories Award Winners

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Photo by Travis Anderson

Pictured: Deb Erickson's The Line Up produces cheerleading uniforms for the Vikings.

Ten Minnesota ventures led by people who’ve pursued adventure as well as careers.

December 23, 2013

The business leaders you’ll read about below could have gotten high-paying jobs with big companies. There’s nothing wrong with a high-paying job with a big company, of course. But each of the protagonists in these tales of commercial adventure desired to follow a different career storyline. They saw opportunities; they dreamt dreams; they were willing to take risks—and they possessed the endurance to overcome the hurdles and challenges that come with risk. They took roads not everyone would (or should) wish to take. But all of us should be grateful that they followed those trails—and we can all draw inspiration from what they’ve achieved.

Follow the links below to read about each of this year's 10 Small Business Success Stories.

A.R. Weiler

Healthsense

Two tech execs saw an opportunity to help seniors stay in their homes longer. Venture capitalists caught on—and the company is quickly expanding.

Read Story | View Biography Video|View Acceptance Speech

Maia and Allan Haag

I See Me! Inc.

This creator of personalized books for kids is as much tech company as publisher.

Read Story | View Biography Video|View Acceptance Speech

Christian Petersen

Fantasy Flight Games Inc.

A lot of people still love role-playing games without computer screens. Christian Petersen helps gird them for battle.

Read Story | View Biography Video|View Acceptance Speech

Paul Taunton

Business Impact Group

Paul Taunton built a one-stop source of uniforms, printing, and other services for businesses by putting himself in the customer’s shoes.

Read Story | View Biography Video|View Acceptance Speech

Ken Olsen

Dahl Consulting

What began as a basement IT consultancy now provides contingency support staff to businesses worldwide.

Read Story | View Biography Video|View Acceptance Speech

Deb Erickson

The Line Up

A fitness club conversation led to a business creating cheerleader uniforms for both amateur and professional sports teams.

Read Story | View Biography Video|View Acceptance Speech

Tony Belden

Engineering America

New territories—particularly in the North Dakota oilfields—keep this liquid storage tank company pumping.

Read Story | View Biography Video|View Acceptance Speech

Steve Baumann

Vexilar Inc.

A sonar company in bankruptcy makes a comeback by focusing on the ice-fishing market.

Read Story | View Biography Video|View Acceptance Speech

COO Mark Traynor, CEO Mark Levine, CMO Karina Taylor

Hillcrest Media Group

Mark Levine got in on the first chapter of the self-publishing trend—and rewrote the rules.

Read Story | View Biography Video|View Acceptance Speech

Monica Little and Joe Cecere

Little

Founder Monica Little wanted to work without hierarchies. So she started her own design and branding firm—and earned some big clients.

Read Story | View Biography Video|View Acceptance Speech

Small Business Success Stories: 2013 Finalists

Twin Cities Business recognizes these Minnesota companies for their notable achievements as finalists in the 2013 Small Business Success Stories program.

Read Story

Small Business Success Stories Awards Dinner

Tuesday, January 21

Hilton Minneapolis,
1001 Marquette Avenue

5:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception
6:30 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Awards

$100 per ticket, $1,000 per table of 10
Sponsored corporate tables available for $1,700

For tickets, visit
tcbmag.com/SBSStickets

For more information,
call Caitlin French
at 612-336-9288
or cfrench@tcbmag.com

 

PRESENTED BY
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SPONSORED BY
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