Pioneers

Bruce Bildsten

Bruce Bildsten

When one assesses the resurrection of Minnesota’s iconic woolen mill, it’s evident that Faribault never forgot how to make great blankets or dropped its small-town work ethic, but the company
Colleen Needles Steward

Colleen Needles Steward

You may remember her as Colleen Needles, a co-anchor of WCCO-TV news during its journalistic heyday. She came to TV production 20 years ago, and today Tremendous! is far and
Allen Berning

Allen Berning

Al Berning is well-known in Rochester as a former IBMer, a co-founder of the engineering company Pemstar and former CEO of Hardcore Computers/LiquidCool Solutions. In his current role as CEO
Clarence Bethea

Clarence Bethea

In the Twin Cities startup community, Clarence Bethea stands out, and he’s quick to address the issue. “People invest in people who look like them. Venture capitalists are mostly white
Charlie Youakim

Charlie Youakim

2021, Alumni: After doubling his fin-tech company’s headcount in 2020, Charlie Youakim is looking to bring even more employees on board in the new year. The company, which is based
Hudda Ibrahim

Hudda Ibrahim

The title of Hudda Ibrahim’s 2017 book summarizes her remarkable career: From Somalia to Snow. She came to St. Cloud in 2007 with her family, knowing very little English or
Mich Berthiaume

Mich Berthiaume

When Mall of America wanted to bring in local shopping for the holidays a few years ago, it called Mich Berthiaume to curate a market of Minnesota-made brands. She’s since
Reed Robinson

Reed Robinson

If you’re trying to build a startup in the Twin Cities, it won’t be long before you run into Reed Robinson. He co-founded Beta.MN, which he ran in his spare
Philip Xiao

Philip Xiao

Homi bills itself as the “career center of the future.” Launched in 2015, the social networking platform enables college students to connect with alumni to find job opportunities. Philip Xiao
Brandon Sampson

Brandon Sampson

Limb Lab looks more like a design studio than a medical office, and that’s intentional. After 15 years as a prosthetist, Brandon Sampson left the practice he worked for to
Chris Wright

Chris Wright

Minnesota United FC was midway through its inaugural Major League Soccer season, and construction had just begun on its new $200 million stadium in St. Paul, when owner Bill McGuire
Bo Thao-Urabe

Bo Thao-Urabe

Bo Thao-Urabe’s position at the Center for Asian American Leaders brings with it numerous speaking engagements, advisory roles, and opportunities to promote the voices and perspectives of Asian Americans. She
Lindsay Whalen

Lindsay Whalen

As a player, Lindsay Whalen led the Gopher women’s basketball team to its only Final Four appearance in 2004. The talented point guard and team leader attracted thousands of new
Deepinder Singh

Deepinder Singh

Deepinder Singh can turn a building into a smart building using software, sensors, and a central control unit. The system drives desired conditions in each room, plus energy management and

Dick Radatz Jr.

When Dick Radatz left affiliated professional baseball and co-founded the Northwoods League in 1993, minor league baseball was a shambles in the Upper Midwest. Observers scoffed at his belief that
Rob Phythian

Rob Phythian

Rob Phythian is a sports tech godfather in the Twin Cities. Back in 1993, he and Paul Charchian co-founded Fantasy Football Weekly, which morphed into Fanball.com, a source for fantasy
Natalie Morrow

Natalie Morrow

Natalie Morrow has worked to boost the Twin Cities’ black community involvement in the arts since launching the annual Twin Cities Black Film Festival in 2002. This year, she went