Pioneers

Tom Hanson

Tom Hanson

Tom Hanson has put a lot on Duluth’s plate. He opened the Duluth Grill in the Lincoln Park neighborhood west of downtown in 2001, and its farm-to-table offerings made it
Kyle Kingsley

Kyle Kingsley

While Minnesota’s future with marijuana is still hazy, Kyle Kingsley and his physician-led company Vireo Health remain steadfast in their goal to “medicalize” cannabis. The ability to quantify the dosage
Sergio Manancero

Sergio Manancero

Former Marine Sergio Manancero founded his brewing company in 2016. A testament to Manancero’s own roots—he’s the son of Uruguayan immigrants—La Doña is the Twin Cities’ first Latin-owned brewery, and
Matt and Ed Cannon

Matt and Ed Cannon

In 2015, this son-father duo kicked off one of the best-funded Minnesota-based Kickstarter campaigns in history, raising more than $800,000 from nearly 3,000 backers. Founded in 2009, Golden Valley-based Zivix
Dr. Daniel Cohen

Dr. Daniel Cohen

At CNS, his first company, neurologist Dan Cohen developed two commercially successful products, Breathe Right nasal strips and Fiber Choice. At Round River Research Corp, he holds several patents on
Maurice Blanks and John Christakos

Maurice Blanks and John Christakos

Minneapolis-based Blu Dot makes cool stuff. The company designs and produces a wide array of sharp, savvy, distinctly modern furniture. Maurice Blanks and John Christakos founded Blu Dot with Charlie
Nick Beste

Nick Beste

Nick Beste launched Mighty Spark Food Co. in 2010 at the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market. Four years later, his craft meat products hit store shelves, and today Mighty Spark’s fresh meats
Kian Salehi

Kian Salehi

These days there are no shortage of companies (including Amazon and Uber) that want to deliver food from your favorite restaurant to your door. But when Minneapolis-based Bite Squad launched
Bob Sheehy, Kyle Rolfing, and Tom Valdivia

Bob Sheehy, Kyle Rolfing, and Tom Valdivia

What happens when three of the sharpest minds in Minnesota’s health care industry decide to tackle the individual market? The answer is Bright Health, a startup that reduces costs by

Kit Richardson

Minneapolis’ North Loop was once a no-man’s land of parking lots and aging warehouses. Kit Richardson saw the future of the neighborhood, now bustling with residents, restaurants and creative companies.

Kari Rihm

Kari Rihm is a pioneer in the truest sense of word: Her company, doing business as Rihm Kenworth, is the only fully woman-owned Kenworth truck dealership in the U.S., making
Tim Niver

Tim Niver

One of the best-liked people in the often snarky local restaurant community, Tim Niver operates two vastly different restaurants: cozy neighborhood Italian eatery Mucci’s and downtown St. Paul’s sleek Saint
Derek Falvey and Thad Levine

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine

The Twins appear to have hit a home run with their new baseball leadership, acquired from the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers, respectively, late in 2016. They engineered a playoff

Mahamed Cali

Mahamed Cali is the energetic and enterprising leader of the first Somali-American licensed radio station in the U.S. Broadcasting a mix of Somali-language news, Somali music and community information, the
Matt Briggs

Matt Briggs

In 2014, Matt Briggs launched RentTrack, an online payment platform to help renters build credit through rent payments. Since then, new users’ credit scores increased by an average of 29

John Sturgess

After more than two decades in the “human hotel” business,” former Carlson Hotels Worldwide executive John Sturgess shifted his focus to a new clientele: dogs. Now with four Adogo pet

Federico Tripodi

In 2017, the New Brighton-based ag company Calyxt accomplished something few Minnesota companies have done in recent years: It went public. Shortly after a successful $64 million raise from its
Christian Benson

Christian Benson

Benson bought and revived a moribund Duluth-based outdoor gear manufacturer; Frost River is now one of the Zenith City’s many flourishing cut-and-sew businesses. In the past few years, Benson has