Plugged In: September 2013

Plugged In: September 2013

The best opportunities for networking this month.

September 7
Head Over Glass Heels Curtain Call Ball
Don your best ballroom garb, hop in a pumpkin carriage, and prepare for an enchanted evening. Well, maybe not the pumpkin carriage. The Children’s Theatre Company’s largest gala of the year attracts a wide mix of corporate sponsors, including Travelers and Target, as well as a host of other community donors. This year’s Cinderella theme offers two ticket levels: The full ticket grants you valet parking, cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions, cabaret performance, and admission into the Happily Ever Afterparty with live music. The next level, which starts at 9, includes valet parking, cocktails, the Happily Ever Afterparty, and games and raffles. Proceeds benefit the theater’s education and community outreach programs. Keep a close eye on the time, however; the fairy tale ends at midnight.

5:30 P.M., $75-$350, Children’s Theatre Company, 612-874-0400,


September 7
Minnesota Cup
One the most innovative showcases of the year for aspiring entrepreneurs, six finalists will present their business ideas to a panel of judges at the annual Minnesota Cup to vie for a hefty $40,000 in seed money. This spring, inventors and small-businesspeople from a variety of industries, including health care, telecommunications, and energy conservation, submitted their ideas. The finalist round is August 27; four division winners receive $25,000 each, the social entrepreneur winner gets $20,000, and the student winner pockets $10,000. Judges will then select the grand prize winner. Entrants do all of their own fundraising; finalists from the past four years have raised more than $60 million in capital to support the development of their ideas. The awards event, now in its ninth year, is sponsored by players such as Wells Fargo, General Mills, the University of Minnesota and UnitedHealth Care, as well as TCB, and attracts several hundred business professionals, public officials, and academics.

5 P.M., free; RSVP required, University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center,

September 12
Clean Water Summit
A perfect occasion to network with professionals and strategic thinkers in the environmental and planning fields. The daylong event will focus on how to effectively engage people to promote the use of green infrastructure to keep our water supply clean and clear. The roughly 250 attendees include city planners, landscape architects, community development coordinators, and elected officials. After a series of keynote speakers, a networking hour will follow at the arboretum’s cash bar.

8 A.M. registration, $60 arboretum members, $70 non-members, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen, 952-443-1400,

September 21
Walker Art Center Avant Garden
You won’t find many parties for art enthusiasts as big as this one. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the end of the summer, and the opening of the new Claes Oldenburg exhibition, the Walker is putting on its largest benefit gala for the third year running, with music, cocktails, and two auctions. Choose between the Silver or Gold Key ticket; going for the gold not only gives you access to the first silent and live auction, but you can mingle with the artsy (and artsy-supporting) crowd before the rest of the crowd streams in. Two drink tickets and hors d’oeuvres are offered for both silver and gold ticketholders.

6 P.M., $500 Gold, 8:30 P.M., $100 Silver, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 612-375-7600,


September 28
Laugh Out Loud Twin Cities
Comedian and America’s Got Talent host Howie Mandel is headlining the second annual Gillette Children’s benefit. Tickets vary according to the level of funny you’re looking for; all tickets will get you into the Opening Act Party and the Howie Mandel Comedy Show, but if you opt for the full $300 you’ll get dinner as well, not to mention an after-party. Rub elbows with guests from companies including Medtronic, Oppenheimer, Delta, and Land O’Lakes. Proceeds go to the not-for-profit Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

4:30 P.M., $150-$300, Radisson Blu Mall of America, 651-229-1720,

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