Jerry Baack


Bridgewater Bancshares Inc.




Most entrepreneurs looking to start a business probably wouldn’t open a new bank. Baack was the principal founder of Bloomington-based Bridgewater Bancshares in 2005, with a plan to focus on commercial real estate lending. The gamble has paid off, particularly in the post-recession building boom. Bridgewater is among a small number of Minnesota companies to go public in recent years; the bank completed its IPO in March. At the end of June, it had $1.46 billion in loans, up 25 percent from the same period a year ago. Fueled by growth, the company broke ground in August for a new 84,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in St. Louis Park, which is set to open in the first quarter of 2020.