Great Resources for Minnesota Startups

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area is a great place in which to start a new business.  Starting a business can be a daunting task, but there are a number of local organizations and resources which exist for the purpose of helping new and emerging businesses.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

New Business Minnesota:  Launched in late 2007, New Business Minnesota is the “monthly resource guide” for startup businesses in the Twin Cites.  If you have filed your organizational documents with the Minnesota Secretary of State any time in the last year and a half, you have likely received the publication.  Articles range from choosing the right attorney, finding a banking relationship, managing your payroll and hiring your first employee, and the “resource pages” showcase local business advisors who are willing to work with startups and within their budgets. 

Twin Cities Business Startup Meetup:  In January 2008, the publishers of New Business Minnesota launched a Meetup group, the Twin Cities Business Startup Meetup.  The first meeting drew 60 businesspeople; their most recent event (a panel discussion on social media) drew over 300!  This group is an absolute must-attend event for new businesses and advisors alike.

American Association of Microbusinesses (AAM):  The Minnesota-based American Association of Microbusinesses (AAM) is a 501(c)(6), non-profit professional association and resource for microbusinesses and entrepreneurs.  The largest and most active microbusiness group in the United States, AAM provides educational and networking opportunities to microbusinesses (a “microbusiness” is a business with 1-12 employees). 

Twin Cities Entrepreneurs:  With its motto, “Successful Entrepreneurs Helping  Entrepreneurs Become Successful”, Twin Cities Entrepreneurs (“TCE”) provides training, networking and social events for entrepreneurs and advisors alike.  Most recently, TCE has launched “Twin Cities Entrepreneurs Radio” on AM950.

Career (Re)Discovery: Whether you’re worried about keeping your current job, finding the next one, becoming an independent consultant or just wondering about the benefits of becoming an entrepreneur…this is the place for you. 

James J. Hill Reference Library:  The James J. Hill Reference Library is a private non-profit business reference library, located in Saint Paul, MN. Since 1921, the Hill Library has housed a world-class collection of practical business information resources and is considered one of the most comprehensive business libraries in the country. It was founded by one of the nation’s true business pioneers, James J. Hill, in order to provide others with relevant and credible information.   Assembling a business plan and need to validate your assumptions?  The Hill Library is the place for you.

INCubation Center:  I have to also mention my Firm’s INCubation Center program for new businesses as well.  Established in February 2007, the INCubation Center combines the delivery of basic legal services within a cost-effective fee structure (free consultation, flat fee for incorporations, discounted hourly rates for two years and no charge for phone calls within the same time period), referrals to other competent professional advisors such as CPAs, insurance agents, payroll specialists, marketing consultants and the like.  We top it off with periodic programs which combine education and networking.  The theory behind our program is if the business owner focuses on what he or she does best and lets the experts handle the rest, the likelihood of success increases dramatically.

These are only a few of my favorite local organizations devoted to the needs of startup businesses.  If you are a new business owner or a professional advisor wanting to work with startup businesses, you need to get involved with these organizations and programs.