Minnesota has been a hot bed for food innovation for over a century, with companies building their businesses on the banks of the Mississippi. The food entrepreneurship community has been growing throughout the state, and has sought each other out through word of mouth, local organizations as well as government support programs. Reflecting this growth, in 2014, MN Cup and General Mills’ 301 Inc. partnered to launch the Food/Ag/Beverage (FAB) Division for the state’s annual startup competition.
In its inaugural year, over 60 new companies entered the FAB division competition. In the second year, this number jumped to over 80. The energy and enthusiasm around food entrepreneurship in Minnesota started a conversation within the MN Cup community - “What more can we do?"
A founding group of inspirational leaders across the community came together, traveled to Boulder for inspiration and knowledge sharing. They knew our state had all the right ingredients for be a leader in food innovation and entrepreneurship. What we needed was that central connector and starting point. An organized effort to connect all the dots and bring together entrepreneurs, supporting businesses, large companies, events as well as the many resources available.
Grow North builds on the work led by the MN Cup FAB Division as well as the support of its partnerships with General Mills, MN Department of Agriculture, Schwan’s, Grain Millers, Greenhouse MN, Gopher Angels, Midwest Pantry, AURI and Greater MSP. Learn more about the Boulder Team and their great organizations below.