Past Events

Here's what we've been up to.

We are constantly working to iterate, and improve our events to better serve our community. Stay up to date with upcoming events here. 


301 INc. Food/ag/beverage pitch slam

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August 24, 2017

MN Cup and 301 Inc. of General Mills hosted the 2017 MN Cup Food/Ag/Beverage (FAB) Division semifinalists and other entrepreneurs from the community. Exhibitors included: 5 Infused VodkaBare HoneyBurning Brothers BrewingFarm Vision Technologies IncFresh BarGet Bizzy Inc.K-Mama SauceKakookiesKinoSolMidwest Elderberry CooperativeMinneapolis Cider CompanyNourishToom DipsWholeMe

WE* Talks: Janet Johanson


We got together for WE* Talks, a new series that highlights successful women entrepreneurs from Minnesota by providing a platform to share their entrepreneurial journey. Our first WE* Talks event featured Janet Johanson of BevSource, an integrated provider of beverage development, production, sourcing, and logistics solutions to new and established beverage companies. Janet shared lessons learned and insights over a 15 year career of building her own company in an industry where women are the exception not the rule.

Social Media 2.0 Workshop at The Lynhall


In this interactive workshop, we put two MN Cup companies in the hot seat, The Twisted Shrub, and Mississippi Mushrooms, as real life examples - using their current social media channels as our case studies. Shruti Acharya, Digital Communications Manager and Jen Smith Social Content Designer from General Mills served as our guides as they asked questions, provided feedback and shared best practices. Meet the speakers here...

Brand design workshop at Lunds & Byerlys, Ridgedale

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July 18th, 2017 

Grow North partnered with Ultra Creative, Capsule, and Lunds&Byerlys to develop an interactive workshop to help entrepreneurs bring their vision to life, and get the most out of working with a designer/agency. This workshop was led by Sharon Gorney, Vice President of Ultra Creative and Kitty Hart from Capsule. 93% of entrepreneurs found the speakers useful as they build their business.

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June 22nd, 2017 

Grow North partnered with No Kid Hungry to host a food entrepreneur sampling section at the Minneapolis Taste of the Nation Hotlist event. The event included food and drink by the Twin Cities 30+ top chefs and bartenders as a fundraiser to end child hunger in America. Grow North hosted Bare Honey, Five Vodka, K'ul Chocolate, Maddy & Maize Popcorn, Mama Stoen's Gluten-Free Treats, Midwest Elderberry Association, Triple Crowne Organic BBQ Sauce, and Velvet Bees Gourmet Honey Butter while they sampled their product to the event attendee's. 100% of entrepreneurs found this event helpful as they build their business strategy.  

sampling and mentor event at land o' lakes 

June 20th, 2017
Grow North partnered with Land O' Lakes to host six food/agriculture/beverage entrepreneurs for a morning of sampling and mentoring. Participating companies included Hoyo Sambas, Kakookies, Mama Stoen's, RSVTea, So Good BrandsThumbs Cookies. 96% of Land O'Lakes employees said they would recommend participating in this event to a colleague, and 100% said they'd participate in another Grow North event. 

Food entrepreneur showcase at FULTON GRAN FONDO


May 6th, 2017
Grow North partnered with Fulton Brewing to host 9 food startups at the 4th annual Fulton Gran Fondo bike race. The event included 1500+ bike racers that stopped for samples from our MN food companies along their ride. Participating companies included Bare Honey, Buddy's Nut Butters, KaKookies, Maddy & Maize, Nots!, Mixmi, Red Head Creamery, Superior Switchel, & WholeMe.

Food ENTREPRENEURS Showcase at 2017 MN Cup Launch Party

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March 20th, 2017
MN Cup and Grow North partnered together for the first MN Cup Launch Party, featuring  30 food entrepreneurs sampling, and pitching their products to over 400 members of Minnesota's entrepreneur community.


Investing in Food Start Ups Angel Investment Panel
with Gopher Angels 


March 15, 2017
Gopher Angels and Grow North hosted a panel discussion for 30 angel investors on investing in food start-ups including two food investors in the space, Mary Kosir (Wholeme), and Kirk Sabiston (M&A for General Mills who worked on both Annie's and EPIC acquisitions). 


Minnesota Mingle happy hour at Expowest


March 10, 2017

Investing in Food Start Ups Panel: A Panel Discussion

Grow North, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Greater MSP, and Minnesota Department of Economic Development hosted a happy hour for over 200 guests at Expowest. This was a casual opportunity for the 50+ Minnesota companies + friends of Minnesota to meet and connect with the food start-ups, large food, agriculture manufacturers, retailers, and the broader food community that all call Minnesota home.


Growing Your Business Series: Get on Shelf & Grow Sales, A Buyers Panel


February 1, 2017

Midwest Pantry led, in collaboration with Grow North, a panel of diverse buyers from the buyer community. Attendee's heard from panelists representing Lakewinds Co-op, Market Distributing, Seward Co-op, Wedge Co-op and Whole Foods.


SHOWCASE and Mentoring SESSION at Land O' Lakes


January 27, 2017

Land O' Lakes, a Grow North sponsor, hosted 7 entrepreneurs at their headquarters for an afternoon of sampling to employees, a luncheon with R&D executives, and mentoring from Land O Lakes specialists. 100% of employees said they would participate again and 80% of entrepreneurs surveyed said that the employees helped them solve a critical problem.


"Start the New Year with Traction" A Panel for Food Entrepreneurs

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January 19, 2017

There are many entrepreneurs in the food community using Traction, a practical guide of business practices that help run your business and have seen great results. Our panel shared their stories with the broader community, which included: