Minnesota Venture Conference – Oct 25

The Minnesota Venture Conference attracts hundreds of investors, entrepreneurs and executives to the Minneapolis Convention Center with the goal of connecting Minnesota’s entrepreneurs with capital.

Each year, participants gather for a day of knowledge-sharing, networking, and pitches from some of Minnesota’s most promising privately-held companies.

Registration fee includes admission for one individual to all sessions, lunch and reception.

Member Rate
Early-bird (register by October 11): $295

Regular: $395

On-site: $445

Non Member Rate

Early-bird (register by October 11): $495

Regular: $595

On-site: $645

Learn more!

LqP County announces new financing tool for energy efficiency & renewable energy improvements

Interest in energy efficiency for buildings and adding renewable energy like solar has been growing in recent years in LqP County. A new financing tool called Property-Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, will now help adoption of these energy technologies grow even faster.

Newly available to businesses, farms, multi-family housing, nonprofits, and places of worship in LqP County, PACE provides project financing that is repaid as a separate item on property tax assessments for a set period. In this way, PACE eliminates the burden of upfront costs by providing low-cost, long-term financing.

“We’ve been hearing from businesses in LqP County that are looking for an easy way to pay for energy-saving improvements to their buildings, and PACE is an excellent tool for helping them get it done,” shared LqP County leader.

Examples of potential building improvements that can be financed with PACE are solar arrays, HVAC upgrades, LED lighting, condensing boilers, digital controls, insulation, variable-frequency drive motors, building automation systems, and other water and energy conservation measures.

“PACE financing is different than a traditional loan and will help building owners in LqP County overcome several barriers to making energy-related building improvements,” County/City leader continued. “For starters, there are no upfront costs and there is less of a reliance on credit. Also, unlike a loan, when a transfer of ownership of the property takes place, the PACE assessment obligation stays with the property, not the property owner. In addition, PACE assessments can generally be repaid over longer terms than a bank might allow.”

LqP County signed a joint powers agreement with the Saint Paul Port Authority on date authorizing the new PACE program. The Saint Paul Port Authority provides the PACE funding and administers all aspects of the program. LqP County places the assessment on the property, collects payments each year, and passes money back to the Port Authority.

If people want to learn more about PACE and take action, the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) have an extensive resource page with program details and applications, factsheets, success stories, and frequently asked questions at http://www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org/pace.

2017 Arts Meander September 29, 30, and October 1

Happy to share this invitation from the UMVRDC…

The 14th annual Upper Minnesota River Meander Arts Crawl will be held on September 29th, 30th, and October 1st, 2017. The Meander Art Crawl is a free, self-guided tour of 30 artist studios and just under 40 artists across the five counties. The weekend showcases local artists, small towns and their businesses, and even family farms throughout the region.

The 2017 cover artist is John George Larson who has a studio in Milan. His piece is called “Meander on the Prairie” and incorporates elements from the past meander covers – a great testament to the splendor and longevity of this event. One can see more of his work by visiting the Milan Village Art School during the Meander.

Studios will open Friday September 29th at noon and close at 6pm. That night, there will be a great Meander celebration throughout downtown Granite Falls in the Musical Chairs event. It will begin at 5:30 and go until 10pm. Tickets are available online. For more information contact the Granite Falls Chamber at 320-564-4039 or visit www.granitefallschamber.com.

Saturday, the studios will be open again from 9am until 6pm, giving one plenty of time to explore lots of studios! There will be two events Saturday evening too. The Wild Goose Cloggers will perform with the band, Chicken Sedan, at the Dawson Memorial Auditorium at 7:30. These wonderful dancers are fun for the whole family and tickets are only $15 for adults and $5 for students. For tickets and more information visit www.dawsonboydarts.org or call the box office at 320-312-2311.

Also on Saturday, Midwest Music Hall-of-Famers Don and Lee Kanten will play at the Historic Watson Town Hall. It is sure to be a night of dancing and rock and roll. Admission is free will donation at the door, which will help support Watson Town Hall restorations and future arts events. Visit www.cityofwatson.com or call 320-269-8543 for more information.

On Sunday, the final day, studios will open at 9am and close at 4pm.

The Meander has become not only an event for artists to sell the work, but a significant economic development event for the entire region. The surveys show that people travel from at least eight different states and not only purchase art, but spend money in the region on food, lodging, gas, and additional shopping. In 2016, attendees spent around $98,000 in area businesses on top of the $114,000 they spent on art.

Free ad on LqP EDA site?

We want to thank our summer intern Antonio for the work he was able to do this summer tracking down names, details and photos of so many LqP businesses. We are able to highlight those businesses at the bottom of the website – and it helps us update our directory.

Summer is over – but we’ve decided to extend the opportunity. If you want a free ad -please let us know by filling out an online form.

Teachers can register now to bring Junior Achievement to your students

Today is a good day…

There are limited spots available for certain Junior Achievement programs, so sign up today.

JA BizTown and JA Finance Park on-site simulations are already full for this school year. Email Jennifer Baldwin to learn about participating in JA Finance Park Virtual, or to inquire about either of these programs for the 2018-2019 school year.

To register your K-12 JA classroom, look for an email from your JA Program Manager, or email Liz Guimont.

JA can help you align to your implementation standards. See how JA programs correlate to the Minnesota K-12 Common Core and Academic Standards

Last Chance to Register for AURI’s for a One Day MBA Workshop

Looks like a good opportunity…

There’s only a few days left before the One Day MBA workshop! This is an educational opportunity we feel could make a significant difference in the success of your organization, so we are offering a 66% discount on all registrations between now and Thursday!

This is a special opportunity to receive a hands-on training opportunity covering important topics that can take your business to the next level of success. Also, one attendee will receive a service package from Strategic Marketing Consultants to develop their logo, website, sales support materials and final business plan, valued at nearly $10,000.

Topics will include the importance of mission/vision statements, brand strategy, situational analysis, use of social media, marketing tactics, legal issues, financial analysis, and unique value propositions.

AURI understands the importance of your time, which is why we have made this event as succinct and value-packed as possible, with tangible takeaways and useful resources and tools for your business.

Space is limited, so please register today to reserve your spot!

To register, click on the link below.

Register Now!

I can’t make it

Wind power in growing in Minnesota

What does Lac qui Parle have a lot of? Wind! And that can be good news if we use it well. Minnesota Public Radio recently reported…

The U.S. Department of Energy found a growth spurt in the wind power industry last year, both in Minnesota and nationally.

New data from the U.S. Energy Department shows Minnesota wind energy capacity increased about 9 percent last year.

Minnesota added enough new wind energy last year to power about 150,000 homes.

The cost of wind power rivals other forms of electricity generation, said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman.

“Wind is now turning out to be one of the lowest cost alternatives — competitive with natural gas, and with other forms of electricity,” he said. “That’s why we’re seeing such a huge growth in the wind energy in Minnesota.

Wind power accounts for nearly 18 percent of the electricity generated in Minnesota. The state ranks seventh in the nation for wind energy.