Skyrocketing advancement within the region




BETA, a 501(c)(3), is a leader within Minnesota’s vibrant startup ecosystem, having created Twin Cities Startup Week, founded in 2014, and the BETA Cohort, a twice-yearly series of programs designed to provide the education and leadership skills necessary for first-time business founders to accelerate their startups.

The Twin Cities startup community has demonstrated incredible growth in recent years and is emerging as industry leaders in multiple verticals, on an international scale. BETA is proud to have contributed to this growth and to see the skyrocketing advancements happening within the region.

BETA develops Minnesota’s next generation of community leaders by inspiring and educating first time entrepreneurs of scalable businesses so that these startups can grow to become our nation’s next Fortune 500s. The organization operates two main entities: Twin Cities Startup Week (TCSW) and the BETA Cohort. Since its founding in 2013, BETA Cohort has served over 300 budding entrepreneurs from diverse ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds. In that time, BETA alumni have created 1,204 jobs, raised $358 million, and reinvested countless resources into their communities.

The Cohort is a series of programs where teams of developing entrepreneurs work and grow together, similar to a coding school, but for business leaders. Each step in the Cohort program is designed to provide entrepreneurs with the education, resources, and relationships needed to accelerate the growth of their business—an impact which is measured by the increase in each startup’s staff, revenue, and funding raised.

The Cohort experience includes Showcase, a competition-style event in which startups demonstrate their product to the general public; Operators, where first-time business founders learn from experienced entrepreneurs; Bridge, in which entrepreneurs and corporate leads explore paid pilots; and Backers, where entrepreneurs pitch to investors. The latest component of the BETA Cohort programming is Press, which teaches entrepreneurs how to pitch their stories to local and national media.

In 2014, BETA reached out to fellow startup community leaders to propose what became Twin Cities Startup Week. The founders of TCSW recognized that the burgeoning startup ecosystem needed increased ELEVATOR PITCH awareness from the general public to create an environment that actively inspires and invests in entrepreneurs. The first TCSW boasted 15 events that attracted about 50 people. Since 2014, the TCSW team has built out the systems and infrastructure needed to help the week grow and evolve into the second-largest Startup Week in the US, with over 200 events and 15,000+ registered attendees in 2019.

As TCSW has grown so too has its impact on the local economy. Countless new hires have come from the various student- and minority-focused job fairs that occur each year, and more than 50 highly skilled professionals have found work in Minnesota via the TCSW Flyin Program. Research from the Itasca Group suggests that the week produces $50-150 million in direct economic impact.

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