Last week, our very own Executive Director Maria Ploessl was at South by Southwest Conference & Festivals promoting our Minnesota tech community, and sharing with different audiences about what makes Minnestar and our community great. Check out some highlights below!


American Cities House

Put on by TechCo and the Kauffmann Foundation, the American Cities House showcased a dozen cities from around the US that are making a difference in their tech and startup communities. A strong group of Minnesota founders and community advocates were excitedly sharing information about our tech & startup ecosystem with hundreds of visitors. Pictured above are Matt Lewis (Director of Make It.MSP), Damola Ogundipe (founder of Civic Eagle), and Clarence Bethea (founder of Upsie).


Minnesota Mingle

To continue promoting awareness about Minnesota’s thriving community to a national audience, Maria, Damola and Matt organized ‘Minnesota Mingle’ – a breakfast event open to the public to connect and learn more about developments in our tech & startup ecosystem. The event was an initiative through Forge North, a collective group of leaders in the community who are working to cement Minnesota as the problem solving capitol of the new economy. There were great discussions and delicious bagels to be had!


Amplify Philly Panel

Executive Director Maria Ploessl joined several leaders in the Philadelphia tech and startup community on a panel entitled “Don’t call me Philicon Valley: Positioning the Startup Community in Your City.” The discussion was lively and touched on a variety of topics including: assessing your community’s unique assests, diversity and inclusion practices, education and the talent pipeline, and much more. Check out the video below!


This is just a sampling of some of the great conversations and connections we were excited to be a part of at this year’s SXSW. We were excited to share the story about Minnestar and our great Minnesota tech community on a national stage. There was a great amount of buzz generated amongst attendees who were previously unaware of what was happening in our region, and we were happy to play a role in bringing awareness to our great tech ecosystem.