Laura Beier Sep 1, 2021 9:32:28 AM 17 min read

Best TCSW 2021 Sessions for Early Stage Startups

TCSW is expanding beyond tech and startups this year, but we’ve still got plenty of sessions about the business basics. 

Whether you’re just starting up, have an MVP and are ready to scale, or are just startup curious, these sessions are for you!

How to turn your side hustle into a startup

Tips on building your side hustle into a full-time business, from someone who has done it successfully.

  • When: September 20, 10:00-10:30am CT
  • Where: Osborne370 - TCSW St. Paul Community Hub
  • With: Rick Ellis, Founder of


Bookkeeping Basics 

This presentation is designed to help founders better understand the bookkeeping process and basic concepts. Good bookkeeping practices are an integral part of building a healthy business.

  • When: September 20, 10:00-11:00am CT
  • Where: Virtual event on Hopin
  • With: Rebecca Foley, Owner of Phoenix Growth Systems


Preparing for a capital event 

Whether you are seeking to raise debt, secure equity financing, sell your business or partner with a strategic investor, you will need to be prepared. Hear from four successful entrepreneurs on their experiences raising capital and the keys to being adequately prepared.

  • When: September 20, 11:00am- 12:00pm CT
  • Where: The Dayton’s Project, 700 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
  • With: Joel Ribnick; Dominic Iannazzo; Kevin McArdle, SureSwift Capital; Aaron Shilts, NetSPI; Jamie Candee; and Ravi Norman 


Taking the first step with tech

Planning to launch a new app or platform? Here's what you need to know before you hire a developer or start to code. In this session, Software for Good's Director of Product Strategy, Liz Tupper, will share stories and lessons from our work developing products for mission-driven startups. We'll also feature founders' insights and what they wish they'd known sooner about building software to support a new initiative. Non-techies whose ventures need tech can learn how to get off the ground — from understanding a target audience to testing early versions to launching a minimum viable product.

  • When: September 20, 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM CDT
  • Where: The Coven, Minneapolis - 2429 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN
  • With: Liz Tupper, Software for Good


Making an impact with your business from the inside out 

Join us in welcoming a team of industry leaders in the field of social enterprise, as we dive deeper into various business structures and the legal in’s and out’s to B Corps and Public Benefit Corporations.

  • When: September 20, 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM CDT
  • Where: Virtual Event on Zoom
  • With: Anisha Murphy, JUST LAW LLC, Owner & Vasiliki Papanikolopoulos


Defining the right DEI strategy for your business 

This panel will include local experts and business owners with well-defined initiatives and years of learnings. They’ll offer their advice on how to: Educate yourself and employees on the problem, define a DEI initiative that is purposeful and long-lasting, find available resources in the Twin Cities, and measure effectiveness.

  • When: September 21, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM CDT
  • Where: SPS Tower, Minneapolis, MN
  • With: Archie Black & Carrie Lofton


Your marketing should pay for itself 

We'll review the most effective best practices for content marketing, and dive deeply into common mistakes even sophisticated marketers make at the most crucial moment: conversion. Your marketing should always pay for itself, let's workshop how.

  • When: September 21, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM CDT
  • Where: Machine Shop - 300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis, MN
  • With: Jack Eckblad, Hubspot


Business essentials for startups

Business essentials for startups will include expert discussions regarding legal terms for a funding raise, insurance options, accounting & tax questions, how to attract team members with limited resources, how investors evaluate startups, what legal formation is best for my company and more.

  • When: September 21, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM CDT
  • Where: Virtual Event on Zoom
  • With: Dominick Grande, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., Corporate & Securities Attorney & Brett Howells, Choice Bank, Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer &  6 more.


Building a company from the inside out 

This session will talk about how to be the best version of yourself, show up as a team, and therefore achieve higher levels of team cohesion, happiness and performance.

  • When: September 22, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM CDT
  • Where: Virtual Event on Hopin
  • With: Natty Zola, Matchstick Ventures, Partner


Lessons from a failed pitch

It's late March 2021 and Kinetic Co-Founder Kris Eul is preparing to pitch to Groove Capital's Founder and Partner, Reed Robinson. Faulty internet and a dropped call would be the least of his concerns once the pitch was over.

  • When: September 22, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM CDT
  • Where: Twin Ignition Startup Garage - 1317 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN
  • With: Reed Robinson, Groove Capital, Founder + Partner & Kris Eul, Kinetic, CEO + Co-Founder


Preparing your startup for investment 

Topics will include: Selecting the type of business entity and forming your company, Protecting your intellectual property, Employment matters including classification as independent contractors and non-compete agreements, How to use equity to attract, retain and motivate team members, Rules of Fundraising, and more.

  • When: September 22, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM CDT
  • Where: Avisen Legal - 901 South Marquette Avenue, #1675, Minneapolis, MN
  • With: Bill Egan, Attorney/COO & Jeff Robbins, Attorney & Kim Lowe, Attorney & Larry Fox, Attorney & David Peteler, Attorney


Basic financial modeling 

We’ll walk you through the process of how to identify and document your modeling assumptions, build drivers, and organize outputs so you can build a functional model to use in your business. Attendees will also receive free access to a downloadable modeling template to use as a starting point.

  • When: September 22, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CDT
  • Where: Virtual Event on Hopin
  • With: Patricia Tatro, Resolve Works, Fractional CFO & Jillian Mittelmark, Resolve Works, Founder & CEO


Hiring developers and designers in 2021 

Having trouble hiring developers and designers? So is everyone else. Come to this session if you'd like to dig into hiring trends in 2021, along with strategies, advice, and recommendations to set yourself up for success when hiring devs and designers.

  • When: September 23, 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM CDT
  • Where: Virtual Event on Hopin
  • With: Matt Decuir, Invisible Network, Founder & Jenn Williams, mohio XD, Design Principal


MENTOR MORNING by Minnesota Innovates

At TCSW, Founders will meet in small groups to share their concerns with mentors who have experience in various fields of technology, as well as, legal, financing, starting and scaling, marketing, sales, data analysis, customer validation and strategic development experience.

  • When: September 20, 8:45 AM - 10:30 AM CDT
  • Where: Lake Monster Brewing Co.
  • With: Braden Ericson, Sparrow Charts, Founder + CEO & Scott Schwalbe NimbeLink, Vice President & 13 more.


The Real Pitch MN

What are investors really thinking when they hear a startup pitch? See 5 MN-based startups pitch experienced investors Brett Brohl and Mary Grove from Bread and Butter Ventures. Brett and Mary will give live feedback and provide insight into the investor thought process, giving you an inside peek at what investors think about pitch decks, round sizes, competition slides and more!

  • When: September 24, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT
  • Where: Science Museum of Minnesota - 120 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN
  • With: Brett Brohl, Bread and Butter Ventures, Managing Partner & Mary Grove, Bread and Butter Ventures, Managing Partner & Stephanie Rich


Fundraising AMA w/ VC

This will be an open mic. They will answer any and all questions founders have about pre-seed and seed stage fundraising for startups in this "ask me anything" format. Come with questions and look forward to a lively dialogue amongst the partners and participants.

  • When: September 21, 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM CDT
  • Where: Virtual Event on Hopin
  • With: Ryan Broshar & Natty Zola - Partners at Matchstick Ventures