Lorin Krueger – Sailor Plastics

When Mankato native Lorin Krueger drives across southwest Minnesota, he sees more than small towns dotting the map. He sees opportunities.“It’s amazing, isn’t it? I have lived here my whole life, but as I’ve gotten out and around more in southwest Minnesota I find there are a lot of really neat businesses. Last month Connect talked about River City Eatery in Windom. That is a neat business. The Worthington area is really starting to pick up.

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Mankato Golf Club 100th Anniversary

There are many business tools available today that weren’t around 100, 40 or even 10 years ago: smart phone apps, Skype meetings, and super high-speed internet just to name a few. Nowadays there are a LOT of high-tech ways business gets done. However, there is a more traditional business tool that is still thriving, a good old-fashioned way to get business deals made. It’s not in a conference room or an office building…but on a golf course.

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1 Million Cups Initiative in Mankato

Diversity, equity, inclusion. There is a movement sweeping the nation that relies on these three words to bring entrepreneurs together and to elevate them in their communities. It’s known as 1 Million Cups. Founded in 2012 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, it’s based on the notion that entrepreneurs – and all business relationships really – develop over a million cups of coffee. Along with a little conversation.

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Replay

“There is nothing within in an hour radius of Fairmont that deals in used video games from every generation,” says owner John Duderstadt. “I always felt it was a small void in town, there are no more rental stores, so typically in this area it is sales on Facebook and hoping the transaction goes as intended or a drive to Mankato. We also lost our Radio Shack so I am continually adding in more electronics, listening to customers on their wants and needs and trying to bring them a convenient location that has most of what they are looking for.”

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Boys & Girls Club of Mankato

“We currently are serving K-8 grades, and while we do not have geographic limitations, our members are from Mankato and North Mankato. We currently have over 100 members enrolled with about 45 attending each day. We are working on transportation so that we can increase our daily attendance,” says executive director Erin Simmons. The Club rents the upper level of the St. John the Baptist Parish Life Center on Broad Street in Mankato.

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Garden Secrets

It is not your grandfather’s landscaping company. Rather, New Ulm’s Garden Secrets focuses on each individual plant and how it fits into the overall landscaping plan.Unlike the typical landscaping service, Garden Secrets is dedicated specifically to the care and quality of the individual plants as well as the well-being of the garden as a whole. Owner Katie Hesse founded Garden Secrets in July of 2018. A business that is firmly grounded by her passion for gardening.

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Brian Stark

In many ways, starting a business is like creating a piece of art: building a company often involves bringing together different “materials,” then honing and crafting them to meet the vision of what the entrepreneur wants the business to be.

An artist will first sketch a thumbnail of their project, much like an entrepreneur creating a business plan. An artist will then compose the basic elements needed to get the project going, much like a start up securing financing, a location, employees. Then the artist will start creating, one step at a time, adding detail and sometimes going in a different direction than the original sketch, much like a business owner finding the perfect niche for them.

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