So. Minn. Skydiving, So. Minn. Surgical, The Picker-Uppers

Southern Minnesota Skydiving opened for business at Le Sueur Municipal Airport on May 15, 2010.
Dr. William Lee of Blue Earth began seeing potential in developing a niche market in southern Minnesota: Lap-Band surgery for weight loss.
The Picker-Uppers owner, Justin Keech, learned a lot from his mother, Sue Rothmeier, a New Ulm RE/MAX real estate broker.

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Spinning Spool Quilt Shop, Midwest Horse Digest, Sven and Ole’s Books

New Ulm: Spinning Spool Quilt Shop – “I was sewing by hand with my grandmother and mother when I was little, making doll clothes, for instance,” said Val Besser, owner.

Blue Earth: Midwest Horse Digest – Rahn Greimann’s grandfather and mother owned horses, and his godparents owned a pony farm where children could ride for $1.

New Ulm: Sven and Ole’s Books – Sven—yes, there really is a Sven in New Ulm—came here in 2006 when New Ulm Medical Center hired his wife as an orthopedic surgeon.

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Nuvex Ingredients

Think back to breakfast.

Did you spoon up crispy flakes or crunchy O’s? Did you slurp down light little puffs or listen to the happy melody of crackling crisps? Did you enjoy a mouthful of sweetened oats or savor the texture of a healthy breakfast bar? And as you were eating them, did you think at all about what went into the way those bites tasted, the way they crunched, crackled, or melted in your mouth?

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MAK-BEA Laboratory Inc.

Galen Maki’s refrigerator has bacteria that can kill you.

He and wife Sharon Maki (pronounced Macky) co-own MAK-BEA Laboratory Inc., an outpost of death and hope in Blue Earth. It’s potential death to anyone mishandling samples of Listeria Monocytogenes, Salmonella, and E. coli 0157:H7; and hope for supermarkets, food processors, and restaurants who rely on MAK-BEA to keep millions of customers safe.

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New Hope Counseling & Mediation Center

The outdated notion of private counseling being an hour of pure hell with a daffy German shrink asking stomach-churning questions goes out the window for good during an appointment with Joanna Hocker. She’s a Licensed Psychologist all right, but none like most people have experienced: with her seemingly perpetual cackle of a laugh and infectious Christmas glow she’s more a cross between Phyllis Diller and JoAnne Worley (of Laugh-In fame) than Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers, both well-known therapists.

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Fly Away AgriProducts Inc.

Boo-hoo, said the businessman because he couldn’t find enough qualified workers to help him make his product line. The labor shortage in Minnesota had inflated his wage costs and cut his margins to the bone in a dog-eat-dog industry. What was he going to do?

When Duane Sibbet was hit with the above quandary, he didn’t boo-hoo. Rather he did what he thought made sense: he closed up shop. And close he did – his Twin Cities home construction business – and began a whole new career and business at age 40 in Blue Earth, Minn., compliments of that city’s economic development authority and an idea gleaned from his parents’ horse blanket business.

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Neil Eckles

While spraying out ideas like bullets from a Gatling gun, Blue Earth’s Neil Eckles, 59, leans forward to make another salient point about the Internet. “If we could speed that up,” he says rat-a-tat-tat, “man, there’s no end to that thing.” His mind seems perpetually locked on rapid fire and sometimes his mouth has a hard time keeping up with all his ideas. He has a boyish enthusiasm about his work.

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Hybrid Microcircuits

Tim Mullen dreamed of starting his own business for years, but never once fantasized about building the world’s smallest hearing-aid amplifier. Now he’s done both.

In December of 1991, Mullen and three like-minded partners put their new company together on paper, incorporating as Hybrid MicroCircuits, Inc.. In February of 1992, they opened their doors in Belle Plaine, long on experience but a tad short on capital and pinched for space. In 1993, they alleviated their capital and space situations by moving 110 miles south on Hwy. 169 to Blue Earth.

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