Local Hemp Farmers Take the Lead

Matt Little has some definite plans for an uncertain industry. Along with partners Garth Carson, an entrepreneur and business owner, and Mike Drummer of Mankato, Little is creating a vertically integrated hemp business that strives to, as he puts it, “take our crop from seed to soil to products.” But with an industry that is fighting 80 years of a marijuana hangover, of sorts, they’re literally starting from the ground up. “Right now, if anybody tells you they have it figured out, they’re lying,” Little says.

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Maggie Knier, 2True Headbands

Even though she has not yet graduated college, Minnesota State University, Mankato student Maggie Knier is a veteran business owner. She started 2True Headbands when she was just 14 years old. Now a junior in college she has had some success in online sales of her headbands. But, with college graduation looming, she feels ready to take the next step. “I’ve had a desire to make it big and be successful since I was young, but always felt like it was unachievable from my current position. I would dream these big dreams, but then just wait for them to happen on their own instead of making them happen.” says Maggie Knier.

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Data Noir, LLC

Market research may be a business tool many companies don’t have the time or expertise to undertake. Mat Willner hopes to fill that niche with his new business Data Noir, LLC. “Through market research I deliver new clients, investment opportunities, or employees. I qualify them, speak with them, and then facilitate meetings,” explains Data Noir owner Mat Willner.

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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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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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