Month: April 2021

Urban Evolution Episode 12: Shrpa: A New Online Source for Travel and Exploration

A Rochester, Minnesota startup is helping to fill a void in community exploration. connects travelers with self-guided adventures created by locals. It’s a unique online resource that is gaining traction and subscribers. co-founders Chris Lukenbill and Andy Vig are software developers who met at a co-working space. They both struggled to find a source for new experiences. Not finding a usable platform, they created their own with a long-term vision for to be the platform for local travel and exploration.

Download a transcript of this episode.

Urban Evolution Episode 11: Launch Minnesota: A Launching Pad for Startups

Neela Mollgaard, Launch Minnesota Executive Director

In Minnesota, a new initiative is providing a launching pad for entrepreneurs.

Launch Minnesota is a pilot program that is fostering an innovative ecosystem across the state and is helping to get capital in the hands of startups. Over the past two years, Launch Minnesota has provided several millions of dollars in grant funding for early stage startups.

The executive director of Launch Minnesota, Neela Mollgaard, has been a leader at the local and state level helping entrepreneurs as they start and scale their business. She discusses Minnesota’s commitment to the startup community and why entrepreneurship is a key part of the economy and needs greater focus.

Download a transcript of this episode.


Launch Minnesota Kick-Off event on October 1, 2019.
Pictured (left to right): Minnesota State Sen. Eric Pratt, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove, Launch Minnesota Executive Director Neela Mollgaard, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, and Minnesota State Rep. Tim Mahoney.