International Conference on Business Incubation in Mpls April 13-17

Looks like an interesting conference…

InBIA’s International Conference on Business Incubation (ICBI) unites a global community of entrepreneurial ecosystem thought leaders who oversee business incubators, accelerators, and other types of entrepreneurship centers that drive regional economic development. Attendees come to connect with InBIA’s global community, share ideas to further the entrepreneurial movement, gather new tools and strategies for their programs, collaborate with peers from around the world, evaluate service providers and strategic partners, and have fun!

ICBI will feature a showcase of services and products to make the job of supporting entrepreneurs easier. The event provides many opportunities for interaction, including:

Innovative plenary activities

Many times and spaces for creating valuable connections

It will be a good opportunity to show off Minneapolis, meet some folks and learn about building business.

Broadband comes up in two bills in MN House committees March 21

On Thursday March 21 the Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division will hear about the Coworking spaces broadband connection pilot grant program

Thursday, March 21, 2019, 8:00 AM
Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division
Chair: Rep. Tim Mahoney
Location: 200 State Office Building


HF 1693 (Noor) Goodwill Easter Seals funding provided

HF 1505 (Dehn) Summit Academy OIC GED and employment program

HF 1168 (Christensen) 180 Degrees grant

HF 1464 (Lippert) Youthprise Opportunity Reboot initiative grant

HF 2419 (Robbins) Coworking spaces broadband connection pilot grant program.

If you would like to testify, please contact Travis Reese at (651) 296-7175 or

Learn more about the Bill: HF2419 (Robbins)
Coworking spaces broadband connection pilot grant program funding provided, reports required, and money appropriated.

Then at 9:45 Government Operations will hear about the creation of subordinate service district to provide broadband service authorized.

Thursday, March 21, 2019, 9:45 AM
Government Operations
Chair: Rep. Mike Freiberg
Location: Basement Hearing RoomAgenda:

HF2550 (Mariani)
Security screening systems added to ionizing radiation-producing equipment, jail inmate transfer provisions modified, administrative and disciplinary segregation use guidelines established, criminal gang investigative data retention extended, local correctional officers discipline procedures act established, ombudsman for corrections reestablished, reports requires, money appropriated, and various other provisions modified or established.

HF2229 (Wolgamott)
Town officer terms modified.

HF132 (Masin)
Local governments impacted by new information technology business software involvement required in user acceptance testing.

HF823 (Nelson)
Private consultants hiring process established.

HF1657 (Dettmer)
Scandia; creation of subordinate service district to provide broadband service authorized.

Learn more: HF1657 (Dettmer)
Scandia; creation of subordinate service district to provide broadband service authorized.

MN Broadband Day on the Hill Schedule for April 3

From the MN Broadband Coalition newsletter…

We can now share more details with you about the MN Broadband Coalition’s 2019 Day on the Hill Schedule We have invited Gov. Tim Walz and are hopeful he will be able to kick-off our day. We are excited to announce DEED Commissioner Steve Grove will be joining us in the morning! Here is the schedule we have so far—subject to change.

April 3, 2019 – L’Etoile du Nord Vault, MN State Capitol

  • 8:15am – 8:45am Registration, networking, refreshments
  • 8:45 am Welcome, Legislative Update
  • 9:00am Governor Tim Walz (Invited)
  • 9:15am DEED Commissioner Steve Grove
  • 9:30am-11:00am Legislative Leadership – Invited

We are excited to have scheduled House and Senate leadership to join us!
Schedule will be fluid depending on the day’s legislative schedule

  • House Speaker Melissa Hortman
  • House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt
  • Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka
  • Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk
  • HF 7/SF 9 Authors Rep. Rob Ecklund and Sen. Mark Koran
  • 11:00am-11:30am Optional: Advocacy Tips and Q&A with the Office of Broadband
  • 11:00am Legislative Meetings in MN Senate Bldg and State Office Bldg
  • 12:00-1:00pm Box lunches available in L’Etoile du Nord Vault

2:00pm Coffee and refreshments Wrap-Up in L’Etoile du Nord Vault

MN House committee bumps broadband funding to $100 million for biennium

Today the House Greater Minnesota Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division met to discussion a few bills, including two on broadband. In short – Rep Kresha introduced a bill (HF1137) that is very similar to an earlier bill but increases the appropriation for broadband grants to $100 million. The previous bill originally requested $70 million; but added a one time increase of $15 million just the other day.

The second bill (HF367) asked that a portion of that funding be set aside for deployment of middle mile infrastructure in Willow River, Pine City, Cromwell, and Aitkin.

Both were referred to Ways and Means. There was some concern that budgets were being set before the budget targets were handed down to committees. Although Representative (and Committee Chair) Pelowski seemed to feel that they should go big with bipartisan and enthusiastic support. There was also concern that HF367 might change how the popular grant program would be run.

(You can my live video via Twitter

Here are more complete notes:

Continue reading

Remember MN Broadband Day on the Hill April 3

From the Minnesota Broadband Coalition…

Join Us for the Third Annual Broadband Day on the Hill!

Your participation is vital.  This is your chance to meet directly with legislators, share your stories about the importance of broadband to economic vitality and quality of life – especially in rural areas – and address the need for broadband investments.

We are planning a full day of activities to ensure that you will feel confident and well prepared to meet your representatives, satisfied that your time and energy were well spent, more connected with fellow advocates, and inspired to keep working.

Click here to register.  The fee is $25 per person.

Minnesota State Capitol – L’Etoile du Nord Vault
(Room B15 – in the basement)

April 3, 2019 (8:30 a.m. Start – Full agenda for the day will be available soon!)


We have reserved a block of 25 rooms for the night of April 2, 2019, at the discounted government rate.  RESERVE YOUR ROOM BY FRIDAY, MARCH 15, to receive the group rate.

To book your room call: 651-227-8711

Best Western Capitol Ridge (formerly the Kelly Inn)
161 St. Anthony Ave
St. Paul, MN 55103

Group Code: MNAPR2

How to Schedule Your Meetings With Legislators
Use the following link to access our easy guide on How to Schedule Your Meetings With Legislators.
If you have any questions, concerns, or need help scheduling your legislator meetings, please contact Nathan Zacharias.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are scheduling your own meetings, make sure to do so at the time you register for the Day on the Hill. Legislators’ schedules fill up quickly. If you don’t schedule far enough in advance, it will be difficult to get a meeting.

Questions regarding the Broadband Day at the Capitol should be directed to: Emily Murray
Questions regarding scheduling meetings with legislators should be directed to: Nathan Zacharias

HF7 Broadband funding passes to Ways & Means with an extra $15 million

Today the Greater Minnesota Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division sent HF7, the bill for broadband funding, to Ways and Means. The bill for ongoing annual $35 million for broadband grants was introduced by Rep Ecklund and in committee Rep Layman added a one-time addition of $15 million for grants.

You can watch the sessions below

Or read my notes. Continue reading

US Senate hearing on rural broadband on Tuesday

The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will have a hearing on broadband on March 12…

216 Hart Senate Office Building

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will convene a hearing titled, “The Impact of Broadband Investments in Rural America,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. The hearing will focus on the Federal Communications Commission’s order to improve the quality and expand availability of rural broadband. The subcommittee will also discuss opportunities and investments to support carriers in rural America, efforts to prevent overbuilding among federal broadband programs, and the next steps to close the digital divide.


  • Mr. Justin Forde, Senior Director of Government Relations, Midcontinent Communications
  • Dr. Mark Jamison, Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • Mr. Denny Law, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Golden West Telecommunications
  • Ms. Carol Mattey, Principal, Mattey Consulting, LLC

*Witness list subject to change

Hearing Details:

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
2:30 p.m.
Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet

This hearing will take place in the Hart Senate Office Building 216. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on