I’m Joining the Livefront Team!

Over the past five years, I was incredibly fortunate to have dedicated, focused time to help build and grow the startup ecosystem in the Twin Cities.

Simply put, it has been a pretty kick-ass five years.

I’m going to continue helping startups grow and build, but moving forward I’ll be doing it in a slightly different role. I am excited to share that beginning later this month I will be transitioning from my role as Managing Director of Beta.MN into a new opportunity at Livefront called Partnerships.

What? Nels! Why the change?

Everybody has a hobby that gets them excited. One of my hobbies is geeking out about technology and startups; I love learning about new businesses, why what they are doing matters, and about how I can help make them successful.

As you can imagine, working at Beta has been a dangerous job! Every day I have the opportunity to meet and work with amazing founders who have built technology solutions that positively influence millions of people.

There is nothing more incredible than seeing the twinkle in someone’s eye as they passionately share how their technology is changing the world. It’s a unique energy that’s infectious!

To little surprise, it didn’t take long for me to get the itch to join a team that is itself building technology that matters.

Why Livefront?

Livefront is the premier mobile product design and engineering team in Minnesota. If you need to build a digital product, and if you need it done well, you go to Livefront.

And if you are looking to join a world-class team building technology people care about, you work for Livefront :)

I have worked closely with Mike Bollinger and the Livefront team for the past 5 years, and I have learned first hand that they truly, authentically care:

They care about the startup community

When Twin Cities Startup Week was just an idea, Mike and the team were there at the kick-off “round table” ready to help make the vision a reality.

When we wanted to grow our Beta Bridge program, Mike and I spent weeks running all around town to meet with corporate innovators to get them excited about connecting with startup founders.

Sponsoring, speaking, writing, mentoring, hosting events and hackathons…the Livefront team does it all, and they do it because they truly care about giving back and supporting others working to build something great.

They care about quality

The Livefront team has high standards for themselves, for their clients, and for the products they build. If they sign up to work on something, they are going to do it well.

I can’t help but chuckle thinking back to our first year of Twin Cities Startup Week. Behind the scenes, we were a ragtag team of volunteers working to piece together enough cool events so that we could call it a festival. On the outside, we looked like a well oiled machine. We had a gorgeous custom website that was slicker than many of the world’s largest festivals.

They care about their team

A few years back, I listened to Mike give a talk on how they hire and build teams at Livefront.

The level of thought that goes into finding and developing their team is incredible. I walked away from that talk thinking, “damn…I want to be a part of that team someday”

Now that I think about it, I am pretty sure that all of their involvement with Beta and Twin Cities Startup Week over the past 5 years has been one big con job to get me excited to work there ;)

What will my role at Livefront look like?

In many ways, my role at Livefront will be similar to my role at Beta. I will be dedicated to supporting the large community of people both inside and outside Livefront that care about designing and building remarkable digital products, services, and businesses.

Whether it’s partnerships with community orgs, partnerships with enterprise clients, partnerships with startup founders, partnerships with events and conferences, or partnerships with product designers and engineers around town, my job will be to expand existing, and foster new, bridges and relationships in all these areas.

Reflecting on my time at Beta and the folks that made it possible:

Time to get a bit sappy… Over the past 5 years, we have accomplished some amazing things that I am extremely proud of.

Twin Cities Startup Week Has Exploded

Seriously…is it time to switch to Startup Month? I love looking back to year one. We kicked off TCSW with 15 events. Fast-forward to this year we played host to:

  • 200+ events
  • 300+ speakers
  • 17,000+ Attendees
  • 39 folks from out of state coming in through our Fly-in Program to find jobs in Minnesota
  • 70+ venture groups from across the world

Startup Week is a friendly reminder of just how special Minnesota is. The majority of our events and experiences are driven by incredible individuals, businesses, and community organizations that care about innovation and are excited to share their passions.

A special thanks to: 
Our partners, supporters, and event hosts. Thank you for all that you do. The week would not be possible without your commitment to innovation.

Our amazing TCSW team and team of volunteers. Thank you for embracing the amazing chaos of the week, and rolling with all of the ambiguity that comes along with it. :)

Beta Has Evolved

It has been incredible to help contribute to the evolution of Beta. We are no longer just a Showcase event. We are so much more:

  • We have a dedicated 6-month program built to connect startups to resources (investors, corporate innovators, the media, and experienced startup operators).
  • We have have a dedicated home in the Beta Space where founders are able to live and grow during our program.
  • We have built an active and vibrant community of over 250 founders that have gone through our programs and continue to participate.
  • We have a full-time team dedicated to growing our organization.

A special thanks

Thanks to our founders — the folks that are grinding everyday to change the world. Keep up the amazing work, and remember I am always here to support you in any way that I can.

Thanks to the Beta team and the Board. Thank you for all that you do, and for putting up with me the past few years. :) I am excited to continue to support your efforts, and help take Beta to the next level. 

My New Role at Beta:

While I am stepping down from my day-to-day full-time role at Beta MN, I am thrilled to share that I will be joining the Beta Board of Directors, and will continue to support the team as they grow. On top of that, Livefront will continue on as the lead partner for the Beta Bridge program.

To the many of you that have come accustomed to my timely and consistent emails, have no fear… Nels@beta.mn will continue to live on. :)

As I transition my role at Beta and I step into a new role at Livefront, I look forward to continuing the journey with all of you as we work together to build an even better technology, design, and startup culture in Minnesota. I am available, and happy to help however I can, so please do not hesitate to reach out at any time!