What is it?
CEO Next Business Institute supports second-stage companies through advanced business and market research, peer and cohort learning, and expert forums. Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Dakota counties contract with the Edward Lowe Foundation, who administers the program, to allow qualifying businesses to participate for free.
CEO Next Business Institute provides practical tools and techniques designed specifically for growing regional second stage companies, including provision of:
- System for Integrated Growth: 40–60 hours per participating CEO of intensive, advanced research
- CEO round table sessions: eight half-day sessions for the CEOs of selected core companies
- CEO forum events: eight sessions for participating CEOs and other second stage companies
CEOs set aside one day per month for nine months to focus on how to manage business growth in national markets. Depending on individual needs, this could include:
- Putting systems in place that allow for scaling
- Information for understanding your company’s various activities
- Deciding what roles to keep and where you need to delegate
- Organizing your company
- Identifying which internal functions need strengthening and how to accomplish it
- Strategic approaches to revenue growth
- Financing growth
- Finding your next customer
- Identifying top products and strategies for marketing to your customers
- Innovating to stay ahead of competition
- Viability of new opportunities
Download the handout (PDF).
View the program description (PDF).
Read about the SIG team members (PDF).
What businesses are eligible?
- Privately held businesses
- 10–99 employees
- Revenue between $1M and $50M
- Ready to transition from small to large — past start-up stage but not yet mature
- Appetite and aptitude for growth
Recent CEO Forum events
- May 5, 2019 CEO Forum, featuring Bjorn Stansvik, founder and CEO of MentorMate
- April 18, 2019 CEO Forum, featuring Kjell Bergh, chairman and CEO, Borton Volvo and Borton Overseas
- March 21, 2019 CEO Forum, featuring Bill Dierberger, president and CEO of Skyline Exhibits
- February 21, 2019 CEO Forum “Technical Services for Entrepreneurs”
- January 17, 2019, CEO Forum featuring Paul J. Wagner Chairman and CEO of Minnesota Wire
Ready to apply? The process is easy. Simply register through the CEO Next Business Institute application portal and answer a few questions about your business. After you fill out the application, a program representative will meet with you to learn about your goals for the program. We do encourage you to meet with a program representative prior to applying, however, it is not required.
We are accepting applications through mid-October for the 2019-2020 year, however, recruiting and applications are being accepted on a rolling basis.
"Here's an analogy of my experience, when kids play baseball on the street or in the backyard it increases efficiency to have a backstop to catch the balls the catcher or batter misses. That's what this program is. It’s a backstop to catch the things that leaders need to pay attention to so we can get back to play sooner. Research provided through the program helped us to understand the magic language of the supply, distribution, sales and marketing chains. We didn't have this before the program."
– Jeff Sommers, CEO and Co-Owner, Izzy’s Ice Cream
“There’s nothing else like System for Integrated Growth out there. You might have advisers who can tell you about different market opportunities, but to have a team of people that are dedicated and laser-focused on helping you with whatever goal or objective you put in front of them is invaluable.”
– Andy Kim, Vice President, EVS Engineering, Surveying, Energy Inc.
Read a case study on EVS (PDF).
“The SIG program was completely different than other types of assistance our company has had — and it was a real turning point for me as a business owner,” Gage said. “The SIG team was able to identify not only solutions, but what the real problem was. They opened my eyes to why I’ve felt so overwhelmed the past two years.”
—Greg Gage, Co-Founder Backyard Brains
Read a case study on Backyard Brains (PDF).
For more information
For more information on the program and the application process, please contact the representative from your respective county or city.
City of St. Paul