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CEO Next

CEO Next

Advanced research and CEO resources for established businesses

CEO Next Business Institute is a regional county partnership program that provides practical tools and techniques for CEOs and is designed specifically for growing regional second stage businesses. The program offers three lines of service:

  • System for Integrated Growth: 33 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

Roundtables and speaker forums are held on the third Thursday of the month, and typically start in October.

Who can participate

Participants can include private businesses in Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Scott counties, with:

  • 10–99 employees
  • Revenue between $1M and $50M
  • Readiness to transition from small to large — past start-up stage but not yet mature
  • Appetite and aptitude for growth

If your business doesn’t meet the above criteria, you may be qualified for CEO Now, a cohort and class-based companion program for emerging growth-oriented business founders and owners.

About the facilitation team

CEO Next is facilitated by Minneapolis Business Mentors, a business coaching non-profit an Elevate Hennepin advisor. CEO Next also represents a partnership with the Edward Lowe Foundation, a foundation that works to empower entrepreneurs with leadership education and strategic information to keep growing.


We are currently accepting applications for the next cohort.  

Start your application by completing this short form. Program staff will follow up with next steps. 

No-cost participation

Scholarships from the regional county partnership cover the full cost of your participation in the program, including research, events, and roundtables. There is no cost to CEOs to participate, other than your time.

Community impact

Since 2012, the program has worked with more than 280 businesses, and created or retained over 2,000 jobs in Hennepin County. 

Related links and materials



“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).

Logo for CEO Next


Ixchel McKinnie