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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 CEO's, and is designed specifically for growing regional second stage businesses. The program offers three lines of service:

  • 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

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

Who can participate

Participants can include private businesses in 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

Apply now

We are currently accepting applications for the 2022–2023 year for Ramsey, Dakota, and Scott Counties through October, however, priority consideration will be given to applications for businesses in those counties received before October 14th.

Hennepin County spaces for CEO Next are FULL for 2022-2023. All applications received for Hennepin County businesses will be placed on a waitlist. We will notify you if any spaces become available for 2022-2023. If you would like to be considered for the following year, please fill out the application form.

We are accepting applications for the 2022–2023 year for Dakota County through November 10. All other participating county businesses will be placed on a waitlist. Review of applications for Dakota businesses will begin on October 24th.

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 100 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).


Mary Matze