April-May 2016

Cover Story


How two athletes are making custom sports apparel in the heart of St. Paul, and competing well in a new arena.  By Beth Ewen  ™He’s a history major; I’m an English major. So it makes sense we’re in manufacturing,” says Jessica Lutter with a laugh, about her business partner and husband, Reid, who started Podiumwear […] Continue reading →

Letter From the Editor

tres bien

One of the saddest days in Twin Cities dining history was this past New Year’s Eve, when I joined a full room of denizens on the last day for Vincent A Restaurant, the celebrated fine-dining establishment fronting Orchestra Hall and helmed by Vincent Francoual. Vincent himself had announced a couple months earlier he was closing […] Continue reading →



Because selling the company is every entrepreneur’s grand finale, Upsize and Club E convened a panel of experts to explain how it’s done. From accountants to lawyers to investment bankers and more, they shared the skinny. Rick Brimacomb, moderator, Brimacomb + Associates and Club E: Our focus today is the M&A market, covering topics including […] Continue reading →

Business Builders


During a recent Introduction to Exporting seminar at the Minnesota Trade Office, I explained the existence of multiple channels of distribution to export markets. I was surprised that several of the participants had not heard of an export management company or EMC, one of those channels. Full disclosure, I work at such a company, and […] Continue reading →


Minnesota is blessed with a remarkably low unemployment rate. Yay!  But employers report a growing struggle to find the skilled employees they need to sustain and grow their businesses. Debate continues on whether we actually have a skills gap and, if so, who is responsible. Are educators building the skill base that’s needed? Are employers […] Continue reading →


™Before running on EOS our employees were working extremely hard, but on a daily basis we didn’t know if we were winning or losing,” says Darrin Carlson, the owner and Integrator of local metal casting company Prospect Foundry. “We were exceedingly busy, but all our activity didn’t necessarily move us toward a common goal.” If […] Continue reading →


“They don’t understand me or my business.” In all my years of banking, this comment is the most common feedback I hear when speaking with small-business owners. It represents a failure to communicate effectively and deliver a sense of care. It may also mean that the “fit” from one organization to another or one person […] Continue reading →