Jun-July 2015

Cover Story

Growing up

Kidizen, a marketplace for people to buy and sell used kids’ stuff, has attracted more than $800,000 from angel investors and is close to launching its first stock sale, also known as Series A. Not bad for two business partners, Mary Fallon and Dori Graff, who almost shut down their company after its first iteration […] Continue reading →

Letter From the Editor

[powerhouse five]

You’ve heard the one about the lack of women-led companies with a scalable business model attractive to investors beyond family and friends. A group of five angel investors, founders of the latest version of the Sofia Fund in the Twin Cities, are poking holes in that story. CEO Cathy Connett, a long-time business adviser, and […] Continue reading →



It can be an uncomfortable experience—most entrepreneurs, after all, are used to running their own show and telling their own story. Here’s how to smooth the way. Before you make the deal of a lifetime, first you and your company must undergo scrutiny of the closest kind, as experts explained at a recent workshop sponsored […] Continue reading →

Business Builders

Summer brings heat, along with ideas to cut your energy bills

Did you know more than 16,000 businesses are getting easy and invisible utility savings each summer courtesy of Saver’s Switch? This is Xcel Energy’s peak load management program designed to help businesses save money on electricity bills and earn annual discounts of up to $300 per year. How does it work? Saver’s Switch cycles your […] Continue reading →

Seller financing not to be feared when planning firm’s sale

Size does matter when it comes to designing an exit strategy for your business. Buyer demographics, valuation multiples, completed transactions, financing structure and available debt are just some of the variables that differentiate “Main Street” companies, defined as those with a value up to $2 million, from “Lower Middle Market” companies, defined as those with […] Continue reading →

6 ways accountants can help owners grow their business

Accurate financial statements and tax returns are both important, but they only tell a story of your business as it was – not where it could be going. What most business owners tell me they really need is a combination of big-picture strategic thinking combined with detailed financial expertise. They want business growth options explained […] Continue reading →


Class in session

Are you seeking a full-blown MBA? A brush-up course to hone a skill? Candid access to other entrepreneurs? Whatever the aim, many entrepreneurs seek out further education at some point along their journey. As one member of CRO Roundtable, a Twin Cities-based peer group, put it: “I’m here because I’m tired of learning everything I […] Continue reading →