**Title: Empowering Innovation: Mary Grove’s Inspiring Story and Minnesota’s Vibrant Tech Ecosystem**
Welcome to our sixth annual event! Today, we’d like to express our gratitude to the Technology Commercialization Group in the College of Science and Engineering for their invaluable assistance in organizing this event. It holds great significance for us as we take pride in the progress we’ve made, particularly through programs like the Minnesota Cup. This year, our efforts have resulted in nearly half of the businesses participating in the Minnesota Cup having women founders, with the aim of achieving a majority of women-led companies next year.
Additionally, we’re delighted to announce that 40% of the teams in this year’s Minnesota Cup were entrepreneurs of color, reflecting our strong commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity across all our programs at the Home Center. Creating a more diverse entrepreneurial landscape is a top priority for us, and we appreciate your presence and support in championing this cause.
When we began planning this event, one name stood out as the perfect inspirational speaker to kickstart our proceedings. We were thrilled to extend an invitation to Mary Grove, and even more elated when she eagerly accepted. Mary’s impressive background, hailing from the Midwest and graduating from Stanford, working at Google, and eventually establishing her own successful company, bread and butter Ventures, has made her a respected figure in the tech world.
Through her involvement with Google for Startups and her partnership with the Revolution Rise to the Rest Startup Fund, Mary has made significant contributions to the venture capital landscape. Her expertise and leadership have been instrumental in driving innovation in the Twin Cities and beyond. Mary and her husband, Steve Grove, who serves as the Deed Commissioner, embody an inspiring couple leading the community forward.
Today, we are honored to have Mary here with us to share her story and insights. Her presence enriches our community, blending the best of the West Coast technology culture with the collaborative spirit of Minnesota. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Mary Grove! [Applause]
In her thought-provoking speech, Mary delves into two key topics: innovating in our community and innovating in our personal journeys. She discusses the unique value of the Minnesota home field advantage, with its abundance of Fortune 500 companies and untapped potential for venture capital in the bread and butter sectors of the economy. Mary’s commitment to empowering underserved youth through her nonprofit organization, Silicon North Stars, highlights the transformative power of education and exposure in shaping futures.
Join us as Mary shares her inspiring journey and sheds light on the vibrant tech ecosystem of Minnesota. Let’s come together as a community to explore the boundless possibilities that innovation holds and learn from one another’s experiences. Thank you for braving the weather to be here today!