Modern manufacturing is a technology-driven enterprise. It’s simply not optional for manufacturers to keep abreast of technological changes pertinent to their industries. Those that do, thrive; those that don’t, struggle. It might be essential, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Entrepreneurs, start your engines! It’s time to take your innovations to the next level, by applying for the 2017 MN Cup. Since 2005, the MN Cup has been supporting entrepreneurship in Minnesota by helping early-stage businesses get off the ground.

When business people make decisions, numbers are their friend. They thirst for quantitative data as the basis for judgments. But when predictions based on numerical calculations fall short, it often means “back to the drawing board.” More and more this leads to a journey into the unknown, where numbers become less relevant than the qualitative state of the human experience.

Marlo Cronquist took her first official glass blowing class at FOCI-Minnesota Center for Glass Arts five years ago and never looked back. She was hooked.

“That’s all it took. Just one class and I knew that was what I needed to be doing,” she says.

Photo by Erin Francois

Designer by day, Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) student by night – local artist Ashley Mary painted on the side as she pursued a career in the design industry. Just a few years later, the local artist, illustrator, stylist and designer struck out on her own to freelance full-time.

A fertile relationship is growing between anthropology and business. Marketers are finding that anthropologists gather very useful knowledge by studying consumers in their natural habitat using the ethnographic techniques of observation and interviewing.

In our CEO roundtable groups, we often discuss why leaders aren’t making progress toward their goals — and this question comes up. Getting to the why of a business goal seems simple, but the distractions of sales and production and employees can bury this message. There is no point in a business if no one wants what you’re selling.

If you had told Helain Pesis 40 years ago that she would one day own a jewelry store, she wouldn’t have believed it. She and her husband Jimmy own Continental Diamond, which has been named “Best Jeweler” by Minnesota Bride for the past seven years.