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Matt Pacyga is the founder of Innovate MN. He has over fifteen years of experience in digital product management, having worked in both startup and corporate roles. Matt specializes in mobile, web, and omnichannel product strategy and has a proven track record of driving digital transformation initiatives. As an experienced innovator, Matt holds a patent for new media technology and is also a startup advisor and mentor with Techstars.

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The Journey to Innovate MN: A Personal Story

A few years back (2012-2016), I found myself at the helm of a thriving mobile meetup group, Mobilize MN. It was more than just a group; it was a community with over 1600 members, each passionate about mobile technology and its possibilities. But it was more than the technology that drove me; it was the connections formed between those people – connections that transcended professional networks and delved into the realm of collaborative growth and shared passions.

This experience was eye-opening. It taught me the power of community and the incredible things that can happen when diverse minds come together. I found immense joy in facilitating these connections, in being the bridge that brought people together to share, learn, and grow. But there was a stirring within me, a desire to take this a step further, to create something that extended beyond the realm of work-focused groups.

That's where the idea for Innovate MN germinated. I envisioned a platform that was different, not just another professional network or industry-specific group, but a melting pot of ideas and experiences. A place where anyone, regardless of their career level, could come together to share ideas and actively solve real problems – tangible challenges that local Minnesota organizations faced.

Innovate MN was born out of a desire to make a difference and leverage our community's collective intelligence to effect change. It wasn't just about discussions and networking; it was about action – turning thoughts into solutions, ideas into reality. From small businesses to large corporations, the goal was to bring together varied perspectives to tackle challenges that mattered.

Our sessions at Innovate MN are more than just meetings; they are incubators of change. They are where an entry-level professional can contribute an idea that might transform an organization, where seasoned experts can share their knowledge in ways that uplift the whole community. It's a testament to the belief that everyone has something valuable to contribute and that every voice can catalyze change.

In our public sessions, we invite individuals from the community to participate in an open and inclusive environment. These sessions encourage networking, but more importantly, they foster collaborative problem-solving. Each session is guided by skilled facilitators who ensure every participant's voice is heard and the brainstorming stays enjoyable.

Our private sessions (coming late 2024) offer a premium, paid service for organizations seeking a more tailored experience where selected advisors provide bespoke strategies and insights. These sessions address specific organizational challenges, providing an intimate and concentrated setting for in-depth problem-solving.

Looking back on my journey from Mobilize MN to Innovate MN, I can see a clear path guided by my love for community work and my passion for making a difference. Innovate MN is more than just a group or an organization; it's a movement towards collaborative innovation, solving real problems, and, most importantly, making change happen within our Minnesota community.

As we continue to grow and evolve, my hope is that Innovate MN becomes synonymous with impactful change. I want it to be where anyone can come and leave, having made a real difference.

Contact Innovate MN

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