The Beta Group is a 501(c)(3) that develops Minnesota’s next generation of business leaders by inspiring and educating first-time founders. We nurture these scalable small businesses so that they can grow to become our next Fortune 100s.
The organization runs two main programs - Twin Cities Startup Week (TCSW), which inspires would be entrepreneurs to start a business and the BETA Cohort, which trains founders on the topics required to grow a business.
MISSION - Accelerating the success of Minnesota-based technology founders.
Twin Cities Startup Week is the front door to Minnesota’s startup ecosystem. The week includes countless events featuring the area’s brightest innovators and creative hotbeds. What began as intimate gathering of local technologists has ballooned to a regional festival celebrating the leaders who are creating impact within their community, startup, Fortune 100, nonprofit and more.
The week functions as an unconference, where a majority of the content comes from local community and business leaders. The TCSW team includes a full time Director, plus a lean group of part-time contributors who execute the operational and promotional activities of the week, in addition to hosting its own events.
BETA’s Cohort experience is a series of programs where founding teams learn and grow together. Their education is similar to a coding school, but in place of training programmers, we groom the next great non-technical business leaders. Each program is designed to provide founders with resources and relationships to accelerate the growth of their business.
The cohort experience includes access to space, education and events geared toward introducing founders to the people that will positively influence their business.
Casey joins us from the Bay Area with a host of relevant startup and accelerator experience. She was one of the original employees of CouchSurfing International—a precursor to AirBnB —where she helped the company raise its $7.9M Series A-round. She then moved into the capital side of the equation as a lead of the Citrix Startup Accelerator. Most recently, Casey was the head of Business Operations at Serverless, Inc.
Casey was wooed to Minnesota via the Twin Cities Startup Week Fly-in Program, where she was first introduced to our thriving startup ecosystem. Casey lives in St. Paul with her husband, daughter, and goldendoodle—Bumper. She holds an MBA from Presidio Graduate School.
Kelly has worked in people operations for Fortune 500s, nonprofits, and startups where she’s created and implemented operational systems that empower people to do their best work. Kelly is a graduate from the Carlson School of Management.
Kelly grew up in MN and loves the snow, lakes, and people that make this place home. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner, Peter, where they enjoy eating ice cream and watching Shark Tank.
Cihan Behlivan is a technology entrepreneur and operations executive, who led the first tech IPO out of Turkey in 2000. He joined his first tech startup in 2002 as the first employee, and oversaw product development and engineering teams, while managing sales and marketing efforts. Cihan started his own tech company in 2009 and sold it to a CRO company in 2017.
Cihan has over 18 years of digital health startup experience from cloud-based clinical documentation systems to clinical outcomes data collection and analytics platforms. He also has eight years of financial and operational experience in the long term care industry. He has been actively advising startup founders since, while working on a new healthcare startup.
BETA was founded in 2013 by Reed Robinson, Ryan Broshar, and Justin Cox with a simple vision—to celebrate the efforts of local tech founders. We hosted our first event—the BETA Showcase—in January, 2014. We found a venue, invited the active startups in our network, and convinced 200+ of our closest friends to see what our startup community is all about.
Though the organization has expanded into a variety of offerings, the mission has never changed—BETA brings people together to support and celebrate the efforts of Minnesota-based entrepreneurs. We do that to increase the likelihood of their success, and to inspire others to join in the action.