Small business owners and entrepreneurs can voice their needs and ideas at a town hall listening session hosted by the Eden Prairie City Council.
It will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, at Eden Prairie High School’s Innovation Sandbox meeting space, accessible from the southwest entrance.
The event’s goal is to gather attendees’ insights about the local support necessary to grow their businesses in Eden Prairie.
The Innovation Sandbox is a communitywide collaboration between the city, schools, and businesses launched in 2021 with the intention of making Eden Prairie more entrepreneur-friendly.
Mayor Ron Case is among those pushing the project forward, stressing the importance of identifying and addressing local entrepreneurs’ needs.
In 2019, Case participated in a program through the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which prompted him to consider launching an entrepreneurial center focusing on new technologies, products, and services.
“We need to find out how we can help,” Case said last week. “We’ve got to know who’s out there, what their needs are, and then answer the question on how we can help them.”
Officials from the City of Eden Prairie, the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, EP Schools, and the Eden Prairie chapter of 1 Million Cups, a local group based on a national program to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs, will be in attendance on Wednesday.
Robb Virgin, the district’s director of personalized learning, was credited in an August 2021 EPLN story with coming up with the term “Innovation Sandbox.” The former EPHS principal described it as referring to both a physical space and a means for community thinkers to collaborate with each other and with the school.
Chamber President Patrick MulQueeny encourages entrepreneurs and small business owners to attend the meeting.
“This initiative will help Eden Prairie build new businesses and add to the local economy, and by doing so, will add some amazing opportunities for both students and business professionals in our community.,” MulQueeny said.
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