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  • FEATURED LESSON

    New book features iconic MN entrepreneurs

    Business StrategyHe’s been in the venture capital business for decades, but University of Minnesotabusiness lecturer Dileep Rao now says people don’t need venture capital to grow a business, and he’s drawn on the stories of some of the Twin Cities’ most successful entrepreneurs to prove his point.

    Rao has compiled those stories into a book called Bootstraps to Billions: Proven Rules from Entrepreneurs Who Built Great Companies from Scratch. The 28 profiles in the book are a who’s who of Minnesota success stories. They include Horst Rechelbacher, who started Blaine-based Aveda Corp.; Richard Schulze, chairman and founder of Richfield-based Best Buy Co. Inc.; and Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who built North Mankato-based Taylor Corp. into what is now a roughly $2 billion business.

    Rao, a senior lecturer at the university’s Carlson School of Management and a columnist for Forbes.com, spent two years interviewing the subjects of the book and writing the profiles.

    This article originally appeared in the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal.

  • FEATURED PROFILE

    Brett Shockley: Spanlink Communications

    Brett Shockley’s parents were entrepreneurs. His mother taught dance and baton twirling. His father owned a foreign car and repair shop and Shockley started working on car engines at the age of 10.

    It was only natural for Brett to create products and services, and sell them, and he got into entrepreneurial activities in junior high school. That is when he learned to ride unicycles in gym class – in fact he became so focused on learning to ride that he skipped other classes to learn and then built his own unicycle because he couldn’t afford to buy one.

    When he was 16 he dropped out of high school and started at the University of Minnesota on an early entrance program where he got his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering, and his MBA. He joined ADC Telecommunications following graduate school and he got an introduction to the fast-changing telecommunications industry. (more…)

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  • BOOKS BY DILEEP RAO

  • VENTURE DEVELOPMENT SPEAKER

    For over 33 years, Dileep Rao has worked with entrepreneurs, managers and leaders in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Dr. Rao has been acclaimed as a venture development teacher and speaker because he combines impeccable academic qualifications with his own successful experience in business growth and development -- offering practical knowledge with lasting value for success.

    Based on his experience and his study of some of the world's great entrepreneurs, he shows entrepreneurs, managers, professionals, financiers and area development officials how to build businesses by focusing on what truly matters and is sustainable in the long-term. (more…)

  • ABOUT DILEEP RAO

    A columnist on entrepreneurial finance, Dileep Rao is a nationally acclaimed practitioner, advisor, author and communicator on new business development, business growth and financing businesses and ventures. He combines real-world experience in financing more than 450 firms and managing five companies as the V.P. (now director) of one of the U.S.' largest development finance institutions with advising governments (including the U.S. government), Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs in new business development and financing. (more…)
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