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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

    Joel Ronning: Digital River Inc.

    When Joel Ronning was at the University of Minnesota, he joined the sailing team and became its president. He found that he enjoyed organizing people so much that he started his first venture – a newsletter to connect buyers and sellers of Mercedes-Benz cars in the United States and Canada.

    In succession, he started a venture to sell personal computer peripherals for the Apple computer, a consulting firm in the software industry and another company to sell computer peripherals for the Apple computer.

    This taught him that it was more efficient to sell software over the Internet than by including them in disk drives or disks and sending them physically to buyers. From that insight, Ronning has built a company with annual sales of around $400 million and a market cap of nearly $1.3 billion. (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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