Twin Cities Startup Week 2021 Twin Cities Startup Week 2021
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An Entrepreneurs Roundtable: We need more Startups That Improve Our Cities and Communities


Yingling Fan
Daynamica, Inc, Co-founder/ CEO

Yingling Fan is a Professor at Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a Co-founder/ CEO of Daynamica, Inc. 

Ben Wallace
Minify Energy, Co-founder

Ben Wallace is a Building Solutions Entrepreneur

Justin Grammens
Lab651, Founder/ CEO

Justin leads Lab651's team of mobile & web application and data science engineers. He lives at the intersection of emerging technology and leading communities on the Internet of Things and has been building mobile applications and cloud-based software solutions for more than 20 years with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Justin is also both the creator and host of the AppliedAI Podcast and an adjunct professor teaching a graduate-level course on the Internet of Things at the University of Saint Thomas.

Marlaina Love
Pipe Dream Academy, CEO & Founder

Marlaina is the founder of Pipe Dream Academy - an EdTech startup empowering learners to explore affordable, alternative pathways to a more fulfilling and meaningful career.

She currently works as a Software Project Manager in Autonomous Machines. Marlaina’s prior experience includes 5+ years as a technical project management professional servicing many industries, including Data Migrations, Medical Device Technologies, Retail, Supply Chain and Manufacturing.

Marlaina is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enthusiast and is passionate about serving her community, living the motto "Paying It Forward." Marlaina founded the Minnesota AI Network (MaiN), a 1400+ meetup community of AI enthusiasts, and is the current chapter president for Blacks in Technology - Twin Cities, a global non-profit organization with over 11,000 members, providing support and resources for existing and future technology workers.



The vision of building a community within the confines of a city is a large task. While there's a lot of interest in the specific technologies being deployed to make cities "smart", there's a need for entrepreneurs to lead the way and take risks to both explore and show what's possible through their solutions. 

Join us for this collaborative conversation to learn how all these entrepreneurs started with an idea and how we need more startups to help our cities and communities succeed.