Our Mission & THE WHY

MISSION: Connect and accelerate Lunar Startups to customers, milestones, growth and success.

THE WHY: We are dedicated to shifting the local landscape to more effectively reflect and support the awesome diversity of the Twin Cities by helping close opportunity gaps for all of Minnesota’s high growth businesses.

the glen nelson center | American Public Media & knight foundation

American Public Media and Knight Foundation partnered to create Lunar Startups because it directly ties to their missions of strengthening the communities where they exist and operate. The national reach of these institutions also creates a unique value proposition for startups interested in applying to the cohort. National and global opportunities are currently limited in our market and Lunar Startups wants to help its cohorts connect and expand outside of Minnesota.

About The Glen Nelson Center:

The Glen Nelson Center invests in entrepreneurial ventures that serve new and diverse audiences while strengthening public media. The Center accomplishes its goals through strategic investments in companies at the frontier of media and technology and by founding new for-profit and nonprofit ventures in support of American Public Media and its mission.

About Knight Foundation:

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. They invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Their goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which they believe are essential for a healthy democracy.



We believe that startups are critical to any economy and community, specifically because of their disruptive nature in changing the status quo. As innovators and dreamers, we want to apply that same power to changing the status quo for entrepreneurs, unlocking new opportunities and access for entrepreneurs not always represented at the table.

give first

Community is central to this experiment called Lunar Startups. We believe that the power of community will make us ALL stronger. In order for our community to thrive and grow, we need you to give before you take. What can you do for others at Lunar Startups? How can you connect someone to a contact in your network? What learning can you share with your peers? If we’re constantly nurturing this community, we’ll see amazing things as a result of our efforts.


We believe that in order to create resilient, high growth businesses, all perspectives and experiences need to be invited to the table and given megaphones. We stop to regularly reflect on our privilege and check who’s not at the table. Then we take action to make the table bigger.


We’re true to our Minnesota roots, and we own who we are and who we’re not. Leave the attitude and ego at the door. In order to create the best community and space possible, we need you to be humble, vulnerable and open to new ideas.


Positive vibes and good energy will make our community stronger and more resilient. Own your power and happiness, and help share it with others.


Aretha said it best, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me. Respect seems simple enough but often, people view respect differently. We want you to not just treat others the way you want to be treated but how THEY want to be treated.


We believe it’s important to have a high degree of self-awareness, that you understand who you are and what motivates you. It’s going to help us design better experiences and improve outcomes.