Dedicated experts with a proven record of success.

 
 
 
 

Danielle Steer is dedicated to helping problem solvers achieve their dreams and is intensely passionate about making the world a more equitable place for everyone to thrive. Leveraging her origins as an over-scheduled student-athlete, she brings an intense amount of energy, a team first mentality,  and broad range of program design experience to Lunar Startups.

Prior to Lunar Startups, Danielle served as the founding staff of Impact Hub Minneapolis St. Paul for three years, building a community of social entrepreneurs and changemakers. In her role, she also worked with a coalition of programs, organizations, and individuals to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in MSP.

As a generalist, her experience and expertise span a wide range of specialties including human-centered design, evaluation, facilitation, program design, community building, marketing, partnership development, and digital media design, all driven by a bias towards collaboration. In her role as Managing Director at Lunar Startups, Danielle is leading a human-centered design approach, putting diverse entrepreneurs at the center of the program.

Danielle Steer

Managing Director

She/Her/Hers

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Jeffrey Aguy

Pronounced (ag-ee)

Program Director

He/Him/His

“I grew up in a small village in Haiti with no running water or consistent power source. I later spent most of my adolescent and teenage years in underinvested communities through Tampa, FL. For me innovation wasn’t a buzzword used by business people but the difference between life and death.”

Jeffrey’s childhood experiences gave him a deep sense of purpose,  love for community, and a firm belief in the power to design a better future in spite of scarcity. A serial entrepreneur, Jeffrey has founded or co-founded five businesses in diverse sectors the past 7 years. Prior to joining Lunar Startups as Program Manager,  he was the Vice President and Economic Development Chair for the Minneapolis NAACP.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology with an emphasis in Data Analytics from Oakwood University, a Master of Arts in Leadership: Creativity & Innovation from Andrews University, A Six-Sigma Black Belt Certification from The Management & Strategy Institute, and Graduate Internships from Harvard and Florida Hospital Innovation Labs.

 
 

Amanda Heyman is the Founding Director of Lunar Services, a business and legal technical assistance program of Lunar Startups designed to supercharge early-stage startup companies. Amanda is also Co-Founder and General Counsel of Starting 11, a global daily fantasy soccer startup that won the MN Cup High Tech Division in 2017. 

During Amanda’s decade-long legal career, she has practiced on the cutting edge of innovation on behalf of businesses ranging from tech startups to organic farms to large global institutions. In 2013, she co-founded a boutique law firm focused on natural food startup companies and has served as an international legal consultant on organic agriculture for the United Nations in the African island nation of Mauritius. In 2015, Amanda was named a Women in Business award winner by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Previously, Amanda was a staff attorney for the national non-profit law firm Farmers' Legal Action Group and clerked for two federal judges. She has also handled FEMA appeals for Hurricane Katrina survivors, worked at a Boston tech startup focused on marketing and digital publishing, and won awards for her newspaper reporting in Wisconsin and New Mexico. Amanda holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 

Amanda Heyman

Director of Lunar Services

She/Her/Hers

 
 
 
 
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Lunar Startups is supported by an expert staff of professionals dedicated to co-creating a community of innovators at the Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media. Meet the Glen Nelson Center team behind Lunar Startups.

Jeff is an innovator and a seasoned entrepreneur, having founded three startups during his career. Most recently, Jeff launched the sustainable toy brand YOXO out of a 200-square-foot office in St. Paul and grew it into a multi-million dollar company with distribution at major retailers throughout North America. In 2017, Jeff rejoined the American Public Media Group as general partner and head of corporate development at the Glen Nelson Center, a startup accelerator.

Jeff was the recipient of the 2010 Catalytic Leader Award from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, is a former fellow of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the German Marshall Fund and received a prestigious Leadership Fellowship from the Bush Foundation. Jeff was named one of the Twin Cities’ most successful young professionals by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. He holds a bachelor's degree from Hamline University and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University.

He is also a part-time carpenter, designer, electrician, musician, sculptor, painter, and restorer of old barns and a full-time husband and a father to two amazing kids.

 

Jeff Freeland Nelson

General Partner

He/Him/His

 

 
 

Rose Martin

Business Office Manager

She / Her / Hers

Rose Martin is a seasoned event producer and project management professional, with a passion for radical hospitality, strategic planning, and innovative operations management.

She has a background in experiential marketing, producing activations around the country for national brands, such as Columbia Sportswear, Target, and Del Monte Fruits — a brand for which she fished a DJ booth out of the ocean at 3 a.m. Long story.

Most recently, Rose supported production of live events for Minnesota Public Radio, including Talking Volumes with Kerri Miller, Rock the Garden, and MPRs presence at the MN State Fair. She’s thrilled to further the mission of such an iconic Non-Profit institution through the work of Lunar Startups and the Glen Nelson Center.

When not dreaming up efficient ways to tackle business problems, Rose can be found jogging around Lake Como with her husband and daughter, researching the nagging question, Which pasta is best? (answer:  all of them), and working on her side hustle “Pun Intended”, a brand naming business based purely on word play.