Dedicated experts with a proven record of success.
Melissa Kjolsing Lynch
Melissa Kjolsing (coal-sing) Lynch is the managing director of Lunar Startups. In addition to her leadership role at Lunar Startups, she is the cofounder of Recovree, a Minnesota tech startup passionate about seeing more people stay in recovery following treatment for substance use disorder. Recovree is developing software for peer support specialists, the fastest growing service for people in recovery, to connect and improve outcomes for peer support specialists and their clients.
Prior to joining Lunar Startups, Melissa was the director of the MN Cup, the largest statewide startup competition in the country. Melissa led the MN Cup for five years and found multiple areas to innovate and expand the competition. In addition to her work with the MN Cup, Melissa also developed and led new initiatives to encourage and support entrepreneurship for women, people of color, youth, social causes, and Greater Minnesota.
Melissa has a background in business development and marketing, having worked for Fredrikson & Byron and The BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.
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 Senior Program Manager at Lunar Startups, Danielle is leading a human-centered design approach, putting diverse entrepreneurs at the center of the program.
Senior Program Manager
Glen Nelson Center
As the flagship program of the Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media, we are supported by an expert staff of professionals dedicated to co-creating a community of innovators. 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
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.
Theon Masters is committed to growing innovation and building an inclusive community for entrepreneurs. A Jamaican native, Theon brings a hustler’s mentality and strategic vision that he infuses into every project he touches. Theon joined Glen Nelson center as an Entrepreneurship Fellow, supporting the business operations of the Glen Nelson Center.
Prior to joining the Glen Nelson Center, Theon worked as an associate at gener8tor, a nationally ranked startup accelerator. He has experience in business development, most notably for Player’s Health in Minneapolis. He served on the board of the Entrepreneurship Club at Macalester for 3 years, using his networking and communication skills to help engage students with successful members of the entrepreneurial community in the Twin Cities.
Theon has a bachelor's degree in Economics from Macalester College. He hopes to advance his passion for entrepreneurship and innovation by helping to grow the businesses in the Glen Nelson Center portfolio.