Meet Katie Kalkman 💃 Executive Director Impact Hub MSP

Katie Kalkman

Executive Director Impact Hub MSP | Helping Businesses Do Good | Ecosystem Builder | Ambassador of Personal Goodness

Minneapolis/St. Paul MN US

Warroad MN US

My Story

Impact Hub

I’m an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. Since 2005, I’ve been involved in six startups, most notably Impact Hub MSP (Minneapolis/St.Paul). In February of 2020 I was named executive director of the organization which I’d co-founded with Terri Barreiro – former director of the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship at CSB and SJU.

The Impact Hub just wasn’t getting the legs that we’d wanted it to, and when Terri was set to retire, she joined me and we just got renewed energy. We launched right after she retired. Having that extra partner kind of laid the groundwork. And of course, her networking in the Twin Cities, her vast United Way background and the fact she’s mentored so many people … having her on board was pivotal in the launching.

Based on Impact Hubs located around the world, Impact Hub MSP is like a small business incubator for ‘social businesses’ or businesses created to make the world a better place, providing community, speakers, workshops and classes to entrepreneurs.

A Way of Life

My husband, Gabriel, is also an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is in both of our DNAs, we both are builders; we’re both creative. We’re both also doers. There’s more than just coming up with the ideas. You also have to have the appetite to do the work.

An opportunity opened up for us to help create Fölk School Warroad and for me to be the Executive Director. The school’s goals are to inspire those it reaches to create with their hands, head and heart; enrich the lives and build community among Warroad residents and visitors; and contribute to a vibrant downtown and positive economic growth.

We’re off to a great start. There are so many talented artists in Warroad and the folk school’s role is to create space for these artists to teach their crafts and naturally bring people together. Our hope is that we look like Grand Marais 20 years from now, that Warroad becomes a destination.

Entrepreneurship can be risky but just a way of life for us. We get a lot of energy from it. When I say way of life, it’s just what can we do with the things that we’ve learned? What can we build? What can we try to do?

The folk school is an example of that. I didn’t set out to create a folk school. I just thought it was a really cool experience and opportunity. The more I thought about it, the more I thought Warroad needed a folk school. Kalkman said. “That’s part of being an entrepreneur – seeing opportunity and acting on it.

When we come up with these ideas together, we bounce them off each other – we’re always brainstorming and discussing ideas. That’s the philosophers in us – we’re idea people. It’s nice to have a partner who can meet you where you’re at, and then help support your ambitions.

More About Katie Kalkman

I am energized by businesses that exist to help make the world a better place.

The nature of how I do business is to be personal, understand business goals, and to build deep relationships. Business is people, and I care about people. I have built, and will continue to build my life, brand, network and business success on this premise. And it is with this philosophy, my intense work ethic, and a bottomless fountain of passion that I look forward to continuing my personal and professional growth through contribution to others.

I bring over 10 years of experience in delivering outcomes through business development, client relationship management, consultative selling, marketing and strategic planning.

I started my passion for social entrepreneurship as a student at the College of St. Benedict. I co-founded a successful social business as part of the Entrepreneurial Scholars Program and I haven’t stopped since then. Since 2005, I have been a part of six startups including; Collegeville Carpets, GH Comfortable Homes, LLC, Northern Toboggan and Company, Folk School Warroad and Impact Hub MSP. I have worked with entrepreneurs in China, Hong Kong, Silicon Valley and the Twin Cities. I am dedicated to helping social impact entrepreneurs succeed because I knows the risks and rewards of thinking big.

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