MN Cup director fosters connections

MN Cup Director Jessica Berg brings five years of experience in account management at PwC in Minneapolis. She is also president and co-founder of WomenConnect, an organization that promotes personal and professional growth for women. (Staff photo: Bill Klotz)

Name: Jessica Berg

Title: Director, MN Cup

Education: B.A., international communications and Spanish, Emory University

Hometown: Edina

The MN Cup competition for Minnesota entrepreneurs has attracted thousands of competitors and awarded $2 million in seed money since its inception in 2005. Now it has a new director.

Edina native Jessica Berg recently took over the position held by her friend Melissa Kjolsing since 2012. They had worked together briefly at Minneapolis law firm Fredrikson & Byron before Berg joined PwC in Minneapolis.

Berg watched Kjolsing’s career at MN Cup and more recently started to internalize Kjolsing’s comments about how Berg would be a terrific successor. Kjolsing left the competition, headquartered at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, in November to start a business with her brother. When the job was posted, Berg was ready to apply.

Berg brings five years of experience in account management at PwC in Minneapolis, where she rose to client strategy leader for the company’s consumer markets sector. She is also president and co-founder of WomenConnect, an organization that promotes personal and professional growth for women. Here’s what she had to say about her background and her new position:

Q: You received a bachelor’s degree in international communications and Spanish from Emory University in 2009. What attracted you to business?

A: I always knew that I would be interested in business and in potentially getting an MBA. I was a big liberal arts fan and a big writer in school and was trying to figure out what part of the business school I’d be in. Emory had an interdisciplinary studies program that allowed you to create your own major and capstone it with a thesis, and I went that route.

Q: How did your previous job and leadership of WomenConnect prepare you for running the MN Cup?

A: I really enjoy connecting people and helping people navigate situations. A big part of my role at PwC was helping people navigate PwC, providing the highest level of service possible to a certain echelon of our clients. Much of what this role [at MN Cup] can offer is direct connections and resources for the entrepreneurs in Minnesota, whether to individuals or resources.

It’s a big web of things to navigate. The MN Cup seeks to demystify those things and democratize, and make tools and coaching available for a lot of the fields. Everybody convened through the cup has those things. The magnitude multiplier impact of that for me is so cool and exciting and rewarding.

Q: During Kjolsing’s tenure at MN Cup, the competition more than doubled the number of judges and mentors, and the amount of prize money rose to $450,000. It also added divisions and events, and boosted the number of sponsors by 67 percent to 75. What changes are you hoping to bring to the competition?

A: What I’m so aware of is how much the cup grew and how much the impact expanded and how much the awareness of it grew while Melissa was in the job. I will focus immediately on keeping that continuity as smooth as possible. I just want to get myself up to speed with how things have gone so far, so I can keep the plate spinning. I definitely look forward to having my fingerprints on the cup in the future and I’m so excited about what the vision and the mission of the cup are.

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Car Safety Tips For Edina Winters

Now that winter is just about here, it is important that you start getting your car ready for the ice and snow and also brush up on your winter driving skills. Driving in the ice can be scary and driving in the deep snow isn’t very fun either. When your car is fishtailing down the street, you might find that you are feeling pretty uncomfortable.

The first place to start is with getting your car ready for the winter. Fill your windshield fluid reservoir with de-icing windshield cleaner. It won’t freeze and it will help you see easier during frosty mornings.

You also want to switch over to winter tires if you are going to be doing a lot of driving. If you aren’t planning on driving that much when the weather is especially bad you could get away with all-season tires, but when the weather really gets bad you are going to want a good set of winter tires if you are going to be doing a lot of driving.

Make sure to check your oil and coolant levels and you might want to get a tune-up if the money in the budget. This is a good time to get out the snow brush and the ice scraper. A good snow brush will make it easier to clean the snow off your car in the morning and it will be gentle on the paint. An ice scraper is essential as it can quickly scrape the ice off the windshield while you are warming up the car.

If you forget the ice scraper or need one when you are out, you can use a credit card in a pinch to clear the ice off your windshield. You might also want to invest in a de-icing spray to melt the ice quickly on your windshield. Ice makes it impossible to see and your defroster won’t work well until the car is warmed up which could take a while.

If you want to speed up the engine warming part of your morning, you could think about getting an engine warmer. This will make it easier to start your car in the morning. Don’t forget to check your battery as well. Cold mornings drain your battery and if your battery is already weak, you might find that your car won’t even start in the morning. It might be time to replace your battery.

What To Look For In Apartments Edina

If you are moving to Edina, and looking for an apartment, you are going to find plenty of affordable apartments to choose from. Edina is an affordable city and the cost of living is low. You can find apartments in any price range and there are plenty of low cost apartments that are going to suit your budget no matter what it is. Read on to learn what to look for with apartments Edina.

In most cases, you have to sign a lease for an entire year so you want to make sure that the apartment is going to meet your needs for at least a year. You don’t want to break the lease because that can be very expensive. Make sure you understand what the penalties are for breaking a lease when you sign the lease.

The right neighborhood can make a big difference in how you feel about where you live. You have to do your research on the different neighborhoods you are considering so you end up finding the right place to live. You can do this by driving around the different neighborhoods and researching them online. A good neighborhood is going to be close to the things you like to do and it is also going to be safe and clean. You can research the crime rates of the different neighborhoods online and this will help you decide where you want to live.

You should also make a list of the things you would like to have in your apartment like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that are going to make you happy. You don’t want to waste money by renting an apartment that is too big, but you don’t want an apartment that is too small either because you are going to end up feeling cramped and uncomfortable. You want an apartment that is going to be just right for your needs.

The price is going to be important as well and you want to make sure that your apartment is going to be affordable. You don’t want to get stuck with apartments Edina that are out of your price range or else money is going to be an issue and you won’t have the money you need to get by. You have to consider many things when you are looking for a good apartment that is going to make you happy.

How To Avoid Bedbugs When Staying At A Hotel In San Antonio, Texas

Bedbugs are becoming more and more common. These tiny pests hide in the crevices around beds, sneaking out at night to feed. If you happen to stay in a hotel that has a bedbug problem, you may wake up with bites all over your body. Even worse, the bedbugs can find their way into your luggage. Then, when you take your bags home, they can infest your house, causing a major problem that can be difficult to eradicate.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can avoid bedbugs when staying at a hotel in San Antonio, Texas. One of the keys to avoiding bedbugs is to carefully search your room when you first check in. Start by putting your luggage in the bathroom. Although it may sound strange, this is the one area of a hotel room where bedbugs are unlikely to hide.

Once your luggage is safely tucked away, you can begin checking for signs of bedbugs. The best place to start this process is the bed. Pull back the blankets and sheets and inspect the mattress for any telltale signs of bedbugs. For instance, if you see small dots of blood or dark speckles, it could indicate that there is a bedbug problem. You can also check for the insects themselves by carefully examining the seams of the mattress and the area around the headboard.

Don’t forget to check the area directly around the bed as well. This includes the nightstands and any chairs that are located nearby. Pay special attention to any cracks or crevices where the insects could hide.

If you find any indications that there might be bedbugs in your room, you can ask for a different room instead. Make sure that your new room is located as far away as possible from the old room. Additionally, you will need to repeat your inspection after you get settled in.

Finally, you may want to consider investing in a protective plastic bag for your luggage. These bags are designed to zip up around your suitcases, keeping bedbugs from getting inside. That way, even if the hotel room does happen to have bedbugs, you are less likely to bring them home with you.

Using these strategies, you should be able to avoid bedbugs when staying at a hotel in San Antonio, Texas. Although checking your room carefully for bedbugs can be a bit time-consuming, it is well worth the effort.

Fun Things To See And Do During Your Visit To San Antonio Texas

No matter whether you are a nature lover, thrill seeker, or a fan of finer cultures, you’ll be able to find something to appreciate and enjoy about your trip to San Antonio Texas.

In this overview, we are going to highlight many of the best things to see and do while you are staying in San Antonio, so you will soon know what to do to get the most out of your visit.

First of all, there are a number of finer things to enjoy in San Antonio, particularly when it comes to the arts. Many people enjoy a trip to the Majestic Theatre whenever there is a performance, and the building was originally constructed back in 1929, so you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty of this famous architectural masterpiece as well.

On the other hand, you may prefer to visit the Japanese Tea Gardens in San Antonio, which are a beautiful and breathtaking location found right in the middle of the city. This garden has everything you’d expect from a peaceful Zen-like Japanese garden, complete with water features, turtles, koi fish, bridges, stonework, and wonderfully maintained plants and flowers.

But if you’re looking for something a little more exhilarating during your stay, then perhaps a trip to the Six Flags amusement park will be just the thing you need. There are some fantastic roller coasters here, as well as a number of other rides that’ll really get the blood pumping.

One of the best things about this park is that it is very well maintained, and if you are travelling in a nonpeak time, you’ll be surprised by how quickly it can be to get on the rides, so you certainly will not need to be waiting around for hours to enjoy everything this park has to offer.

Many people also like to visit the SeaWorld in San Antonio, and you will enjoy the many aquatic related exhibits, and you may even have the opportunity to swim with dolphins too, which gives many people a way to fulfill their lifelong dreams during their visit to San Antonio.

Of course, there is a variety of natural attractions in the state and in this particular city, with the Riverwalk being a particular favorite for many people who are looking to enjoy one of the finest hiking trails in the entire country. There are also a number of restaurants dotted around this area, so there’s always plenty of opportunities to stop to enjoy a bite to eat as well.

Fall In Love With San Antonio Texas

Texas is a very special state. It’s larger than most, and has a bond like no other. Some of that cameraderie developed because of historical events that occurred in San Antonio that would forever shape the future of this would-be state.

5-Country State
In the relatively short period of 329 years, from 1519 to 1848, Texas had been part of 5 different nations. That surprises most people. The fact that Mexico had claimed it is not a surprise to most, though.

Beyond Mexico, Spain, France, the Confederate States of America, and the Republic of Texas all had claimed it at one time or another.

The road to statehood saw Texas have the distinction of belonging to many different nations. While the rest of the states had fought through the American Revolution just 50 years earlier, San Antonio and what would become Texas faced challenges much later in time.

After all, it would find itself a part of the Confederacy between 1861 and 1865, which had consequences that reached far into the future. Many Americans take for granted, because time forgets, or their ancestors were not yet in the U.S., but following the Civil War, former Confederate states had sanctions against them.

Whether in the form of tariffs to transport goods within their states, or having Federal government officials put in positions of power to oversee the individual states.

Remember The Alamo
In 1836, meanwhile, San Antonio was the battleground for Mexico and Texas to fight during the fated road to Texas as an Independent Republic all its own. Texans all remembered the Alamo.

It was an impassioned battle involving where they faced the challenges of war and defeat over the course of days. General Sam Houston fought harder against Mexico following that devastating battle, to reclaim Texas from Mexico. It marked a significant turning point for Texas, where it became the Republic of Texas, to be led by its then-elected President Sam Houston.

It is easy to see why Texas is so special, sharing an uncommonly strong bond among its residents. It is also easy to see why so many different countries wanted its devoted and passionate population for their own devices.

Texans are still aware of their history, and still proud of their shared heritage. It is fascinating with many parts of its history involving uncertainty, battles, fear, and ultimately overcoming the challenges presented to it.