The Cafe-X sessions of the Rocket Network are from 5.30 pm on each first Thursday of the month.  Offered by the Institute for Innovators and entrepreneurs at Hamline University at no charge to the attendees.

Where: Hamline U West Hall – Room 103, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul


Feb. 1:  Mining the Niches (Register today)

Jeff Bezos said there are many niche opportunities in ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ Find a high probability route to success, in a niche, in the wake of existing industries.

Presenter: Anoop Mathur, Founder Terrafore Technologies with over 25 patents and several awards, including Honeywell’s highest award for technology and business excellence. He responded to the U.S. Dept. of Energy challenge to solve a difficult thermal storage problem of solar energy. Today he is the go-to expert in this niche.


March 1: Thriving in the Emerging Gig Economy

Technology, that has already devastated manual jobs, is already beginning to impact the middle and upper-middle-class jobs. How do we prepare creative, talented the personnel who are prepared to excel in emerging environments, solve problems, make decisions and work in an ambiguous space whether that be in their own venture or working for a larger firm?

We begin with a documentary Most Likely To Succeed that offers an inspiring look at what students and teachers are capable of — if we have the vision and courage to transform our schools. Directed by acclaimed documentarian Greg Whiteley, the award-winning film has been an official selection of two dozen of the world’s top film festivals, including Sundance, Tribeca, AFI, Cleveland, Dallas, Milwaukee, Sarasota, Seattle, Virginia, and Bergen.

Followed by a Panel Discussion:

Roger Appeldorn a leading innovator at 3M during his long tenure with the company and has 35 patents to his name. As a result of his substantial contributions to the company, he was elected to the prestigious 3M Carlton Society (their “hall of fame”).

Alberto Monserrate is CEO & Co-founder, NewPublica. Alberto was elected to the Minneapolis School Board in 2010, serving as chair from 2012 to 2014. Alberto is the former board chair of Hiawatha Academies and served on the founding boards of KIPP Minnesota and Twin Cities Academy.

Julene Oxton from Lakeville district.(Invited)

Ben Whitney serves on the board of the Minneapolis Foundation and Great MN Schools and is Board Chair of MinnCAN, the state’s largest education reform advocacy organization.