Neela Mollgaard

Executive Director, Launch Minnesota

Neela Mollgaard is the Executive Director of Launch Minnesota, an initiative from the State’s agency of Employment and Economic Development, working to create an environment to support entrepreneurs by empowering and elevating Minnesota’s innovation ecosystem.

She connects, convenes, and catalyzes efforts statewide by bringing together public and private organizations from diverse sectors and industries. Launch Minnesota has been able to increase access to capital, statewide connectivity, and entrepreneurial expertise.

Her career has involved bringing people together to create change. She has been a leader and facilitator of organization and community innovation. She has experience working in corporate, government and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining the state, she was a founder of the nonprofit Red Wing Ignite, which supports entrepreneurs, businesses, and students to succeed in the 21st-century economy. Red Wing Ignite created a model, that received national attention, developing an innovative ecosystem by forging partnerships with government, academic, corporate, and community partners.

She also believes in giving back to her community and has served in numerous leadership roles with local organizations and nonprofits. Currently, she is a founder and chair of Women Cents, a nonprofit that supports children and families and board member of the Jones Family Foundation.