Minnesota Twins Accelerator Taps Experienced Minnesota Techstars Team

Jul 21, 2021
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The Minnesota Twins and Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, today announced the appointment of Brett Brohl as the Managing Director, Sarah Bain as the Venture Principal, and Jessica Stalbaum as the Director of Platform for The Minnesota Twins Accelerator by Techstars. This combined team brings experience in venture and entrepreneurship, having started and run multiple, highly successful Techstars accelerator programs in Minnesota.

Brett served as Director of the inaugural Techstars Startup Next Food & Ag Accelerator in partnership with Land O’Lakes, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Techstars Retail Accelerator in partnership with Target, and is currently the Managing Director of the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator program in partnership with Cargill and Ecolab, now in its fourth year. Brohl honed his startup skills as the CEO of multiple companies, experiences he draws on when working with founders. He is also Managing Partner of Bread & Butter Ventures and is passionately committed to growing the Minnesota startup ecosystem.

“I’m incredibly excited to partner with the Twins to provide more opportunities for the best entrepreneurs across the globe to build, grow, and learn,” said Brohl, “All by leveraging our combined networks here in Minnesota and beyond.”

“The opportunity in the SportsTech space is massive and I am really excited to be a part of it," Bain added. “The Twins and this program are going to offer so much to not only the founders coming through the program, but to the ecosystem as well. I’m thrilled to get back on the program side to continue to support amazing entrepreneurs.”

Just like Brett, Sarah brings experience in both startups and investment to her role as Venture Principal. Most recently, she was a Senior Investment Manager at Techstars where she helped maximize the health and growth of over 150 Techstars portfolio companies with a market cap of $3.4 billion by deploying capital according to fund strategies, and assisting companies through mentorship and connections to other capital resources, talent, customers, and expertise. She also spent 3 years running the Techstars Retail Accelerator. Sarah’s passion for supporting entrepreneurs started while working on growing partnerships for a startup in New York City before working for Techstars.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Brett, Sarah, and Jessica to the Twins family,” said Joe Pohlad, Minnesota Twins Executive Vice President of Brand Strategy and Growth. “Their expertise and vision will prove invaluable in creating a program that is beneficial to the startup community as well as the Minnesota Twins organization.”

The Techstars team will be responsible for running both the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator and the Minnesota Twins Accelerator, both located in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. As Director of Platform, Jess Stalbaum rounds out the team to support operations across both programs while also creating ongoing value and support for the alumni founders and the mentor ecosystem beyond the accelerator itself. Stalbaum was a founding member of Local Crate, a locally-sourced retail meal kit that began in the Twin Cities and went through the Techstars Retail program in 2017.

“Continuing to support entrepreneurs in both Food Tech and now the SportsTech industries is amazing,” said Stalbaum. “I think the Twins bring a great energy and expertise to the Techstars network and I’m looking forward to working with them along with our Farm to Fork partners, Cargill and Ecolab.”

The Minnesota Twins Accelerator by Techstars begins November 8, 2021 and finishes with a Demo Day in February, 2022.