Where did AccelerateMSP money go?


PamYorkAccelerateMSPIt has been two weeks since we openly asked some direct questions to Venture Lake representatives Tom Kieffer and Pamela York.

While those currently remain unanswered — a curious commenter reminded us about the public + foundation funding AccelerateMSP received to do something for entrepreneurship in Minnesota.

In an interview from April, AccelerateMSP CEO Pamela York stated:

“We have received $150k which has come from a variety of resources. A $75k grant was received from the Ford Foundation – which necessitated a 1:1 match. Other funding has come from the McKnight Foundation, GreaterMSP, the Knight Foundation the University of Minnesota, the City of St. Paul and the City of Minneapolis.”

With that background context, and now a full year since York’s appointment as the face AccelerateMSP, it’s time to ask: where did the money go?

The following questions have been provided to AccelerateMSP CEO Pamela York and answers will be posted here verbatim upon return.

1) How much money (public/foundation/private) has AccelerateMSP received to date?

2) How much has been spent so far and where?

3) What has AccelerateMSP produced with the money?

4) Does AccelerateMSP legally live within the University of Minnesota?

5) Are you still married to University of Minnesota director Jay Schrankler?


  • MP Blake

    This sounds like a personal attack on AccelerateMSP and Pamela York. I thought you guys were above this kind of thing. What’s the issue? I look to TechdotMN for unbiased perspectives.

    • http://tech.mn Jeff Pesek

      “What’s the issue?”

      The obscure and secretive nature by which AccelerateMSP has chosen to operate in the name of entrepreneurship – including the acceptance and application of Minnesota taxpayer funding for personal & private business purposes without any transparency or accountability.


      Moving forward, if this is a conversational thread you would like me to engage in please use your real full name and provide a social link.


      • Darren Cox

        So…, nothing yet?

        Maybe somebody should make a call to the Attorney General. I mean, we are talking about public dollars here; right?

        What does the Minneapolis Mayor’s Office have to say about this? How about St. Paul’s City Council? Does the University Office of the Vice President of Research have a take on this? How about the President’s office… The Regents?

        This is too far reaching and goes way too deep to just give up on this. Where is the follow up on this story?

      • Darren Cox

        I used my full name AND you have my phone number and email address, yet you still dropped the ball on this Jeff. I am really disappointed.

    • Darren Cox

      How is this a personal attack? Questions were asked and never properly answered. To me, it sounds like you are too gutless to use your real name, but have no problem criticizing anonymously.

  • Darren Cox

    Please… Jeff, you guys should keep going and not listen to the buffoon who considers asking Pam York and Tom Kieffer to account for public funds that they solicited and took, a hostile act. In fact, if you don’t follow up on this story vehemently, I and every other entrepreneur who those two claimed to have been “helping” should consider your credibility gone and Tech.MN’s purpose moot.

    As you know, as soon as it was announced that Kieffer had anything to do with this boondoggle, I predicted that this would be the ultimate result. I, for one, would not be a bit surprised to find that there may have been shady dealings, closed-door meetings and public money changing hands outside of public view. When will people in this community learn that you can’t trust certain people with your money, your livelihood and especially with your future? (because we seem to make the same mistake and trust the same individuals over-and-over again)

    There are a LOT of great people supporting the entrepreneurial community; folks who constantly go out of their way to support entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial activities, asking nothing in return. There are still others who invest millions of dollars of their hard-earned money in hopes of a giant return on their investment. These folks are also worthy of praise because, though not benevolent, they are at least transparent and provide a needed service. However, there is a small group of the usual suspects who have, for years, been trying to line their own pockets and build their own prestige on the backs of hard-working, innovators and entrepreneurs… a group who has fooled foundations and government entities into throwing them support and financing over-and-over even though the group members are the only folks who have gained anything.

    AccelerateMSP has looked, to me, like a long con by these same folks since the day it was announced.

    I cannot wait to see what their public relations team comes up with… paid for, of course, with other people’s money.

    Do NOT stop. Do NOT be swayed by folks trying to protect their friends bad deeds. DO NOT give up your integrity. This is the most important story in the history of Tech.MN and will determine if it is a news organization or just a fan-zine. Keep going Jeff, the entrepreneurial community is behind you.