Project Skyway emerges as the vision for an ‘Innovation Center’ in Minnesota. GTK #23: Cem Erdem


“I looked around at all the models and unfortunately we are behind the curve when it comes to early stage investment of time, capital and resources,” says  Cem Erdem, President and CEO of Minneapolis-based Augusoft.

As a Turkish immigrant, Cem started Augusoft 16 years ago to provide Internet strategy consulting at a time when the Internet was still nascent at best. Over the years, Augusoft has become a “highly profitable” software development firm specializing in a learning management system called Lumens.

Finding his own success through “pain and patience”, Cem believes that there is not  only room for improvement in early-stage Minnesota technology, but specifically a great opportunity to play to the strengths of the talented yet underserved entrepreneurs within the educational system.  By creating an “innovation center” aka Project Skyway to “focus on building sustainable businesses that generate long-term value,” Cem Erdem describes his vision for a supportive entrepreneurial environment designed to bring Minnesota back where it belongs.

“I feel like I just got off the airplane again [16 years ago] and I can smell the opportunity in the air…We will be opening our first innovation center in July 2011 by highway 169 & 394…and I’m going to need help so I invite everyone to help the new generation of entrepreneurs to chase their dreams, which is now my dream.” – Cem Erdem, President and CEO, Augusoft.

Listen in.