In October, we introduced Under the Hood to better understand how technology oriented nonprofits in Minnesota function.
This recurring series is made possible by research partner Altrulytics and underwriter Atomic Data. Over the coming weeks we will publish individual responses, and in the end, compile an aggregated assessment of the landscape with further analysis.
Organization name: Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA)
Executive Director: Margarent Anderson Kelliher
When was it formed and for what purpose?
MHTA was first organized in the fall of 1982 as the Minnesota High Technology Council. It was formed as a successor organization to the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology Advisory Council. That council disbanded in favor of an independent group with a broader focus. MHTC later merged with the Minnesota Software Association to create the Minnesota High Tech Association or MHTA.
Who or what do you serve?
MHTA and the MHTA Foundation are Minnesota nonprofit organizations. We engage with science and technology companies and organizations all across Minnesota and around the world. Many organizations support MHTA’s work through membership. Our 300+ members are listed at MHTA.org.
Thousands of Minnesotans also interact with MHTA through our various programs including SciTechsperience internships, Spring Conference, getSTEM-mn, the Tekne Awards, Minnesota Venture Finance Conference and MHTA Foundation STEM Scholarships.
How many do you serve and how?
Our work promoting and advocating for the state’s science and technology economy is designed to serve all Minnesotans, including technology professionals, educators developing our future workforce and Minnesota families considering science and technology careers. All employees of our member organizations are considered MHTA members. In addition, thousands of other Minnesotans are served by programs promoting science and technology business and professional development as well as STEM education. Examples include Women Leading in Technology, ACE Leadership, which provides leadership training for science and technology professionals, and SciTechsperience, which connects hundreds of small Minnesota science and technology companies with qualified college interns
What are the main programs/resources that you offer?
The work of MHTA and the MHTA Foundation is centered around 5 key areas: Workforce Development, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Public Policy and STEM Education. We offer more than 50 annual events in addition to other programs and initiatives with content focused on those areas.
Do you have earned income and if so, how?
Membership, sponsorship and events.
What key metrics do you use and how do you measure the impact of your org?
MHTA’s Board of Directors has articulated a vision of making Minnesota a top 5 technology state as measured by various independent organizations. They include the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the National Science Board’s Science & Engineering Indicators and TechAmerica/TECNA. Specific programs, such as the SciTechsperience internship program, have targets connected to engagement among women, minorities, veterans and participation in Greater Minnesota.
How do you source funding and can you provide us with three years most recent tax returns?
MHTA’s work is funded through membership, sponsorship and foundation grants. The association also administers the SciTechsperience STEM internship program on behalf of the State of Minnesota.
Do donors fund the organization as a whole, specific programs and/or something else?
MHTA’s members fund outreach, programs and initiatives. Companies and organizations also underwrite specific programs through sponsorships or grants.
Given the options of nonprofits to support in the technology industry, what makes yours unique?
MHTA was conceived and continues to operate with the broad mission of promoting and advocating for Minnesota’s science and technology economy and workforce. Interviews and feedback with members, public leaders and community have continually reinforced the concept of a big picture organization that engages with and supports science and technology across a wide spectrum. We support companies and organizations focused on advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, agriculture and food science, biotechnology and life sciences, engineering services, fuels and energy, information technology as well as mining and materials processing.
Who is on the executive board of your organization?
Current Board Members:
Chair: Mike Connly, CIO, OptumHealth
Vice Chair: Michael Lacey, CEO, Digineer
Treasurer: Ed Foppe, Partner, PwC
Secretary: Doug Carnival, Shareholder, McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn Lamb
Joy Lindsay, President, StarTec Investments
Lisa Schlosser, VP & CTO, Thomson Reuters
Matt Kucharski, Executive Vice President, PadillaCRT
Tom Kieffer, CEO, Virteva
Todd Hauschildt, President & CEO, SWAT Solutions
Robert Tabb, Consultant
Dan Grigsby, CTO, Slyce
Margaret Anderson Kelliher, President & CEO, MHTA
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We have attached a link to the 2013 SciTechsperience report. We have just completed the 2014 program year and that report will be available later in the year. The program metrics will be substantially different based on increased funding and the ability to match more students with small science and technology firms.