Are you a, “Pizza farm owner that is interested in bringing a business online and opening an e-commerce store”? Or maybe a, “Retired engineer that lives in the region that has several ideas for products to bring to market”?

Well, we’ve got good news.

The Greater MN Startup School Initiative from Great North Labs is officially real and ­— even better — already has its first event on the calendar. “Startup Course 01 | Customer Drive Innovation – Module 101: Opportunity Identification” will kick off the program in two locations (St. Cloud and Red Wing) with two sessions — 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Formed through a partnership with Nick Tietz of ILT Academy, Adam Gettings of Red Wing Ignite, E1 Ecosystem Builders, and with funding and support from MN DEED, the “Redwing Ignite Lean Startup School” will feature three main components. The first (the aforementioned “Startup Course 01”) will focus on the processes involved in defining and refining all aspects of an early idea — the problem, solutions, customers, and potential opportunities. Two other courses, “Customer Driven Innovation” and the multi-month “The Lean Startup,” are also on the docket, although details are yet to be finalized.

We spoke with Ryan Weber, managing partner of Great North Labs, about the school’s inception, inspiration, and challenges. Stay tuned for the full Q&A soon.