The Minnesota Innovation Initiative (MI2) is a “private led/private driven” organization whose purpose is to serve business and industry needs, while reaching into and leveraging existing resources for support.

MI2 operates as a subdivision of Greater Bemidji.

As the MI2’s management and operating contractor, The Idea Circle’s role spans across four areas: strategy, leadership, stewardship, and engagement.

  • Strategy: Setting and realizing a compelling vision for impact
  • Leadership: Inspiring the talent of the MI2 lab and collaborating to achieve its goals
  • Stewardship: Assuming responsibility for the MI2’s mission and performance
  • Engagement: Engaging positively in the communities in which MI2 works

The goal of MI2 is to strengthen the workforce pipeline to recruit, train, and retain skilled workers with emphasis on manufacturing.

Who Do We Serve?

Entry Level Workers

An important part of the MI2 mission is to bring new workers into the workforce. We work with local job placement and staffing agencies to identify individuals looking for a new career path.

High School Students

We created a high school program through MI2 and we now work with Bemidji High School, Bagley High School, Voyageur’s Expeditionary SchoolTrek North Senior High and area homeschool students that allows juniors and seniors to take Mechatronics courses for school credit.  Students can also earn college credit and national certificates.  MI2 has helped many of these trainees secure their first job and enter college.

Incumbent Workers

As part of the mission of MI2 we work with local companies who are looking for individuals who want to work and who may or may not have technical skills but are willing to take on new challenges and learn. Because industry changes and our world is increasingly reliant on technology, it is important companies have an adaptable workforce. MI2 works with companies to identify their needs and prepare their employees for the future.

High School Trainee Celebrations 2015-2019

Bemidji High School, Bagley High School, Voyageur's Expeditionary School, and Trek North Senior High School