About Red Wing
Red Wing is an idyllic, historic Mississippi River town of 16,000 located 50 miles southeast of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Its history is rooted in innovation and entrepreneurial success and a strong creative economy.
Red Wing is the home of Red Wing Shoes, Riedell Skates, and the American stoneware company Red Wing Pottery established in 1861, as well as the birthplace of Puffed Rice cereal. Red Wing also has a strong tradition of advanced manufacturing and agri-businesses.
Established in 2013 as one of the original — and the only rural — US Ignite communities, Red Wing Ignite was designed to leverage the city’s gigabit broadband infrastructure for economic development. Red Wing Ignite brings together like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, and advisors to create a unique ecosystem for the Red Wing community to share ideas, resources, and expertise.
The organization’s primary focus areas include efforts to advance innovation, enhance regional connectivity, and cultivate the workforce of tomorrow. To support entrepreneurs and local businesses, it facilitates an angel investment fund, educational programming, coworking and meeting space, a technical assistance fund, an annual pitch competition, and a makerspace located within Minnesota State College Southeast.
Red Wing Ignite also serves as the hub organization for the E1 Collaborative which is made up of 16 partner organizations across southeast Minnesota, all with the mission of elevating and advancing entrepreneurs. The goal is to work beyond geopolitical boundaries to foster and connect an innovative ecosystem while keeping southeast Minnesota globally competitive.
What RIN means to Red Wing
“The Rural Innovation Network provides ongoing education and support, and we are proud to be a partner organization alongside other national network partners as we work together to advance our common goals. Our ability to learn and connect with a wide range of rural communities from coast to coast through the Network has proven to be invaluable to Red Wing Ignite.”
Stacy Nimmo, Executive Director at Red Wing Ignite
Explore our Network
Today, these local leaders are focused on educating and training local residents in digital skills (especially those traditionally excluded from the tech industry), employing them in new economy jobs, and empowering them to launch startups that will drive a prosperous 21st-century economy. Diverse in geography, economic origin, and demographics, these communities represent the full spectrum of rural America.