Famous MN entrepreneur the inspiration for entrepreneurs’ fund

This week's Rotary speaker was Patrick Donohue from Hill Capital Corporation Patrick Donohue of Hill Capital Corporation explained how Hill Capital fills a needed gap in financing for to small- and medium-sized businesses. The corporation’s inspiration is James J. Hill, Minnesota’s railway magnate. By funding local businesses, the Hill Capital Corporation aligns with Rotary’s support for its local communities. Donohue, a former Rotarian, gave us a quick history lesson about James J. Hill including his legacy of the Hill Center Reference Library, which offers research, programs, and networking for each stage of business development. The center also serves the broader community by hosting of cultural and artistic programming and events.

Donohue talked about Hill’s success building and managing the Great Northern Railway and noted he was one the few railroad builders who never went bankrupt. One of Hill’s strategies was to help businesses and farms along the rail’s route to be successful, with the railway supporting logistics they needed to thrive. Adapting that philosophy to our times, the for-profit Hill Capital Corporation provides investments in the range of $250,000 to $5 million. Hill Capital is currently selling shares to generate the funding for these long-term capital projects, which will be chosen by their Board of Directors, in conjunction with venture capital investors and local banks. Initial funding targets will be in Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas.

To learn more about the James. J. Hill Reference Library go to http://jjhill.org.