Has all this talk about “unicorns” and billion-dollar exits got you down? Doggone it, Minnesota needs some, right? So we can tell our friends in other states, “No, really, we have an awesome startup scene here! We aren’t Flyover Land.” You tell them we have some hot startups going on – you just haven’t heard of them yet. “You just wait – we’ll show you!”

Well, when exactly will we do that? That’s the main question we raise here, as well as why do we want such big exits? And we have some great local leaders who were kind enough to weigh in and give me their take on the subject.

What is an “exit,” anyway? One of three things: it’s when a company sells, has an initial public offering (IPO)… or, um, goes out of business. We’re gonna skip that last one! And the IPO thing we’ll touch on only briefly. We’re mainly talking here about companies getting acquired — by another company (strategic buyer) or a private equity (PE) fund — for multiples of the amount of money that’s been invested in them.