As Associate Director of the Carlson Ventures Enterprise at the University of Minnesota, Connie Rutledge brings over 10 years of experience in entrepreneurship and business management. As an analyst with an early stage venture capital firm, she reviewed over 500 business plans and helped guide local entrepreneurs through due diligence to completed financing. As the sixth employee of a software start-up, Connie was responsible for deploying smart card technology to health care providers. At the University, Connie develops entrepreneurial real-world projects for students and guides their efforts to research and analyze interesting business opportunities. Her current interests include entrepreneurship at the intersection of private and public sectors with a specific focus on alternative energy as an emerging market. As a result, she has introduced social entrepreneurship into the CVE curriculum and has also mentored students on several energy-related projects. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Tulsa and a master’s in public affairs from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.