James J. Hill was perhaps the richest Minnesotan ever. The railroad baron and financier known as the Empire Builder may have been worth more than $6 billion in today’s dollars when he died about a century ago.
He founded a grand namesake library in St. Paul to help other entrepreneurs succeed. Now, the library’s leaders are adjusting its mission and purpose for the internet age.
But with the internet and smartphones essentially putting a library in everyone’s pocket, the Hill library has been trying to stay true to its founder’s charge of helping people launch and grow businesses.
Part of that evolution is hosting weekly events for entrepreneurs at the library, or James J. Hill Center as it’s now called. Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and get advice — and a grilling — about their plans.
Libraries aren’t typical venues for entrepreneur elevator pitches, but this is dead-center in the vision of new Hill Center Director Tamara Prato.
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