Nonprofit entrepreneurial group names new leader – Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER – A local nonprofit organization that works with early stage entrepreneurs has officially made its interim leader into its new executive director.

Amanda Leightner was recently named as the executive director of The Collider Foundationwhich is based in the Minnesota Biobusiness Center in downtown Rochester.

Leightner, formerly Collider’s director of community, had served as the interim executive director since Jamie Sundsbak left that role in 2021 to join the Mayo Clinic Platform.

Prior to joining Collider, Leightner worked at the Mayo Clinic Office of Entrepreneurship.

In her earlier role at Collider, she helped develop and run Collider’s educational programs and guided the organization’s pilot Ecosystem Navigator program from 2019 to early 2022. Leightner also spent five years running Rochester Rising, a platform to tell the stories of Rochester entrepreneurs.

The Collider Foundation, which was formed in 2019, evolved out of the Collider Coworking incubator space.

That earlier for-profit incarnation was founded and owned by Traci and Hunter Downs. Collider moved out of the Conley-Maass-Downs building in 2021, when Google took over that space to house a Rochester office.

The foundation is slated to join other local economic development organizations when they all move “under one roof” to form a hub on the sixth floor of the Minnesota Biobusiness Center at 221 First Ave. SW in the near future.

Collider will join Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc., the Southeast Minnesota Region Small Business Development Center and the Black Entrepreneurship Team in the new space.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in “Heard on the Street.” Send tips to

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