Our Story


Dr. Glen Nelson was a relentless advocate for innovation and entrepreneurship. As vice chairman of Medtronic, he championed efforts to save lives through innovation and was the patron of the “Patent Garden”, honoring the legacies of medical inventors. Dr. Nelson was also a longtime supporter of Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media, serving as board member and board chair. He was passionate about advancing public media’s unique ability to connect people in order to tackle society’s greatest challenges.

Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media was founded on Dr. Nelson’s steadfast conviction that public media is a vital source of connection, and that innovation is essential to serve new and diverse audiences. To honor Dr. Nelson’s legacy, Glen Nelson Center is building a new future for public media by launching, accelerating, and investing in entrepreneurs and start-up companies at the cutting edge of media innovation.

At Glen Nelson Center, we generate breakthrough ideas by combining American Public Media’s storytelling legacy with the agility and hustle of entrepreneurship. APM employees work alongside entrepreneurs from a variety of disciplines, forming unique connections and partnerships that power innovation.

To learn more about the impact of Dr. Glen Nelson’s approach to innovation, please listen to a brief audio story featuring the voices of the people who knew Dr. Nelson best: Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Bill George, Bobby Griffith, Jon McTaggert, Bill Kling, and Paul Citron. You can also ask your Google Home device, “Hey Google, ask Glen Nelson Center to tell me about Glen Nelson.”

American Public Media does not collect, use or share any user data via the Glen Nelson Center Monograph Google Action.


If everything is in control, you’re not going fast enough.

- Dr. Glen NElson