James J. Hill was born in Canada and emigrated to St. Paul to work as a shipping clerk for a steamboat company. Hard work and a head for business made him successful enough in the shipping business that he was able to buy a railroad at age 38 and eventually expanded it to be a transcontinental railway (Great Northern) without using any public funds, making it the only privately financed transcontinental railway. Hill knew the value of private investment capital and used it wisely, promoting businesses in the communities through which his railways ran and giving back in various ways. The James J. Hill Center in St. Paul is Mr. Hill’s living legacy to support entrepreneurship. The Hill Center along with individual founders of Hill Capital did research on the business finance landscape and found that small companies seeking $500,000 to $5,000,000 in financing to grow their company are increasingly unable to do so. Hill Capital was formed to launch a publicly-held private equity firm to be collaborative with all sources of finance and help fill this capital void in the finance market. Hill Capital represents an opportunity to help address this gap, leverage the wisdom of the community and bring people together with shared economic interests in the growth of entrepreneurial companies throughout the Empire Builder corridor.


Patrick E. Donohue, President and CEO, Hill Capital Corporation, grew up in Forest Lake and Mendota Heights, MN. He is a graduate of St. Thomas Academy and Creighton University. He lives in Eden Prairie with his wife Anne and three small children.

Patrick is a past member of Minneapolis Rotary Club #9 (2005-2009).

Patrick is a Finance Strategist with a passion to increase financial literacy and help people become financially independent.

Patrick has produced several online financial education courses for business owners to simplify finance and strategy that has been subscribed to by over 10,000 learners. Patrick’s expertise is in finance where he has spent in excess of 20,000 hours on financial modeling and equity research including over 1,000 hours on self education and exams to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.