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Investors.com reports on local tech startup boom

Investors.com recently reported on what some people describe as a “tech startup boom” in Minneapolis. 

In three years, Coco Coworking, which now has three Twin Cities coworking spaces where entrepreneurs can share resources and ideas, has grown to include 700 members, most of which are tech startups, the story states.  

CoCo has hosted over 4,000 people through its regular meet-ups just this year, according to the story. 

The nonprofit Minnestar, which is also dedicated to cultivating the local tech scene, has seen an increase of over 40 percent in attendance at its MinneDemo events since 2010. 

The story goes on to cite other examples of tech activity in the state. Jeff Pesek, co-founder of the Minneapolis-based website, tech.mn, which tracks the local tech scene, is quoted, saying, “There is a lot of activity here, a lot of signs that the market is evolving and blossoming.” 


Source: Investors.com 




Metro Transit adds wi-fi to Northstar Line

Metro Transit recently added a service for commuters on its Northstar Line, which takes people between downtown Minneapolis and Big Lake during rush hours: It debuted wi-fi access on Monday, the Star Tribune reports

The complimentary wi-fi will work on at least one train car for each trip, which will be labeled, according to the Star Tribune blog post. That will usually be the “cab car,” at the end of the train.

Metro Transit spokesperson Brian Lamb is quoted in the piece, saying, "Due to the longer distances traveled on commuter rail, Northstar service is a great match for wi-i.”

Besides wi-fi access, passengers can listen to Minnesota Public Radio’s “Sound Point,” which provides historical background about the areas the train traverses. 
  



Study highlights Minnesota's innovation and manufacturing

Minnesota's manufacturing scene is rife with innovation and productivity, according to a recent study.
 
The 2013 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, prepared by an economics professor at Ball State University, ranked Minnesota high on a state-by-state analysis of manufacturing climates.
 
The state excels when it comes to obtaining manufacturing patents and spending on research and development. Also, Minnesota's high-quality labor force put the state ahead of others in the country, giving us a competitive advantage and making Minnesota attractive for relocation.
 
About 10 percent of Minnesota's economy depends on manufacturing, and the abundance of local talent garnered through access to university laboratories and nonprofit research activities plays a part in the state's manufacturing strength, the study noted.

Fast Company recognizes innovation at Recon Robotics and Target

Major local companies Target and ReconRobotics have landed on business and technology magazine Fast Company's recent list of "Most Innovative Companies 2013."
 
Given the number of technology firms on the list, Target was a surprise pick, but Fast Company noted that it scored a place at the number 10 spot (out of 50) for its ability to "shrink the big box" with a forward-thinking, half-size store that's ideal for urban environments.
 
The smaller footprint stores were launched in Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles last year, and the magazine noted the appeal of strong signage, the use of rehabbed buildings, and free WiFi.
 
Robot maker ReconRobotics got a nod at number 44 for "building the stealthiest robot you'll never see." The article notes that the company's strong growth--with 2012 revenue nearly four times that of 2010 — makes it an innovative company worth watching.

Fastest-growing technology company list includes three Minnesota businesses

Audit, consulting, and tax services firm Deloitte released its annual ranking of fastest-growing technology companies, and three Minnesota businesses made the list.
 
SPS Commerce, Knowledge Marketing, and Outsell all showed strong revenue growth over the past five years. In creating the list, Deloitte looked at both public and private companies, and considered growth from 2007 to 2011.
 
 The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 is now in its 18th year, and is considered one of the most notable indicators of technology business health. Innovative companies in a range of industries are considered, including hardware, software, life sciences, telecom, and clean technology.

Labor Statistics report recognizes Minnesota's tech job growth

Technology career site Dice.com highlighted a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that put Minnesota in the top five states for fastest job growth in computer systems design and related services.
 
Dice's managing director, Alice Hill, noted that the Minnesota High Tech Association has the goal to make the state one of the country's top five in all types of technology by 2020. Also, IT hiring in Minnesota goes beyond tech firms and includes retailers, healthcare companies, consulting firms, insurance companies, and manufacturers.
 
Maryland showed the strongest growth in the nation for the computer systems design sector, followed by Massachusetts, Texas, and New York. An interesting aspect of the report, Dice pointed out, was that technology powerhouses California and Washington didn't make the list of the top 10 fastest-growing states for IT jobs.

Nieman Lab spotlights Minnpost app

A recent post from the Nieman Journalism Lab, which is a project of the national Nieman Foundation at Harvard, features a new app that Minnpost developed.

The new Bill Explorer tool allows “readers to visualize and dive into the issues that were big at the state capitol,” it states.

It’s a spinoff of other “bill-tracker applications that a number of news organizations, watchdog groups--not to mention state legislatures and Congress--have developed to give people a sense of what their elected officials are up to.”

Director of news technology Kaeti Hinck is quoted, saying that the program needs to show value for both experts and laymen. “Our primary audience is civic-minded people who care about state politics in Minnesota. A majority of our readers come to MinnPost for our politics and policy coverage--it’s our bread and butter," she says in the piece.





Minnesota companies set a record for exports

According to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the state's companies set a fourth-quarter export record. In that time period, $5.1 billion worth of manufactured, agricultural, and mining products were shipped out of state.
 
DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips noted that strong markets in Asia and North America are driving the growth, and the Minnesota Trade Office is seeing increased interest from state companies in exporting strategies.
 
The largest export market was Canada, which bought nearly $1.5 billion worth of products during the quarter. Other major customers included China, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and Singapore.
 
In terms of products, machinery was the top export, followed by optical and medical products, vehicles, plastic, meat, food waste, and aircraft.
 

Defense Industry Daily notes local firm's "throwbots"

Local robotics company ReconRobotics has garnered attention in a recent Defense Industry Daily article, which profiled the firm's Recon Scout robot.
 
"It won't shovel your driveway after a Panhandle Hook has come through, but if you're trying to see into the next room, or over a wall, or even under rubble after a natural disaster, ReconRobotics thinks they have just thing for you," the article's writer notes.
 
After covering the robot's key features, the article provides details on recent military contracts won by the company.

Minneapolis and social media jobs go hand-in-hand

Minneapolis is full of opportunity for job seekers looking to work in social media, according to a study on the Mediabistro/All Twitter web site, City Pages reports.

The city comes in number 13 nationally, “second in the Midwest only to Chicago,” City Pages states.

New York, San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston top the list.

In Minneapolis, the highest-paying job in this niche is social media marketing manager, which has a salary range of $54,000 to $85,000. “Minneapolis may not be the home of new-media giants like Twitter and Google, but we're aren't the social media backwoods, either,” says City Pages.



Huffington Post features Minneapolis's Central Library as cultural center

As a part of a Huffington Post series called “Libraries in Crisis,” the Minneapolis Central Library is featured as a cultural center. 

Despite budget cuts, “more people than ever are visiting their local library,” the story states.  

That point holds true at the Minneapolis Central Library, where the busy computer area, teen center, and New Americans Center show how library use is changing. 

“Librarians across the country are looking to institutions such as this to show the way forward. For their part, the librarians here say their hope is that this library can be more of a cultural center than a book repository,” the story reads.  


 

Minnesota ranks as 17th largest cyberstate, study finds

Despite losing some tech jobs in 2010, Minnesota remained the 17th largest cyberstate, according to non-profit firm TechAmerica Foundation.
 
In its annual Cyberstates rankings, the organization analyzed the health of the tech industry in all 50 states.
 
In a press release announcing the results, Minnesota High Tech Association CEO and president Margaret Anderson Kelliher noted that "Minnesota will recover with policies that encourage education in science and technology." She also mentioned economic development tools such as the data center sales tax exemption that was recently approved by the state legislature.
 
Compared to other states, Minnesota ranked second in electromedical equipment manufacturing employment, and sixth in computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing employment.

UK newspaper reports on University of Minnesota food research

The Telegraph, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, highlighted research done at the University of Minnesota on bisin, a substance that shows promise as a food preservative.
 
The story noted that microbiologists at the U of M discovered bisin by accident when studying organisms that populate the human gut. Bisin is able to kill bacteria that trigger decomposition in the fresh proteins found in meat, dairy, eggs, and fish—although it doesn’t work on fresh vegetables or fruit.
 
It can also prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria like E.coli, salmonella, and listeria.
 
If the substance lives up to its promise, it could be the "Holy Grail” of the food industry, The Telegraph posited, although skeptics--like Rose Prince, the columnist doing the reporting--may need a bit more convincing.
13 High Technology Articles | Page:
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