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Coen + Partners wins Cooper Hewitt design award

The Minneapolis landscape architecture firm Coen + Partners was recently award the 16th Annual National Design Award in Landscape Architecture from the Smithsonian's Design Museum, Cooper Hewitt.

“With the reopening of the museum this past year, Cooper Hewitt is scaling new heights to educate, inspire and empower our community through design,” said Caroline Baumann, director, in a press release. “I am thrilled and honored to welcome this year’s class of National Design Award winners, all of whom represent the pinnacle of innovation in their field, with their focus on collaboration, social and environmental responsibility, and the fusion of technology and craftsmanship.”
First launched at the White House in 2000 as a project of the White House Millennium Council, the National Design Awards were established to promote design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world. The awards are accompanied each year by National Design Week, which this year will take place Oct. 10–18 and include a variety of public education programs, panel discussions and workshops. First Lady Michelle Obama serves as the Honorary Patron for this year’s National Design Awards.

Founded by Shane Coen in 1991, Coen + Partners works through a process of collaboration, experimentation, and questioning, to embrace the complexities of each site with quiet clarity and ecological integrity. The practice has built a distinguished body of award-winning work that is widely recognized as progressive and timeless, receiving numerous awards for landscape architecture, planning, and urban design. Coen + Partners has been recognized by the AIA, the ASLA, the GSA Design Excellence Program, and the editorial staff of such influential publications as Metropolis, Dwell, and Architectural Record. New York Times architectural critic Anne Raver has described Coen + Partners’ work as “pushing Midwestern boundaries.”

U of M team wins DOE challenge

“Team OptiMN,” a group of 14 undergraduate and grad students at the University of Minnesota with diverse majors (including building science, sustainable design, construction management and business), was the Grand Award Winner of The Department of Energy’s second annual "Race to Zero" Student Design Competition. The team won for its design of the OptiMN Impact Home in North Minneapolis.

Teams competing in the “Race to Zero” challenge were asked to design cost-effective zero-energy-ready homes for mainstream builders, according to a press release announcing the award, adding that, "The winning design uses high-performance features that sharply reduce energy use, and allow for most of the remaining energy use to be offset with renewable energy." The contest is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This year, the competition involved 33 teams from 27 universities in the U.S., Canada and China. "Along with energy-efficiency, the designed homes must be comfortable and attractive as well as affordable," the release stated.

Green Homes North, one of team OptiMN's partners, plans on building 100 energy-efficient homes in North Minneapolis in the next five years. Team OptiMN made sure the home followed their guidelines. The team also partnered with Urban Homeworks to design a high performance, affordable, flexible home. Residential Science Resources was the team's energy rater partner.

Team OptiMN’s design goals centered around meeting: the DOE’s challenge to build a zero energy ready home; Urban Homework’s mission to produce equitable, dignified communities; and Green Homes North Initiative to revitalize North Minneapolis neighborhoods with affordable, sustainable and quality homes.


MSP top metro for innovatively solving urban issues

Minneapolis-St. Paul was recently named one of the top 10 innovative cities in the U.S. by CNN Money.

"From technology and infrastructure, to job creation and sustainability," the article stated, the cities included are "leading the pack when it comes to creatively solving urban issues."

About MSP, the article stated, "June saw the opening of a new light rail line between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Experts from around the country praised it as an example of transportation infrastructure done right -- it integrated the needs of the affected communities and used the new line to drive economic development."

The Twin Cities were also selected as "early adopters of programs to help immigrants start businesses, artists buy real estate, and enlist local execs in solving community problems. The Cities also get high marks for their public health efforts, including smoking cessation programs, cancer screening and efforts to create walkable communities."

Pat's Tap, Pig & Fiddle receive national fame

Included in Food & Wine's 2014 list of "Best Gastropubs in the U.S." are Pat's Tap and Pig & Fiddle. "Whether they take a heavy cue from British tradition or hew more to modern American style, these top-notch pubs all have two things in common: exceptional meals and beers to match," a description accompanying the slideshow states.

Source: Food & Wine

Louise Erdrich receives American Book Award

This year, Minneapolis author Louise Erdrich was recognized with an American Book Award for her 14th novel, The Round House.

Erdrich’s novel, set on an American Indian reservation, tells of a teenage boy’s struggle in the aftermath of an attack on his mother. 

The American Book Awards “celebrates the diversity of the country’s literature,” according to an article in the Star Tribune. The awards were established in 1980 by the Before Columbus Foundation, a nonprofit organization, founded by author-poet-playwright Ishmael Reed, that promotes multicultural literature.

A ceremony for the 34 authors who received awards took place at the Miami Book Fair International last month. Erdrich is also the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore in Minneapolis.

The awards don’t involve a cash award or individual competitive categories, the story adds. 

Source: Star Tribune 

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 

Target gets buzz for its unique Simplicity Challenge contest

As the popularity of the Minnesota Cup demonstrates, innovation challenges are becoming a definite trend, and now Target is getting into the mix.
As reported by MedCity News and other news outlets, the company recently announced two contests aimed at boosting innovation in healthcare.
The Target Simplicity Challenge will reward the creators of the winning ideas $25,000 apiece, and offer them the chance to partner with Target on developing the concepts. One contest will focus on solutions that help people make positive lifestyle and preventative care choices, while the other will focus on helping people live well with chronic conditions.
MedCity News notes that Target wants small, simple ideas that can substantively solve problems outlined in the contest. The company announced the challenges at the Mayo Clinic Transform Symposium

Major food mag names two local picks in its "best new restaurants" list

Food magazine Bon Appétit recently released its "Top 50 New Restaurants" list, and two Minneapolis eateries made the cut: World Street Kitchen and Borough.
Singled out for its cheese-grater light fixtures and mismatched flatware, Borough in the North Loop neighborhood got a nod for bringing together chefs from Travail for an eclectic menu. The magazine advised readers to opt for the cauliflower with pickled chilies and tempura-style oysters.
World Street Kitchen, near Uptown, was highlighted for its industrial look and casual style, matched with "straight-up fantastic international street food." Diners should go for the knockout rice bowls, burritos, and affordable prices.
Although neither restaurant made the magazine's subsequent Top 10 list, there were still plenty of raves for each eatery's signature dishes.

Anytime Fitness named world's fastest growing fitness club

For the sixth year, Hastings-based Anytime Fitness has nabbed the title of "world's fastest-growing fitness club" from The International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), an industry trade group.
The designation is based on the number of locations that Anytime Fitness added within the past year, as well as other factors like revenue and membership numbers.
The fitness behemoth opened 260 new locations in 2012, bringing its total to 2,035 clubs. It came in second in the IHRSA report for revenue growth, posting $484 million in 2012, a 33 percent increase over the previous year. The club was third on the list for number of members, reporting 1.5 million in 2012, coming in behind massive 24 Hour Fitness with 3.8 million members and Curves International, with 2 million members.
IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore noted in a statement that the growth of Anytime Fitness indicates strong demand from consumers for "companies that meet their expectations."

Minneapolis named one of the best cities for recent college grads

Minneapolis landed at the no. 10 spot on Apartments.com's annual list of "Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates."
Now in its sixth year, the list examines 100 U.S. cities and determines rankings based on apartment availability, affordability, unemployment rates, median income, and the percentage of single people between the ages of 25 and 29.
According to the report, Minneapolis has a high number of people falling within that age range, as well as a low unemployment rate.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is just over $1,000, the report noted, which lands within the affordability range for recent college grads.
At the top of the list is Phoenix, with $708 as average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, and coming in at second and third place were Orlando and San Antonio.

Two local food trucks on list of best in the country

Popular local food trucks Chef Shack and Vellee Deli appeared on a recent list of the country's top food trucks, in a ranking dished up by food website The Daily Meal.
Chef Shack, a fixture on the food truck scene here and one of the first to kick off the trend, nabbed the no. 10 spot on the list while fusion cuisine purveyor Vellee Deli came in at no. 84.
The website looked at over 450 trucks from over 40 cities, and came up with the list by considering Twitter and Facebook popularity, as well as innovative menus, originality, and online reviews.
In singling out Chef Shack, the site noted that ingredients are organic when possible, and from family farms and co-ops in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Vellee Deli, meanwhile, won a spot for its blend of Asian and Mexican dishes.

Minneapolis ranks high for small business employees

Minneapolis ranked third in a recent study that looked at which cities in the country are most appealing for those who work for small businesses.
Coming in behind Denver and Boston, Minneapolis has the least amount of job competition among the 30 cities considered by the study's developer, a credit card research site called Card Hub.
Cities were ranked based on job growth, average monthly earnings for new hires, cost of living in the area, average unemployment rate, and other factors.
Companies with fewer than 50 employees comprise about half of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce's membership, the study noted, and "its workforce spends relatively little time on the job...the city ranks in the top 10 nationally in terms of small business vitality, industry variety, and stress."

Minneapolis a good place for female entrepreneurs

Recently, Intuit put together a list of the top U.S. cities for female entrepreneurs. By its calculations, Minneapolis comes in fourth place. San Francisco tops the list. It's followed by Seattle and Washington D.C., in second and third place.

In a blog post about its results, Inuit underscores that while more women are enrolled in higher education, “they still struggle to find their place in many career fields, including business and entrepreneurship.”  

At the same time, a study shows that 81 percent of female entrepreneurs are “showing optimism about their business ventures,” it states.

To come up with its rankings, Intuit looked at median education levels, unemployment rates, income, population, and the percentage of women-owned businesses for 48 cities across the country.

Report shows rise in Minnesota tech venture funding

At least 24 Minnesota tech ventures raised in excess of $28 million in the first quarter of the year, according to a report from local technology site TECHdotMN.
Analyzing data from January 1 to March 31, the site compiled data from multiple sources, and noted that actual numbers are estimated to be at least 20 percent higher, based on information from investors who couldn't disclose their investment activity publicly.
In comparison, 24 companies in the same quarter last year raised $58.6 million, and while this might seem like this year is a decline in tech venture funding, last year's total was skewed by a single deal for Code 42 Software worth $52.5 million. When that deal is removed from consideration, it shows a significant rise in funding overall for tech in the state.

Minneapolis on list of best cities to start a business

Personal finance website NerdWallet celebrated May's designation as Small Business Month with a report on "Best Cities to Start a Business," and Minneapolis landed on its list of top 10 cities in the nation.
Coming in at number eight, Minneapolis was lauded for strength in healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services, and was called "a growing hotspot for startups and small businesses."
The city has a very low unemployment rate of 6.3 percent, the article noted, and a highly educated population. Minneapolis business resources got a nod, including technology group MHTA, nonprofit community development association MCCD, and technical assistance groups funded by the city.
The site calculated the results based on ease of obtaining funding, business-friendly resources, local economic indicators, hiring, and affordable living. The top three cities, according to NerdWallet, are Atlanta, Raleigh, and Austin.
73 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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