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Minnesota leads the Midwest in funding for health care startups

Midwest health care companies attracted $810 million in new investment, and Minnesota led the way, according to the BioEnterprise Midwest Health Care Venture Investment Report.
The report noted that Minnesota attracted $223 million in investments, followed by Ohio with $178 million and Missouri with $169 million. Tracking deals for 11 states and western Pennsylvania, BioEnterprise looked at investments in fields like health care services, biopharmaceuticals, and medical device manufacturing.
The state's largest deal last year was Entellus Medical, which raised $35 million to develop technology related to sinusitis.

Report predicts Twin Cities restaurant growth

Restaurant industry magazine QSR ranked the Twin Cities in the top 10 in its annual "Growth 40" listings.
The list ranks metro areas that are best positioned for more restaurants, particularly those in the quick-service category. The article notes that Minneapolis saw a 25 percent change in spending at these types of restaurants within the past 10 years.
Topping the list were Orlando, Seattle, and Portland, which all had similar numbers in terms of spending increases at quick-service restaurants.
One major contributor to more growth may be the introduction of Chick-fil-A to the area. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported last year that the fast-food chain is looking toward the Twin Cities for future expansion, and has started to scout for locations for next year.

Vending Times recognizes local vending machines for bike repair

Vending machine industry publication Vending Times profiled two Minneapolis entrepreneurs who are boosting the robust local biking scene. The pair, Chad DeBaker and Alex Anderson, have launched Bike Fixtation, which combines a large vending machine with a standalone bike repair rack.
The machine vends bicycle repair products such as tubes, lights, tools, and patch kits, as well as refreshments like energy bars and water bottles.
The article notes that the bicycle service stand allows patrons to perform repairs at the site, and includes an assortment of tools like Allen hex keys and wrenches.
DeBaker says in the feature that the company sees the potential for expansion to college campuses, bike trails, and any public location that attracts bicycle ridership.

USA Today highlights local start-up culture

A recent Talking Tech column in USA Today highlighted the beneficial climate for tech startups in the Twin Cities.
The newspaper's columnist visited CoCo, the shared workspace with locations in St. Paul and Minneapolis, and talked with entrepreneurs at companies like Mobiata and QONQR.
The article also included comments from a tech analyst based in Minneapolis who noted that the Twin Cities are giving Chicago and other tech areas a good amount of competition. As driving factors, he nodded toward the schools, people, big companies, and history of innovative thinking in the local area.

Lead411 recognizes five fast-growing metro tech companies

Technology site Lead411 has released its annual survey of the top 200 tech companies in the nation, and five Minnesota companies made the list.
Ranked sixth on the list is Minneapolis-based Code 42 Software, a development company that produces onsite, offsite, and cloud backup applications for consumers and enterprises.
The other four companies are iBuyOfficeSupply.com, MSpace, The Nerdery, and CaringBridge.
The Tech 200 is based on revenue percentage growth from 2008 to 2010, and companies had to be privately-held U.S. businesses that earned more than $1 million in the past year.

Wisconsin newspaper highlights CaringBridge site

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune recently highlighted the benefits of CaringBridge, a free website based in Eagan that allows families to keep journals online about themselves or loved ones who are going through treatment for serious illnesses.
The newspaper spotlighted the story of a Milwaukee family that used the site to keep friends and family updated on care for a baby born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The child's mother noted that she used CaringBridge to give hourly updates during surgeries, to avoid multiple phone calls during an already stressful time.
CaringBridge was founded in 1997 after a close friend of the founder, Sona Mehring, developed a life-threatening pregnancy. Mehring created the website to help the family communicate news without disturbing the mother or hospital staff members. Currently, more than half a million people use the site every day.

Minnesota firms are finalists for BBB awards

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Minnesota and North Dakota has announced this year's finalists for the BBB Integrity awards, which will be presented on Oct. 24th at the Guthrie Theater.
The BBB presents the award every year to companies that "exemplify ethical behavior and display integrity in all aspects for their operations; toward their employees, vendors, customers, and within their community," according to the organization's recent press release.
Companies compete in different categories based on number of employees. In Category One, with one to 10 employees, finalists are Kamarron Design in Minneapolis, Boy's Electric in Eden Prairie, dentist Mark Finney in New Brighton, and Seraphim Communications in St. Paul.
In the other two categories, finalists include North Star Resource Group in Minneapolis and Latuff Brothers Auto Body in St. Paul.

Minnesota has eight companies on Inc. growth list

Eight Minnesota companies have landed on America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies, a list put together by Inc. Magazine.
Among the top performers highlighted are MetroSpec Technologies in Mendota Heights, Jobs2web in Minnetonka, iBuyOfficeSupply.com in Plymouth, and BulkReefSupply.com in Golden Valley.
The companies were listed according to a three-year growth rate. For example, BulkReefSupply.com, an online retailer of saltwater and reef aquarium supplies, reported a growth rate of 1,248% from 2007 to 2010.
Other Minnesota companies on the list were ShopJimmy.com, Renters WarehouseErickson Builders & Co.,and Modern Automotive Performance.

Forbes names Twin Cities a top area for young professionals

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area landed on Forbes' list of Best Cities for Young Professionals, coming in at number 10 on a list of 15 top cities.

The Midwest was well represented on the list, with Des Moines grabbing the top spot, Madison coming in third and Omaha at number five.

To determine the best cities for young professionals--which Forbes defines as adults aged 24 to 34 who hold a bachelor's degree or higher--the magazine assessed cities on seven factors, including unemployment rates, projected growth, number of small businesses, median salaries, and cost of living.

Sustainable food magazine highlights how local association helps immigrant farmers

A local program that assists immigrant farmers has been spotlighted in Harvest Foodservice Journal, a publication that connects those interested in sustainable food systems with contacts in the foodservice industry.

The Minnesota Food Association (MFA) trains immigrant farmers in techniques that allow them to grow food that can be certified as organic, which opens up new markets and resources for them. That designation can also link them to important wholesale markets that might otherwise be inaccessible.

To build a bridge over cultural differences, the MFA works with translators and various ethnic groups to build educational sessions. The non-profit training program helps by offering low-cost land rental, affordable infrastructure like walk-in coolers, and assistance with taxes.

Minnesota Cup still adding sponsors, $35,000 in prize money

The Minnesota Cup has added $35,000 to its 2011 pool of prize money, reports Wendy Lee in a May 9 StarTribune article. That's 42 percent higher than last year's total prize money, she writes.

The increase is the result of the competition adding sponsors, a Cup spokesperson tells Lee. Carlson Companies was already a new sponsor at the time of the competition's launch last month, and General Mills is the most recent addition as a new General Division Lead Sponsor, according to a press release from General Mills.

Seattle or Minneapolis? A recipe for a successful startup scene

On May 6, Best Buy CTO and Geek Squad Founder Robert Stephens posted to his blog an article titled A Few Key People in Minneapolis/St. Paul Can Make a Huge Difference.

The long post is a call to entrepreneurs that includes a ten-point "recipe" for the Twin Cities startup community.

It was an interesting rhetorical move, as the text is a repost of an almost identical post by Mark Suster on TechCrunch � about Seattle.

Inspired, Stephens asked permission to post the copy, swapping out the names of the cities, universities, companies, and startups for local Twin Cities ones.

"His thoughts really apply to most cities in the US, if not the world," writes Stephens of Suster's post in his  introduction.

New York Times features local bakeries

Patisserie 46, a neighborhood bakery in Minneapolis opened less than a year ago, yet it already has a loyal following, a recent story in the New York Times states. Its French-style croissants "are crisp and light as air," while the macaroons evaporate in the mouth, the story says.

Patisserie owner John Kraus trained in Europe before teaching at the French Pastry School in Chicago, where he worked for over a decade. He opened up Patisserie last summer. In the story he observes,  "Minneapolis is becoming a phenomenal baking town."

Other local bakeries that are given a shout-out in the story include Sweets Bakeshop, which has locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Salty Tart Bakery in Minneapolis, and St. Paul's Bars Bakery.

Omphalos Venture Partners to fund MN entrepreneurs

Investors Mark Marlow and Sean Casey "are putting up $10m each of their own money to fund Minnesota startups for no other reason than they see a real opportunity here and now," according to a story at Tech.mn.

The pair formed Omphalos Venture Partners in November and have since invested $1.7 million in four companies, writes Jeff Pesek: Zipnosis, Rapid Diagnostic, Bavia Health, and Steady State Imaging.

Marlow and Casey were together previously at the successful startup Virtual Radiologic.

Snap Fitness makes lists of top franchises for entrepreneurs

A Twin Cities fitness franchise has been named one of the top 21 opportunities for young entrepreneurs by Under30CEO.com.

Snap Fitness, based in Chanhassen, "has some of the lowest startup costs in the industry," according to a company description in the rankings.

Under30CEO.com also writes that Snap Fitness Founder Peter Taunton was a recent recipient of Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award, and that the franchise has appeared on the franchisehelp.com blog's list of 18 Perfect Franchises for the Modern Day Man.

73 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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