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Startup Weekend will give 100 participants 54 hours to create a new venture

Tech.mn has an announcement about an event called Startup Weekend, which is coming to the Twin Cities on Sept. 17-19.

The event will be held at CoCo and is open to 100 participants. The goal is to "vet, pitch, build, and demo new products over a single weekend."

Read the entire announcement at Tech.mn.

Pete McNerney "can make, and perhaps break, entrepreneurial dreams"

The Star Tribune profiles Pete McNerney, a Minnesota venture capitalist who is co-founder of a $375 million venture fund that invests in biotech, drug, and med-tech companies nationwide.

The portfolio of McNerney's firm, Thomas, McNerney & Partners, includes Torax Medical of Shoreview and Plymouth-based Atritech. Minnesota companies typically comprise about 20 to 25 percent of the fund's investments.

Read the Star Tribune article here.

Twin Cities Business profiles Entrepreneurs of the Year winners

Twin Cities Business magazine has a series of profiles on the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year winners for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas.

The winners range from a beer brewer and beef jerky maker to a fitness chain founder and TV parts recycler. The winners are now candidates for the national Entrepreneur of the Year awards, which will be announced in November.

Read the Twin Cities Business profiles here.

The Business Journal names 2010 Young Entrepreneurs

Think "young entrepreneur" and you might imagine a college student starting a technology company in his dorm room. You probably don't think of a loan processor quitting a bank job to start a rock hauling service.

Krystal Vierkant, founder of Rock On, is one of eight young entrepreneurs spotlighted in The Business Journal's 2010 Young Entrepreneurs section. Candidates had to be under 35 and a founder or controlling shareholder at a company with more than $1 million in annual revenue.

This year's honorees were: Dirk Bak of Corporate Facilities Management, Steve Whinnery of eCapital Advisors, Krystal Vierkant of Rock On Cos., Collin Kaas of Kaas Wilson Architects, Justin Kaufenberg of TST Media, Nick Beste of ManCave, Matt Meents of Reside, and Brentone Hayden of Renters Warehouse. (Warning: the section is behind the Business Journal's paywall.)

Read The Business Journal's full summary here.

Minnesota companies attract $45.4M in venture capital investments in Q2

Minnesota companies attracted $45.4 million in venture capital investments in the second quarter, more than double the previous quarter's amount, the Star Tribune reports.

However, that amount still leaves the state on pace for the lowest annual total of venture capital investments since PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association started tracking the figures.

"If we finish out the year at this pace, we're well below the lows of 1995 when the survey started," Jay Hare, a partner at the Minneapolis office of PricewaterhouseCoopers, told the newspaper. "We are still so heavily concentrated in one industry [medical devices] that it's hurting us when we're seeing the national [venture capital numbers] rebound."

Read the entire Star Tribune article here.

Minnesota's angel investor tax credit is now online

As expected, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development posted online Monday details and documents related to the state's new angel investor tax credit.

The 25 percent income tax credit is designed to spur investments in technology-based Minnesota startup companies. The program is funded with $11 million this year, and $12 million per year between 2011 and 2014.

The credit will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis. Before investors can apply, they and the companies they are investing in must apply for certification to verify that they qualify for the program.

View details and applications for the angel tax credit here.

Rep. Mahoney talks about need to improve technology transfer

A key architect of the state's new angel tax credit may tackle tech-transfer legislation next.

Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul) tells MedCityNews that he's frustrated with the University of Minnesota's efforts to turn basic research into commercial products.

"So unless the university makes significant progress by the end of the year, Mahoney will introduce a bill that either privatizes tech transfer or calls for the university to hire a 'strong entrepreneurial' president that will 'really shake up' the Office for Technology Commercialization (OTC)," MedCity News writes.

Mahoney goes on to say the university's practice of spinning off just a few high-potential companies per year amounts to "screening companies to death."

Read the full MedCityNews report here.

15 eateries helping Lowertown go gourmet

The St. Paul Pioneer Press lists 15 places to get gourmet food in Lowertown, with map. Some are here; others are coming. A sample entry:

"VINES AND STEINS, 266 E. Seventh St. Opening September 2010. For his latest project, Bulldog owner Matt Lokowich is doing an upscale deli and liquor shop, complete with walk-in cooler and 1,000 kinds of beer."

Read the full article here.

Holy Land's flavored hummus lands in the New York Times

"Back home, they would shoot me in the head for doing this to hummus," Holy Land CEO Majdi Wadi tells the New York Times.

In Wadi's home country of Jordan, hummus is strictly a puree of chickpeas, sesame paste and garlic. Here in northeast Minneapolis, though, Holy Land is finding success with its expanding line of flavored hummus.

They introduced jalape´┐Żo hummus in 2000. The most recent addition is guacamole-flavored hummus, and later this month it will introduce a peanut butter variety.

"I'm making this an American product," says Wadi.

Read the New York Times article here.

Ernst & Young announces Midwest region Entrepreneur of the Year winners

Ernst & Young last week announced its Entrepreneur of the Year winners for 2010. Central Midwest Region winners include the creators/founders of Surly Brewing, Jack Link's Beef Jerky, Snap Fitness and Starkey Laboratories, among others.

"Ernst & Young believes in the power of entrepreneurship," partner William Miller said in a statement. "These Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners are best in class, and we are proud to honor their outstanding success."

Read the entire list of winners and press release here.

Rickshaws pull into the transit mix

The Downtown Journal takes note of a transportation trend that's on the rise partly due to the opening of the Minnesota Twins' Target Field in downtown Minneapolis: rickshaws, also known as pedicabs.

"Pedicabs, those three-wheeled pedal taxis that combine the mechanics of a tricycle with the luxury of a chariot, are everywhere this spring. And while they aren't necessarily new to Minneapolis, the last few months have seen the number of giant trikes mushroom, lured Downtown by the flood of pedestrians surrounding Target Field. It's a sign that the Twin Cities have finally jumped on board with a green industry that has been growing exponentially--and often problematically--in cities large and small around the country.

"But while we may be a little late to the pedicab game--pedicabs have operated in New York City since 1995, and in Portland, our rival in all matters cycling-related, they've been part of the urban landscape since 2002--we seem to be ahead of the curve in policing it."

Read the full story here.

Target Field jumpstarting commercial development in Minneapolis' warehouse district

Restaurants are leading a commercial boom in the Minneapolis Warehouse District, thanks to the Minnesota Twins' new Target Field, the Star Tribune reports.

"The weak economy and credit freeze may have stalled some major development deals in the neighborhood, and the economic benefits from the ballpark--if they materialize--may not ripple to office and housing markets for years. But the number of new investments in restaurants, considered the front-line retail businesses, has some real estate pros calling the ballpark 'a game changer.'

"'The Warehouse District is going through a metamorphosis. It really is,' said Andrea Christenson, a retail broker at Cassidy Turley."

Read the full story here.

Wisconsin officials worry Minnesota angel tax credit will force it to step up its game

Wisconsinites are worried they'll have to power up because of Minnesota's new angel investor tax credit.
About half a dozen Minnesota biotech companies have jumped the border to Wisconsin in recent months, lured by the state's angel investor tax credits, according to the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota.
Now that Minnesota has created its own angel investor tax credit, Wisconsin officials tell Milwaukee Magazine that the state might have to do more to attract companies.
 "It's going to make us more competitive," Bryan Renk, director of Wisconsin BioForward, tells the magazine.
Then, the fightin' words: Milwaukee Magazine writes that, according to Renk, Minnesota may have more biotech jobs, but "Wisconsin has greater research prowess and a more educated workforce."
Read the entire article here.
73 entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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