MSP On Deck Podcast #23: Sentera, Evolve and Omnia Fishing Funding, Twin Cities Startup Week, Tech.MN And Ping.MN, Minneapolis Coworking And The MN Startup Scene

MSP On Deck

It’s a BIG episode for the MSP On Deck podcast. We successfully upgraded our sound. We can’t credit for it and will give it where it belongs… our friends at Foundry. Last week they moved into their new office space and are in the process of creating a podcast studio. They invited us over to see the space and record there. We spend the first couple of minutes on Foundry and to be clear, Kurt and the team did not ask us to nor did we plan to gush over them. They are good people doing good work. Click the following to learn more about them:

Here’s a photo collage from the day:

MSP On Deck Visits FoundryWe shift to recent funding announcements starting with Sentera. They raised a $14M round of funding. Casey walks us through how they use drones and software to help farmers manage their land. They are hiring… click Sentera Jobs. We also show our lack of knowledge of drones and airports Open-mouthed smile

I give a nod to

Evolve Additive Solutions is in the manufacturing and 3D printing space. They raised $19M from groups including LEGO and Black & Decker.

We create a new term, “urn tech”.

Omnia Fishing raised $1M and rather just be a “bait shop” they will be using technology to help anglers find the right lures for specific lakes.

TroutSpotr is the app we mentioned that debuted at MinneDemo a couple of years ago.

Continue reading "MSP On Deck Podcast #23: Sentera, Evolve and Omnia Fishing Funding, Twin Cities Startup Week, Tech.MN And Ping.MN, Minneapolis Coworking And The MN Startup Scene" »

Minneapolis And St Paul Recruiter Jobs

Recruiter Jobs

To make it easier to find Minnesota Recruiter Jobs I have added this post to stay at the top of this page to create short cuts to jobs posted below. (No need to scroll through filled positions)

Here are the current Minnesota Recruiter Jobs:

How to post a job (it’s free)?

Send the content (preferably in Word) along with a link or email for folks to apply to

And check out Midwest Recruiting Bootcamp for recruiting and hiring manager conferences and conversations about recruiting in and to Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota and the Midwest:

Midwest Recruiting Bootcamp

If you are using a RSS Feed click
Minnesota Recruiter Jobs.

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12 Ways To Network During Twin Cities Startup Week

Introvert Name Tag

Since my post a few weeks ago, Twin Cities Startup Week 2018 Calendar And 10 Tips To Doing Startup Week, I’ve had a number of follow up questions about how to network and make new friends during Twin Cities Startup Week. I have two opposing hats I wear when talking about this… I am an introvert (stand on the sideline, observe and find quiet space) and a recruiter (be in the middle of the action and talk to people).

Events, networking and making conversation is not just an issue for us Introverts. For those new to the tech community or Minneapolis/St Paul, new to their career or don’t know anyone attending… events and/or weeks like this can be intimidating.

What follows is a “guide” of how to do an event and/or the week:

  • Start following the Twitter hashtags #TCSW and #TCSW18. A LOT of information sharing is going on. Follow those who you are not already following. Next step, engage with a comment or tip of your own.

  • When at an event, take a photo of something: the panel, crowd, view out the window, architecture of the building, you and your friends, heck… a selfie works too. Now Tweet it out and if an appropriate picture post it on LinkedIn too. And add the hashtags.

  • Post something on Twitter and LinkedIn about how you are looking forward to being at MinneDemo (any event) and seeing a particular person, topic, etc.

  • Follow every speaker on Twitter.

  • Send a note to those who are speaking/presenting (before or after) introducing yourself, who you are, what you do and thanking them for putting themselves out there.

  • If you’re going to an event find a group of people (small or large) and merge your way in. Be quiet and listen. Say hello. Jump in if you can contribute. Don’t stand by yourself.

  • If you’re going to an event and the previous seems too forward, find someone who is standing by themselves, walk up and say hello. Awkward? Hell yes. You already were feeling that way not knowing someone and so were they. Be awkward together. Yes I am being serious.

  • If you’re one of the hubs of the tech community, you know a lot of people, bring others into your conversations.

  • Always sit next to someone. Don’t do the “every other seat” thing.

  • Business cards… pass them out. All of them.

  • If you feel lost, ask for directions.

  • If you see someone looking lost, ask if you can help.

For one hour, one day or one week say to yourself, “F*** It, I am going to live outside my comfort zone.”

Please…  don’t let this week go by without making new friends.

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Minneapolis A Top 10 Rising City For Startups

Top 10

Oh, how I like lists… particularly when something I am fond of is on one. This one is from Forbes and Revolution. They list the Top 10 Rising Cities for Startups and Minneapolis – St. Paul is on it. Being a “homer” I think we are better than #9 but I’ll get over it. I have been saying for a long time that I do not think this region needs to be compared to Seattle, Bay Area, Boston or New York City. We do want and need to be at the top of the next list… the Tier II cities. And we need to stay at #1 or #2 in the Midwest with Chicago.

To get to the “rising cities” Forbes took out the top 10 cities that brought in the most VC funding the past three years: San Francisco, New York, Boston, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Austin. They then took the next 30 largest cities and used 13 metrics: costs (business and living), education levels, college presence, entrepreneurship rates, working-age population growth and venture capital investments (density, total number, dollar value and growth).

That data gives the following ranking:

  • Columbus, Ohio

  • St. Louis

  • Atlanta

  • Denver

  • Baltimore

  • Cincinnati

  • Portland, Oregon

  • Philadelphia

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul

  • Charlotte, North Carolina

The data specific to Minneapolis-St. Paul

The annual Twin Cities Startup Week allows entrepreneurs to reach investors, customers and future employees. Innovation is strong on food and agriculture with food giants Cargill, General Mills, Hormel and Land O’Lakes all based in the area.

Our 3-year deal count is 4th highest on the list and of course I am happy to see a nod to Twin Cities Startup Week. I would like to see the cities ranked by each of the metrics… I’m nerdy when it comes to these things.

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Conversation With A Software Manager… All My Good People Leave

All My Good People Leave

I had what started as an intense conversation with a Software Manager this morning and I am writing this quick so I don’t forget some of the things we spoke about.

Short version is that “Software Manager” is disappointed that the average length of time on their team right now is 3 years 7 months. And I was thinking… that sounds OK to me.

So we dug into a few of the scenarios they have experienced and I gave my thoughts about them. Note… I know a lot of managers who would like these problems.

Scenario #1

“Senior Developer” had been with the company for 7 years. They started as a mid level developer and moved quickly into a senior role. They also started doing some speaking at local and regional events doing tech talks and as an unofficial evangelist for the company. They left because their career path was not going to change much and they were motivated to one day get into senior leadership. They did an active job search, a brilliant one at that, and landed a remote job with a huge group in the Bay Area.

  • A bummer sure but this is also a success story. That someone did a lot of growing and loved talking about the company is a cool thing. My response… who’s next?

Scenario #2

“Junior Developer” who was frustrated a bit lot by not having a mentor took a new job. Before leaving they wrote up some ideas on how the company could better onboard and train up junior developers. Before leaving they gave 2 referrals for open roles in the company.

  • Another bummer but a learned lesson on building a team. And that “Junior Developer” still liked the company enough to suggest team members, that’s a win.

Scenario #3

“Senior Developer” had been with the company for 3 years and left to become an entrepreneur. “Senior Developer” had been working on something, not competitive to the company, and found a couple of people to work on it with them. The company has a generous PTO policy and there is work/life balance so the work was done on nights and weekends. They had a few beta clients and received a small amount of funding. They gave an 8 week notice. 8 weeks!!! And they sat in on the interview process and had a successful replacement with time to transition over.

  • I think this a win. You can talk about that in future interviews that work/life balance and PTO allowed someone to go out on their own.

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Well Fargo And Regis Layoffs 2018

Job Cuts And Layoffs

Some bummer news last week as Wells Fargo and Regis Corp announced layoffs on the same day.

First the small one… the Regis Corp situation was reported by the Minneapolis StarTribune saying that 75 corporate workers have been impacted including 15 in IT. Regis has been restructuring a bit including a sale of some mall based salons. Click Regis cuts several dozen headquarters staff.

The big one… Wells Fargo (who used to be headquartered in Minneapolis with an ongoing significant presence of around 20,000 workers in Minnesota in banking, mortgage services and investing) announced a 10% reduction over the next three years. Wells Fargo has around 265,000 employees in total so 10% being 26,500… that’s A LOT of people. CNBC has Wells Fargo is going backward with thousands of job cuts as JP Morgan and other banks boom showing how what is going on at Wells Fargo, and why, is not going on at other banks.

The Portland Business Journal did a Q&A with Tim Sloan, CEO, EXCLUSIVE: Wells Fargo CEO talks cuts, calls reports of his pending departure 'just not true' on the day of the announcement and here is one item regarding the layoff:

“The bank this morning announced it would reduce headcount by 5-10 percent. Why?”

Given the transformation going on in the economy and going on in financial services — somewhat driven by technology — as we provide more technology to our consumers to help them self-service, we're going to need a few less people. Likewise as we've transformed the company we've centralized a fair number of activities. Whenever you do that you tend to have a bit of an overlap from a team member standpoint.

What I commented to the team is that, over the next three years, it's likely we'll have 5-10 percent less team members. It's not layoffs of 5-10 percent. It could be through attrition. Some of it will be displacement. I just wanted to make sure folks appreciated the likely scenario is we're going to have fewer people working at Wells Fargo even though we're going to continue to grow.

A couple of months ago the MSP Business Journal had Wells Fargo lays off 130 Twin Cities employees.

While the economy in general is doing well enough this is (and I say this all the time) another reminder that everyone needs to be managing their career, ongoing education and networking.

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2 Minnesota Weekend Tech Newsletters To Subscribe To: Donnie Berkholz And Jamie Thingelstad

It’s Sunday morning and after catching up on college football and the political shows and before putting the Vikings on mute and starting outdoor activities… I turn my attention to 2 weekly newsletters that pop into my inbox on the weekend.

Donnie Berkholz bio includes VP, IT Service Delivery at Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Program Chair, Open Source Summit (Linux Foundation). He is a previous Analyst at RedMonk. He’s well known in the DevOps space and for those of us in Minneapolis and St Paul… we get to see him a lot in the tech scene.

Donnie sends out his newsletter Friday afternoon. It’s a mix of tech news and trends. To subscribe and see previous issues click Donnie Birkholz Newsletter.

Donnie Berkholz Newsletter

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Jamie Thingelstad bio includes CTO at SPS Commerce and Board Member of Minnestar. He’s been a solid supporter of the Minneapolis and St Paul tech scene and someone I always seek out at events.

Jamie sends out his newsletter on Saturday morning. It’s a bunch of tech news, links and photos. To subscribe and see previous issues click Weekly Thing.

Weekly Thing, Jamie Thingelstad Newsletter

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Target Hiring 120,000 Seasonal Workers, Will Hold Job Fair Oct. 12–14


Target put out a press release yesterday that grabbed A LOT of attention… here are the highlights and then the full press release below:

  • Starting with the big number adding 120,000 seasonal workers. That’s a 20% increase over last year.

  • Beyond that they are offering additional hours to current team members.

  • All team members will begin at a minimum of $12 an hour.

  • All stores will have a job fair Oct 12-14… click

  • There a bunch of additional discounts and benefits included

Press Release:

Target to Hire 120,000 Seasonal Team Members and Offer Extra Hours to Existing Teams This Holiday

MINNEAPOLIS - September 13, 2018

Hires to begin at $12 per hour minimum wage; retailer introduces holiday team member appreciation program

Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) announced today plans to hire approximately 120,000 seasonal team members across the country for the upcoming holiday season, a 20 percent increase over last year’s hiring commitment. In addition, the company will continue to offer extra hours to current team members to accommodate their interest and availability. The announcement is a continuation of the company’s investment in team members that includes increased hourly wages, benefits and discounts, and meaningful opportunities to build experience and skills. Seasonal team members are an integral part of Target’s efforts to ensure its 1,839 stores provide guests with a fun and easy holiday shopping experience.

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MSP On Deck Podcast #22: Foodsby, Zipnosis and Sansoro Health Funding And Difficult Minneapolis Tech Jobs To Recruit

MSP On Deck

Episode #22 starts with Kathy and Casey jump in on recent funding announcements starting with Foodsby. Casey talks about why this investment is significant.

We move on to Zipnosis (former client) and their funding and the odds of something larger on the horizon.

Sansoro Health round of funding gets us into the weeds talking about how many, many groups gave tried to figure out how to get all the different health systems and their technologies to talk to each other. And I ask if anyone will fix this in my lifetime.

Casey and I spend a lot of time on a conversation he had with a founder of a Minneapolis startup about how long it would take them hire a CTO. We go on a tangent into what is the hardest tech skill to find in town right now and I went with Big Data. The most out of whack in terms of demand and supply of skilled professionals. We come back to the question Casey was asked and I walk through how long it might take and came up with a minimum of six weeks. And that’s if everything goes easy and fast.

We go on a bit more talking about creating short lists of candidates for senior roles that are created over time and through casual conversations. I then rant a bit about using search firms. Yes… there is some irony in this. I think using a search firm for a CTO, VP Marketing or Director of Product can make sense. I don’t think it does for hiring Developers. You’ll burn through too much cash on fees.


Casey mentions SDR’s and BDR’s (Business Development Rep’s) as being out of whack for B2B startups. And finding a Growth Hacker or Head of Growth is difficult to do.

Kathy brings up her conversation with Dean Hager from Jamf on why they did not go the IPO route. She also mentions Ability Network.

We talk about other groups on the potential IPO list.

We quickly mention FlipGrid and ilos Videos is now VidGrid. Yes… similar company names and not the same company.

Continue reading "MSP On Deck Podcast #22: Foodsby, Zipnosis and Sansoro Health Funding And Difficult Minneapolis Tech Jobs To Recruit" »

Minneapolis And St Paul Tech Events–Fall 2018

Minnesota Tech Events, Minnesota Startup Events

Last week after posting Twin Cities Startup Week 2018 Calendar And 10 Tips To Doing Startup Week I was asked what else is going on this fall. I had posted the Minnesota Recruiter and HR events here => Minnesota Recruiter And HR Events–Fall 2018. So this a list of Minneapolis and St Paul tech (and related) events. NOTE: this is likely not a complete list so leave a comment on what I am missing so I can update this:

Think that’s a lot? Those are just the “big” ones. Two places to get more events are

  • Tech.MN – a collection of most of the Minneapolis and St Paul user groups, meetups, etc.
  • MinneInno – a collection of tech and business events

Yes… it is going to be a busy Fall 2018.


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