MSP On Deck Podcast #17: Bind Funding, HelpSystems Acquisition, Recruiters Being Recruited And Ping.MN Debuts

MSP On Deck Podcast, Minnesota Tech Podcast, Minneapolis Tech Podcast, Minnesota Startup Podcast, Minneapolis Startup Podcast

We start our 17th podcast episode with news of the Bind $60M Series A funding.

That’s not a round size I think anyone was expecting. Kathy walks us through her conversation with Tony Miller, CEO of Bind, and how they are trying to tackle many of the things that people do not like about health insurance including doing away with deductibles creating “on demand health insurance”. We went deeper into the Lemhi Ventures and UnitedHealth Group relationship.

Kathy and Casey nerd out on Minnesota startups that have been created out of the success of previous startups. They use the phrase “startup mafia”. They mention Definity Health and Imaginet. I suggest Net Perceptions engineers are in town but they have not created companies. Casey lists off a number of groups who have been started by former Definity Health leaders.

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Commercial Project Manager Best 2018 Job On Indeed


Top U.S. Jobs, Commerical Project Manager #1 Job, Minnesota Jobs  

Indeed has their The Best Jobs in the United States: 2018 and I am happy to see construction related jobs are coming back:

  • #1 Commercial Project Manager

  • #5 Preconstruction Manager

  • #6 Construction Superintendent

  • #12 Construction Estimator

  • #19 Construction Manager

While I am a tech guy and not surprised that 8 of the 25 jobs are tech related it is good that other jobs are in(coming back in) demand. And not as a political statement… we need to focus on infrastructure in our country. Not everyone needs to or wants to code and the construction industry is one place people can get training, earn a good living and have a career.

I was asked by some high school students if everyone needed to go into tech and my answer was,:

“No. Is it a good idea to learn some basics? Yes. Is it a good idea to understand tech in a macro sense? Yes. There are plenty of careers outside of tech that will not be going away anytime soon. I am not a believer that AI and robots are taking all our jobs. Will they have an impact? Yes. Things change. We must too. And let me be clear that tech companies also have marketing, sales, customer success, help desk, HR and other jobs. No, you don’t need to be a coder but you do need to be a life long learner in every career, whatever you do.”

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Minnebar 13 Sessions I Am Attending

We are 4 weeks away from Minnebar 13 and I am already thinking about the day… what sessions I want to attend, old friends to see and new ones to make. And conversations to have.

It’s going to a busy day as I am doing my Managing Your IT Career v10 (Why do recruiters suck so bad?) and we may be doing an episode of the MSP On Deck podcast.

If you’re wondering what Minnebar is think of it as a day long tech, coding, venture capital, marketing and networking nerdfest. For many years now I have called Minnebar the Super Bowl of the Minneapolis and St Paul tech community. Truly, the one event that should not be missed.

A few photos from Minnebar 12:

Minnebar, Minnesota Tech Events Minnebar, Minnesota Tech Events Minnebar, Minnesota Tech Events Minnebar, Minnesota Tech Events Minnebar, Minnesota Tech Events Minnebar, Minnesota Tech Events

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Minnesota Morning: That Time When A Fresh Blanket Of Snow Gives Perspective


Minnesota Snow, Lake Minnetonka 

Over the past weeks I have been having a lot of conversations with myself… what I jokingly call a company meeting of me, myself and I. For 20+ years I have been a solopreneur and while blessed with very smart friends who have my back I can’t always call them when I have something on my mind.

Sometimes I need to figure it out on my own. This is one of those times.

The photo above is after a recent decent sized snow storm left a fresh blanket of snow on the lake. At first I had this feeling of dread… that spring was pushed off a little further down the road. Then I reminded myself that without the snow (and spring rain) we have lower lake levels. That this blanket of snow was a good thing.

The next “feeling” I had was that this was like a clean slate… a fresh white board if even for a few hours or day until the snowmobilers would go out and create new tracks.

And that… the fresh start and laying down new tracks struck me hard.

The past months, maybe a year, I have felt unsettled with my work. Mostly that I am seeing there are “holes” to fill and I’m not sure how to fill them, if I have time to fill them or if I can fill them.

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MSP On Deck Podcast #16: Jenna Pederson Founder Of 612 Software Foundry, Mary Grove And Rise Of The Rest, Upsie Funding And Minnesota TechStars Connections

 

MSP On Deck Podcast, Minnesota Tech Podcast, Minneapolis Tech Podcast, Minnesota Startup Podcast, Minneapolis Startup Podcast

This episode we have a special guest… Jenna Pederson. You may have seen Jenna at Minnedemo (she’s a member of the Minnestar board), a Twin Cities Geekettes event (she helped start it), Hack the Gap (co founder), CoCo (long time member) or as the founder of 612 Software Foundry. She is a frequent speaker and strong supporter of the MN tech scene. By day Jenna is full stack developer and consultant and as worked with a number of groups including Pivot Interactives, Kidizen, and Kinetic Data.

You can find her by clicking:

Jenna Pederson | 612 Software Foundry | Twitter | LinkedIn

Casey Allen, Jenna Pederson, Kathy Grayson, Paul DeBettignies

We start with some really good news… Mary Grove who many in our area know through her work with Google for Entrepreneurs and Silicon North Stars is joining Revolution and Rise of the Rest and moving (back) to Minneapolis. This was started by Steve Case a few years ago to support and invest in companies not on the coasts including an ongoing tour that was in Minneapolis in 2014.

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MSP On Deck Podcast #15: Loup Ventures 1st Fund, Amazon HQ2 Top 20 Rant, CoCo Pitch Night And Fueled Collective And Non Minnesota VC’s Investing In MN Tech And Startups

 

MSP On Deck Podcast, Minnesota Tech Podcast, Minneapolis Tech Podcast, Minnesota Startup Podcast, Minneapolis Startup Podcast

We have an awkward beginning to this episode of MSP On Deck. Specifically… Casey and I, mostly me, could not get it together and focus. Kathy says, “OK, 3 seconds” and we’re supposed to be quiet so Casey can add the intro music before he publishes an episode. Except Casey and I, mostly me, could not accomplish this task.

I thought it was hilarious.

I was the only one to think so.

We start this episode talking about Loup Venture closing their first fund. What it means locally and nationally and what being a researched focused VC firm means.

A transition to Amazon HQ2 Top 20 and that Minneapolis/St Paul is not on the list. Which… is something I was hoping we would be on. I didn’t think we would be the home of HQ2 but I did say months ago and still do today that for perception sake we needed to be a “finalist”. As I mention on the podcast I really would like to see what the “restrained” bid looked like. We talk a bit about other finalists and cities in the Midwest. Thanks (again) to Kathy and Casey for tolerating… letting me ramble a bit.

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Minnesota Morning: CoCo Launches Fueled Collective, MinneDemo #28 Presenters And Minnesota IT Jobs

 

Prime Digital Academy, UX Bootcamp Graduates, phData, Sarah Schoolcraft, Mickeli Bedore, Minnesota Headhunter, Minnesota Recruiter A fun day last Friday… working at CoCo Downtown Minneapolis sourcing and recruiting DevOps Engineers and Python Developers. At one point I bumped into Mickeli Bedore of Bedore Business Group and had a chat about building sales teams, recruiting, podcasts and of course a mention or three about #LakeLife. I do wonder… which one of us logs more cell phone minutes?

I then saw Sarah Schoolcraft who is the new Employee Experience Advocate at phData. We caught up bit and I look forward to our future conversation about company cultures, hiring teams, onboarding and more.

I ended the day upstairs from CoCo where Prime Digital Academy is. It was graduation day for the UX cohort and it was fun to see them relaxed (for a moment) and meet their friends and families, If you are hiring a junior UX pro I gladly help you with introductions.

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Minnesota Morning: CoCo Pitch Night, Prime Digital Academy Graduates And Super Bowl “Help Wanted”


The Super Bowl is 6 days away and if you have been in Downtown Minneapolis you are fully aware of the impact. Last week with the snow storm and Super Bowl preparations parking became a pain and traffic patterns interrupted. Not a big deal as long as one plans ahead.

Areas near US Bank Stadium and Nicollet Mall were seeing final touches on venues Friday and I took a walk down the Nicollet Mall to get some photos.

Super Bowl In Minneapolis, Super Bowl LII

Good news is last weeks snow storm dropped a blanket of fresh snow. More good news it was warmer than average so workers doing prep work enjoyed warmer than average temperatures . The forecast for Super Bowl weekend will leave a number of people shivering. If you are from out of town and looking forward to winter… we have it.

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MSP On Deck Podcast #14: Andy Slavitt, Minnesota Venture Capital Firms And Are Developer Jobs The Best Jobs


MSP On Deck Podcast, Minnesota Tech Podcast, Minneapolis Tech Podcast, Minnesota Startup Podcast, Minneapolis Startup Podcast

Here we go… MSP On Deck  Podcast #14

I learned a lot during this episode.

We started by talking about Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) who is new to me. For starters he has 189,000+ Twitter followers where his bio is:

Ran Medicare, Medicaid & ACA for President Obama. @usatoday, Columnist. Launching a health care initiative for the next decade in 2018.

It’s that last part which is why we were talking about him. Kathy wrote about it here (subscription)

High-profile Obamacare champion and Edina resident Andy Slavitt launching startup-investing firm

Casey drops a nugget, from back in the day, that the author of Android for Dummies was a dev from Minnesota. A second time in the episode I felt like I was horribly put of the loop.

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State Of Startup Recruiting


Startup Recruiting, Recruitng For Startups

The past months I have been talking with a number of Midwest startup CEO’s, CTO’s and non tech Co Founder’s about recruiting and what to expect in 2018.

The main point I left with all of them is that they as individuals need to spend more of their work and personal time on it. My experience is that Bay Area CEO’s will spend up to a third of their time recruiting. And in the Midwest… CEO’s generally spend much less time than that.

And yet, everyone knows that recruiting is very competitive and time consuming.

While I was having these conversations State of Startups 2017 was released by First Round Capital. In their third year of the survey it’s a great look into the operations of these groups. This year 869 startup founders took their survey.

I should note that 56.9% of the respondents were from the West Coast, 29.7% from the East Coast, 7.2% from the South and 6.1% from the Midwest. I say that because location of the respondents matter as each ecosystem and region is very unique. Generally I think it’s a good data set from which to refer to and have conversations about.

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