Recap: MinneDemo 25

MinneDemo, Minnesota Tech Scene, Minnesota IT Jobs


Another fun night at MinneDemo (February 16th, 2017)… one part new Minnesota tech, one part Minnesota tech community reunion and one part networking although for me that last one was mostly nonexistent. More on that later.

MinneDemo 25 was held at The Depot and I am guessing 700+ attended. Here is the crowd at 7 pm not including the folks behind the doors in the atrium socializing:

MinneDemo, Minnesota Tech Scene, Minnesota IT Jobs 

minne* board members Jenna Pederson, Adrienne Peirce and Casey Helbling getting us started:

MinneDemo, Minnesota Tech Scene

I really enjoyed the variety of demos and beginning to end one of the best sets we have had:

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Amazon Hiring Again In Minneapolis Adding 1,000 Full Time Workers


Amazon Hiring In Minneapolis

I’ve had a number of conversations with a Minneapolis business reporter over the past 18+ months about what the potential impact would be with Amazon coming to town.

My curiosity started long before that… back when Amazon tech recruiters were recruiting hard here to get tech pros to move to Seattle. Then they had a job fair or two in town and somewhere along the line a recruiting event to hire recruiters.

I said to the reporter, they should just come here. It would be good for Amazon, the local tech scene and the business community. And yes they would disrupt things but I said that was a good thing.

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General Mills 2016 Layoffs

General Mills 2016 Layoffs

News today that Minneapolis based General Mils is laying off 400-600 employees and it appears that a number of them are coming at the headquarters.

AdAge has this article General Mills CMO Simonds Out Amid Overhaul and Job Cuts that starts with this and gets in depth on the changes in leadership:

“General Mills is laying out a new global structure including a new global chief marketing officer, and said CMO Ann Simonds would leave at the end of the year.

Along with the CMO shakeup, the company said the overhaul of its global structure includes four group presidents and plans to eliminate hundreds of positions.”


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Minnesota Morning | Atique, Hack The Gap And 10 Hard To Find Tech Skills

Earlier this week I took a drive to St Paul to check out the Christmas lights at Rice Park. A few days prior we had snow on the ground but after some rain it was all gone. I’ll make another trip over there when it snows again. A couple of photos:

 Rice Park, St Paul, Christmas lights Rice Park, St Paul, Christmas lights


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Minnesota Tech Podcast v7


Tech MN, Minnesota Tech 
This past summer Jeff Pesek from Tech.MN invited me to join in on a 2X a month podcast about the Minneapolis and St Paul tech scene with:

Last week we had our 7th podcast where we talk about the headlines Tech.MN has covered, what is going in the Minnesota tech scene and usually some tangents and rants mixed in.

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10 Minutes With Casey Allen, Startup Advisor And Investor

Years ago… oh damn it’s already 10 years ago (click Ten Minutes With), I had an idea that I wanted to “interview” people who are smart, have cool ideas, are people I know (or are friends of friends) that my other friends should get to know. One part share ideas and one part introduce friends to friends.

Think hanging out at a coffee shop with a friend and being able to record the conversation. Because so many times I have walked away from such a conversation and thought, damn… I wish I had written “that thing” down.

I mentioned this to Casey Allen a couple of months ago and he said:

Great, when are you going to start doing this?

I said:


A couple of weeks went by and he asked again. And then a couple of weeks ago he asked again.

I was getting annoyed with him but angry with me for not doing it.

So I asked Casey if he would be willing to be the first one and he said yes.

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93 Minnesota Companies Make the 2016 Inc. 5000 List

2016 Inc. 5000

The 2016 Inc. 5000 list was released this week and 93 Minnesota companies are on it. I did a quick count for 2015 and there were 101 companies and 2014 had 96.

Fun with numbers:

  • Minnesota ranks #19 for companies on the list
  • Minneapolis ranks #16 for companies on the list
  • Prime Therapeutics ranks #1 for revenue

Click the link above to see the whole list and to break it down by location, revenue, industry, etc.

Below is the Minnesota list by: Rank | Name | 3 yr Growth | Revenue

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Minnesota Startup When I Work Raises $15M Series B Round

Some BIG news from When I Work today as the company announced a $15M Series B Round bringing total funding to $24M.

Last week the team found out during the company stand up… this is a photo of Chad Halvorson , CEO of When I Work, and Nick Solaro, Partner at Drive Capital, during lunch answering questions from the team.

Chad Halvorson, When I Work, Nick Solaro, Drive Capital

The press release is below.

This news follows our recent 100 employee celebration from a few weeks ago:


BIG day at @wheniwork... celebrating our team going past 100 employees #StartupLife #WereHiring

A photo posted by Paul DeBettignies (@mnheadhunter) on

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Minnesota Cup 2016 Starts Today

The Minnesota Cup kicks off today and below is a press release with a bunch of information on this years competition.

For more information and to follow along click:

Minnesota Cup (web site)

Minnesota Cup (Facebook)



Press Release:


The nation’s largest statewide new venture competition is accepting applications beginning March 21—for a chance to win a share of nearly $400,000!

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Minnesota Fastest Growing State For IT Jobs - Summer 2015

Since around the beginning of Q2 ‘15 I have been a part of many conversations with recruiters in town, startup and Fortune 500, about some trends we have been seeing including:

- Generally companies are in another hiring spree

- Companies seem to be loosening up their job requirements

- There seems to be a small inflow of IT pros from the west coast

This week from

Pop quiz: What’s the fastest-growing state for technology jobs?

You might be tempted to say California or New York, or even North Carolina. But according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s actually Minnesota, which saw the size of its tech workforce jump 8.36 percent over the past six months, to 37,600 workers.

Is Your State Losing Tech Jobs?

Let’s be clear… this is a percentage growth number NOT a total number of jobs created. Clearly other states would be doing better.

This is an important number as it shows the Minnesota tech community continues to grow. Some would have you believe that everyone is leaving for the West Coast.

It’s just not true.

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