MSP On Deck Podcast #10: Rob Weber Of Great North Labs Venture Fund And Startup School

MSP On Deck, Minnesota Tech Podcast, Minneapolis Tech Podcast

Our guest for this episode is Rob Weber.

Rob starts with a quick overview of the evolution of Freeze, W3i and NativeX and their (his brothers Ryan and Aaron) angel investing through 32 Degrees over 10 years. Which gets them to their new ventures (with a brief 1 month vacation)… Great North Labs and Startup School.

We then get further into his time at NativeX and what they learned about building a team and how that experience sparked the Startup School idea.

I’ve been a fan of Rob’s for a long time and am really happy that they’re activities are staying focused on growing the Minnesota and the Midwest tech scene.

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Minnesota Morning | Q4 2017 Minnesota Startup And Tech News Roundup


Minnesota Blogger Interns, Feel Like You're Being Watched?

Have you been working at home and get the sense that something is not right, a bit weird? That’s the photo above.

Raise your hand if you woke up one of the past days wondering how it is that we are in the last two weeks of the year. I was in control of the calendar until mid November… then lost it. Now I am in  “oh heck” mode.

Catching up a bit…

There’s been a bunch of Minnesota startup and tech news this quarter (Q4 2017). Some of which I will highlight with some commentary and others just links (in no particular order):

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MSP On Deck Podcast #9 And #10: Tesla, Techstars, MN Tech Companies You Don’t Know, Amazon HQ2 Substitutes And What A Google Would Do For Minnesota Hiring


MSP On Deck, Minneapolis Tech Podcast, Minnesota Tech Podcast

Another 2 for 1 podcast post and this one gets us all caught up on our episodes. And good timing as we recorded #11 yesterday and release it next week.

#9 begins with Casey Allen (click EnterpriseRising | LinkedIn | @casey__allen) breaking news on a new Techstars program coming to Minneapolis. Kathy Grayson, Senior Reporter at Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal (click LinkedIn | @mspbjGrayson) jumps in as we talk about which tech company we would like to see come to town assuming Amazon and HQ2 does not. And why that would be a good thing for our Minneapolis/St Paul tech scene. I then give a recap of Twin Cities Startup Week.

#10 has us jumping into where is it best for a Minnesota tech employer to be located. Is it Downtown Minneapolis, North Loop, Northeast, Eden Prairie or St Paul? This conversation was brought on by the announcement from Calabrio that they are growing their tech team and moving into a new building in the North Loop. I talk a bit about what the most difficult roles for a startup to fill are starting with tech recruiter then product manager, UX/UI and developers. We also talk about scaling a recruiting and HR team with a nod to a Patrick Meenan, Arthur Ventures VC, blog post. We then talk about Tesla acquiring a Minneapolis company and Casey finishes up by talking about tech companies doing interesting things that many have not heard of.

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Minnesota Morning | Ageism In Tech, Minnesota Has More Jobs Than Unemployed Workers And Make It MSP Recap


CoCo Minneapolis, Coworking
I am back spending more time at CoCo in the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. With the expansion there are more places to work, engage, be social and hide out. I still find my best place to work is “the balcony”. It’s a sweet view, quiet and I still feel like I am near the action without being in it.

And… I will be spending more time in the building. Look for an announcement in the next day or two.

Squirrel moment: Monday I posted 6 new including experience for The Wildflower Foundation.


Ageism In tech

A little more than a year ago I wrote this post, and was not surprised at the number of private messages and email I received from tech pros with a similar story.

Indeed came out with this Report: Ageism in the Tech Industry:

Our survey of tech workers found that close to half of respondents (43%) worry about losing their job because of their age. Even more troubling, nearly one 5th (18%) say they worry about it “all the time.”

That’s a lot of people #ObviousThingToSay

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MSP On Deck Podcast #7 And #8: Jamf And eBureau Acquisitions, Minnesota Unicorns And Recruiting To Minneapolis


MSP On Deck, Minneapolis Tech Podcast, Minnesota Tech Podcast

This is a 2 for 1 podcast post and starting with the latter one first…

Podcast #8 starts with Casey Allen (click EnterpriseRising | LinkedIn | @casey__allen) talking about the Jamf Software and eBureau acquisitions. Then Kathy Grayson, Senior Reporter at Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal(click LinkedIn | @mspbjGrayson) talks about how Minnesota startups can get the attention of business reporters.

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Minnesota Morning… Change Of Seasons


Two weeks seems like not a lot of time in the big picture. 14 days… 336 hours… 20160 minutes. Not a lot of time.

And then I think about the past two weeks with Twin Cities Startup Week and ERE Fall Recruiting Conference and I am overwhelmed in a good way with all the conversations, learning, networking, meeting new people, recruiting and when possible thinking about how all of this fits in the big picture.

Two weeks ago some of our trees still had green leaves and I couldn’t see much of the lake. After some much cooler nights (leaves changed color real quick) and strong winds of the past days most of them have fallen giving me a view I haven’t seen since last spring.

Lake Minnetonka, Fall Leaves, #LakeLife

I have some blog posts to write about events from the past weeks. For the moment let me share a couple of observations…

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MSP On Deck Podcast #6: Amazon HQ2, Twin Cities Startup Week And Code42 IPO


MSP On Deck, Minnesota Tech Podcast, Minneapolis Tech Podcast

The next episode of MSP On Deck Podcast is out and was recorded September 14th.

It starts with Kathy Grayson, Senior Reporter at Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal (click LinkedIn | @mspbjGrayson), asking me about my thoughts on the then reported “restrained” bid Minnesota was going to make for Amazon HQ2. I reply with an extended rant on how I think being “restrained” is a horrible idea. Short of me dropping a “f bomb” every other sentence you get a very candid opinion from me.

Casey Allen (click EnterpriseRising | LinkedIn | @casey__allen) tried to give me some perspective and makes really good points but it is clear I was not listening well, much. I was then and still am now very frustrated with how it seems Minnesota is making a pitch.

I still have a blog post to write about how I really feel about all of this.

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Twin Cities Startup Week 2017


Twin Cities Startup Week


Here we go… Twin Cities Startup Week (@tcstartupweek #tcsw) begins today. Well, technically last night with a kick off party.

This is the 3rd Twin Cities Startup Week… this year with around 150 events up from 100 and 50 in years previous.

A big thank you to Nels Pederson (@nelspederson) for organizing and coordinating this growing event. I don’t know how he does it and I hope that he is taking a vacation or some sort of trip after this is done.

Also a thank you to track leaders, sponsors, volunteers and the venues hosting the events. This is one of those it takes a village kind of things.

My interest in startup week this year is 7 parts:

  • Recruiting
  • Recruiting
  • Recruiting
  • Having conversations about growing the Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota and Midwest tech community
  • Networking
  • Business development, I’m looking for a late Q4 project and thinking about 2018
  • Oh yeah… some more recruiting.

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Minneapolis Recruiting IT Pros In Chicago

Minnesota IT Jobs 

(knock)

(knock)

(knock)

Good Morning Chicago!!!

This morning a number of my recruiter colleagues from Minneapolis and St Paul are arriving for a day of recruiting Chicago tech professionals ending with a 2 hour gathering at Motor Row Brewery on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Chicago.

That’s right… we’re busting out of Minneapolis and knocking on Chicago’s door.

Literally.

Minneapolis Recruits Chicago Minneapolis Recruits Chicago

Minneapolis Recruits Chicago

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MSP On Deck Podcast #5: Scott Burns Of Structural And Osborne370


MSP On Deck, Minnesota Tech Podcast, Minnesota Startup Podcast

Yesterday I mentioned that this summer I have been working on a Minnesota startup and tech podcast with Kathy Grayson and Casey Allen called MSP on Deck. Check out =>

The first 4 podcasts are really good with a lot of “inside baseball” on topics like:

  • #4: The State (of Minnesota’s) VC ecosystem, WeWork, Osborne370 and Minnesota corporate venture capital
  • #3: Bright Health, Minnesota Angel Tax Credit, debut of MinneInno and The Nerdery Layoff
  • #2: Interning at Minnesota startups, Arthur Ventures raising a new fund and Jump Technologies, Kidizen and PetChatz/Anser Innovation funding
  • #1: Startup community mood, ReTrace Health closing, and Sports Engine exit

The 5th podcast… we definitely hit our stride and good timing as we had our first guest, Scott Burns of Structural and Osborn370. Click @smburns and LinkedIn to connect with him.

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