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MSP On Deck Podcast #24: Total Expert Funding, Twin Cities Startup Week Recap, Ascentis IPO And Minnesota HR Tech



MSP On Deck podcast

A big thank you to Foundry for hosting us again in their podcast studio and for the invitation to continue through the end of the year. Hopefully we have been, will be the best guests and they like having us around because they make doing this soooo much easier than when we were doing it on our own.

We start this episode with funding news…

Total Expert raised $20M. I am a HUGE fan of their team and Casey walks us through who they are, what they do and why most people have not heard much about them. As I mention… yes, they are hiring.

We move to how funding announcements, SEC Form D, are found by reporters, bloggers and those creeping for competitive intelligence. And sometimes how, why they get it wrong… what the filing really is. Casey explains what a convertible note is and gets in the weeds. I learned a lot during this part. I tell a brief story about how a company filed their Form D, it was reported on and the staff of the company was not yet aware. I quickly run through some steps a company may want to do ahead of filing the form.

I do a recap of Twin Cities Startup Week mentioning events I attended, conversations I had and trends that seemed to appear. Also, talk a bit about the future of Twin Cities Startup Week. And my excitement over the energy in the Minneapolis and St Paul startup and tech scene.

Kathy talks about her conversation with Ascentis CEO, Brian Provost and their path to an IPO. Casey gives us some historical perspective on how this team has been built.

Casey talks about how and why private equity groups have focused on Minneapolis and St Paul.

We talk about HR Tech in Minnesota including Structural, Click Boarding, CATS, When I Work, Branch Messenger, and Ceridian. I add CollegeRecruiter and ZAPinfo.

Casey adds some health and wellness groups: RedBrick Health, Gravie, Further.

He then talks about tech in Eagan. Yes… Eagan.

We get a quick history of ThomsonReuters names.

Kathy and Casey talk about how Caribou Coffee has a number of stores inside Minnesota corporate headquarters.

We finish with our dares and while I was originally weirded out by Casey and his dare to listen to podcasts in the shower… we received an email from a friend of ours who was listening to this episode… while in the shower Surprised smile

I learned so much nerdy, weird things during this podcast…

To connect with Kathy, Casey and MSP On Deck:

Kathy Grayson

Casey Allen:

MSP On Deck

And click MSP On Deck Podcast Is Live And Focusing On The Minnesota Tech And Startup Scene if you are new to this and wondering how it came to be.

Here we go…



Click Minnesota Headhunter for current blog posts and IT Jobs In Minnesota for Minnesota IT searches I am working on.


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Minneapolis And St Paul Recruiter Jobs



Recruiter Jobs


The following have been added to the page by Minnesota employers:


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 paul@mnheadhunter.com

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.

Click Minnesota Headhunter for current blog posts and Minneapolis Tech Jobs for Minnesota IT searches I am working on.


Stay in touch with me by clicking:


Minneapolis Recruiter Minneapolis Recruiter Minneapolis Recruiter Minnesota Recruiter

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Minneapolis And St Paul Recruiter Jobs



Recruiter Jobs


The following have been added to the page by Minnesota employers:


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 paul@mnheadhunter.com

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.

Click Minnesota Headhunter for current blog posts and Minneapolis Tech Jobs for Minnesota IT searches I am working on.


Stay in touch with me by clicking:


Minneapolis Recruiter Minneapolis Recruiter Minneapolis Recruiter Minnesota Recruiter

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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 CollegeRecruiter.com

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 paul@mnheadhunter.com

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.

Click Minnesota Headhunter for current blog posts and Minneapolis Tech Jobs for Minnesota IT searches I am working on.


Stay in touch with me by clicking:


Minneapolis Recruiter Minneapolis Recruiter Minneapolis Recruiter Minnesota Recruiter

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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.

Continue reading "Conversation With A Software Manager… All My Good People Leave" »