MSP On Deck Podcast #25: Atland Ventures, State Of Junior Developer Hiring And Tech Conversations



MSP On Deck Podcast

We start this podcast light on news so it allow us to dig into a few topics deeper than we might usually do.

Casey starts by talking about Atland Ventures… an investment group made up of students at the University if Minnesota. Casey walks us through how it started and how it works. They have already made investments in Structural and Dispatch. 100 students applied to the program and only 8 were accepted

I ask for a definition of “seed round” because I think numbers varying from $500,000 to a few million.

I briefly suggest a future podcast should be Kathy, Casey and I starting a company.

We move on to me and a bit of a rant… OK, it is a rant. I am frustrated with how the tech industry says it needs workers and young people should focus on STEM classes yet, companies do not seem very eager to hire them out of college or a coding bootcamp. So, how does that work then if we don’t hire them now how will they ever become the 3-5 year developer that is in such huge demand?

I go off on a number of tangents… I’m telling you, I am frustrated with companies (not just here in Minneapolis, St Paul and the Midwest) and the tech industry as a whole.

I also invite companies who are recruiting, hiring, onboarding and mentoring well to give up some of their “secret sauce”. Let’s a get a few groups to share their ideas and have an event in 2019.

And… I’d like to know what you think about this topic. You may be a recent college or bootcamp grad, an online learner, hiring manager, recruiter or CTO. What do you think are the issues? Send me a note paul@mnheadhunter.com

We do something new… we each talk about a recent conversation we had that listeners may find interesting.

Casey starts with a conversation he had a with a founder who is not taking outside money. I was super interested to hear Casey’s take on the topic because so often conversations in the startup space are about raising money. This really got me thinking and I loved when Casey said that most entrepreneurs should not raise money.

I talk about how I think most people are trying to recruit without actually engaging people. It’s bonkers to me. It’s like we don’t want to talk to people. We don’t want to learn about them, what their dreams and fears are or what they really want to do. We just want to check off a list and if they have enough check marks we’ll get back to them. That’s a horrible way to build teams. It’s a terrible way to do business in this (your) town.

Kathy talks about a conversation she had with Parker Schlank, CEO of Travel Labs. They are a startup and raised $500,000. They are recommending flights and travel arrangements for travelers based on previous trips and behavior. It’s a cool concept and has companies already testing it out.

We get into dares and Kathy starts with inflatable colons (as in the organ). Serious.

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…



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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 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 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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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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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.

GO TO EVENTS AND CHAT WITH PEOPLE!!!

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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Twin Cities Startup Week 2018 Calendar And 10 Tips To Doing Startup Week


Image result for twin cities startup week

We are one month (and a few days) from the kickoff of Twin Cities Startup Week (October 7-14, 2018) and today the schedule of events was posted.

In a good way, sorta… I am feeling overwhelmed. I jokingly say my introverted soul is going to feel bruised. But it’s worth it.

There’s a lot going on during the week and not just Twin Cities Startup Week. We also have these events going on (I will be attending some of those too):

Here is how to get started… click Twin Cities Startup Week Registration

I will be signed up as “VIP ACCESS”. You can sign up however best suits your activity.

Events that I am signing up for on my first run through the list:

Monday:

  • The Lifecycle of a Brand: Building Stories that Start, Scale, Sustain, and Sell Businesses

  • Tech in St Paul, the Best Kept Secret in the Twin Cities

  • MN Cup Final Awards & Showcase

Tuesday:

  • Scaling Company Culture as you and your Business Grow

  • Just Build It

  • Beta Showcase - Featuring the Area's Top Up-and-Coming Startups

Wednesday:

  • Keeping the Diverse in IT: A Lesson in Employee Retention

  • Coffee & Closers :: CEOs that Sell

  • Techstars Retail Demo Day

Thursday:

  • Venture-Scale Apps: A Panel of MN's Funded Mobile-Centric Startups

  • Minnedemo30 + Bonus Techstars Farm to Fork Film Release

  • DocuMNtary Techstars Farm to Fork Film Release

Friday:

  • BIT Tech Fest: Exhibit & Career Fair

  • Twin Cities Startup Week Job Market

  • Twin Cities Startup Awards and Twin Cities Startup Week Closing Party

There are others I will go back and sign up for… I need to make sure I am getting some recruiting work done during the week too.

Continue reading "Twin Cities Startup Week 2018 Calendar And 10 Tips To Doing Startup Week" »


Minnesota Recruiters In Demand–Summer 2018



Minnesota Recruiters in Demand

Two to three months ago while prepping for MSP On Deck Podcast, I mentioned to Kathy Grayson and Casey Allen that I was seeing a crazy high demand for Minnesota Recruiters. Over the past few episodes I have been talking about this and here is some of the data I have.

Some background… I started this site, blog in 2005 and the Minnesota Recruiters group in 2007. Back then I was getting a number of email like, “Who is a really good Tech Recruiter?” or “Who do you know can manage a team of Recruiters?”.

Then the “Great Recession” hit and the requests stopped.

As we came out of the recession I was starting to get a few inquiries again and created the page.

To my conversation with Kathy and Casey… Casey asked if I had been tracking the number of jobs posted at any one time on the site. I said no. Later I figured well, I do have the number of jobs posted in a month so l could work with that.

Above is a graph of the number of jobs I posted per month beginning in 2010. It’s a bit messy so here is the raw data:

Minnesota RecruiterAnd the raw data by year:

Minnesota Recruiter

Some things to know and then a few conclusions:

  • This is not a scientific set of data… but it does show some trends.

  • I post jobs that are sent to me or that companies have said that if I see them post something then I can add it too. It is not a data set of all the Recruiter jobs that are, have been available.

  • 90%+ of the jobs posted are corporate recruiter roles. Infrequently I get a consulting or search firm role to post.

  • Labor markets are lagging economic indicators

  • I’ve been doing this a long time and the Minnesota Recruiter community generally knows about this site so I don’t think there is any other “influence” that inflates the numbers other than demand.

Conclusions:

  • Minnesota Recruiters are in demand for a few reasons:

    • The general positive state of the local and regional economy.

    • Minnesota Recruiters too, like many professions, are moving around looking for new opportunities.

    • Companies generally are feeling the stress of not being able to easily hire the staff they are looking for so need to add Recruiters to find them.

    • Companies generally are going to continue to expand and hire.

  • If I have been in a (non recruiter) role for a some time and been thinking about making a change… I would do it this year. I would start now so that by year end I am into something new.

  • The “Great Recession” ended around of June 2009 and it took a while for companies to really start to expand. They likely did it with whatever recruiting staff they had at the time. I didn’t expect to see the lag be that long.

  • This 2018 spike is noticeable and so is the streak since late 2016.

As I said above this is not a perfect set of data.

I am always looking for trends be they to predict the near future and/or to test what I think already is.

Any questions, thoughts or comments? Send me an email paul@mnheadhunter.com


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Working Wednesday Vol IV: Dispatch, Bind Benefits, Sansoro Health, Arctic Wolf Hiring And Minnesota Jobs Report



Jobs

2 days late but still going weekly…

Why didn’t I post anything Wednesday?

- Busy talking with about the roles at Daugherty Business Solutions.

- I didn’t have much hiring news (and y’all should be sending me notes about what your company is up to)

Note… I am not only wanting to post Minneapolis and St Paul tech jobs news. It’s the space I hang out most of the time. If you have tech or non tech news I gladly take it.

And then… WHACK

I was listening to our just published MSP On Deck podcast and remembered a couple of groups that recently announced funding rounds:

- Dispatch, last I heard is looking for 2 Sr Ruby Dev’s. Click and send your resume to jobs@dispatchwithus.com They are also looking for delivery drivers in Minneapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Kansas City and Orlando.

- Bind Benefits has a bunch of jobs in tech, product, data science, medical and account managers. Click Bind Benefits Jobs

Some more news items:

-Kathy Grayson at the MSP Business Journal wrote Health-IT company Sansoro raises $8 million; steps up hiring. They have Product Manager, IT Manager and Customer Success Manager roles posted. Click Sansoro Health Jobs.

- Kathy has another story this one Silicon Valley startup Arctic Wolf adds another high-ranking exec to growing Twin Cities office. Click Arctic Wolf Jobs.

Minnesota Jobs News:

Continue reading "Working Wednesday Vol IV: Dispatch, Bind Benefits, Sansoro Health, Arctic Wolf Hiring And Minnesota Jobs Report" »