Survey: Minnesota #7 Top State for Business



CNBC America's Top States For Doing Business

CNBC released their and Minnesota comes in at #7.

Minnesota has done very well in recent years:

  • #6 2018

  • #3 2017

  • #4 2016

  • #1 2015

  • #15 2013

Here is how we did:

‘19 – ‘18 – ‘17 – ‘16 – ‘15 –’14 – ‘13 – Category

#3 - #3 – #3 – #2 – #3 – #4 – #3 Quality of Life

#3 - #5 – #2 – #2 – #2 – #12 – #23 Education

#7 - #5 – #5 – #9 – #6 – #11 – #18 Technology & Innovation

#9 - #6 – #10 – #5 – #9 – #5 – #8 Infrastructure

#13 - #16 – #16 – #15 – #13 – #30 – #32 Workforce

#17 - #17 – #16 – #21 – #23 – #11 – #17 Access to Capital

#23 - #18 – #6 – #17 – #5 – #5 – #10 Economy

#28 - #28 – #33 – #27 – #23 – #15 – #15 Business Friendliness

#31 - #29 – #31 – #27 – #32 – #28 – #34 Cost of Living

#39 - #38 – #36 – #35 – #35 – #38 – #39 Cost of Doing Business

I’m still curious about the “Economy” category and why we seem to bounce around and lately lower than I would expect.

Continue reading "Survey: Minnesota #7 Top State for Business" »


Minnesota Recruiters In Demand - Summer 2019



Minnesota Recruiter Jobs Summer 2019 Report

Is this a hiring pause, the beginning of the slump and slowdown some (me) have been fearing… are we going back to a new “normal”?

I have been posting Minnesota Recruiter Jobs for 10 years and this time last year there had been a major uptick then plateau in jobs I was posting. That is the dark grey line or whatever it is. Then there was another major uptick and plateau at the end of ‘18 and early ‘19.

But the past three months (I’ll call that dark mustard, is that really a color) a noticeable decline.

That has me thinking… a lot.

Some things to know and then some thoughts I am having:

  • This is not a scientific set of data… it shows 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.

Now some comments and thoughts (in no particular order) in bite size pieces:

  • Recent months jobs number from the State of Minnesota have been flat
  • The unemployment rate is still low
    • Does this mean we really have come close to “full” employment?
      • Yes, I know we could should train those underskilled but employers seem stuck on hiring those “ready” to work
  • We know recruiter hiring is a lagging indicator
    • Were companies that understaffed long enough to finally feel the pain so the surge in hiring. And now it is done
    • Is this a sign of less hiring to come
  • Even if the job post numbers continue to decline a bit… we are still way higher than all the years past. We are still in a positive space
  • From the Federal Reserve Beige Book - June ‘19 Minneapolis District:
    • Employment grew modestly since the last report, hampered by tight labor, with some modest signs of softness. In general, hiring demand remained healthy. Most staffing firms across the District reported somewhat higher job orders in April and early May compared with last year. An ad hoc survey of large Minnesota employers found that half were hiring to increase total employee head count.
      • So maybe modest hiring and modest signs of a softness equals a plateau
  • GDP was 3%+ last year and if it is 2%+ this year… another sign of a plateau

Continue reading "Minnesota Recruiters In Demand - Summer 2019" »


Minnesota Recruiters In Demand - Spring 2019



Minnesota Recruiter Jobs Spring 2019

Last year I noticed a freakish spike in the number of Minnesota Recruiter Jobs I was posting. Usually I would have 15-20 jobs posted mid winter to early spring as companies prepared for their yearly recruiting. However, exactly one year ago I had a noticeable increase and it has not ended.

When looking at the graph above, and yes it’s a bit of a mess, you will see that dark gray like line. That’s 2018. It was that much out of the norm.

And now the first months of 2019, I don’t know what color that is, are in the upper left corner. 2019 has continued the momentum.

Here is the raw data going back to 2010. Left column the year and right column total number of jobs posted:

Minnesota Recruiter Jobs Spring 2019 Raw Data

Some things to know and then some thoughts I am having:

  • This is not a scientific set of data… it shows 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.

Continue reading "Minnesota Recruiters In Demand - Spring 2019" »


Spring 2019 Minnesota Startup Job Fair: Sales, Marketing and Customer Success Jobs



2019 Spring Minnesota Startup Job Fair

My podcast partner, friend and brother Casey Allen (@casey__allen) has announced his next Minnesota Startup Job Fair. Some details from Casey:

March 27th (yes tomorrow)

5- 7 pm

WeWork

Capella Tower

225 South 6th Street

Minneapolis, MN 442

Who should attend… those looking for a role with these titles:

- Sales

- BDR / SDR

- Marketing

- Customer Success

Companies hiring include:

- Arux Software makers of Eleyo (Minneapolis)

- Marketing Automation Software: Autopilot (Minneapolis)

- Carrot Health (Minneapolis)

- Credly (Minneapolis)

- Dispatch (Bloomington)

- Gravie (Minneapolis)

- HomeSpotter (Minneapolis)

- InboxDollars (Mendota Heights)

- Pinnakl (St. Paul / remote)

- Sezzle (Minneapolis)

- TeamGenius (Minneapolis)

The roles these startups are looking to fill range from entry level to senior leadership. This isn't your daddy's career fair. You'll find food, beer, and a live DJ at the rocking WeWork Capella Tower downtown Minneapolis at this job fair.

For more info and to RSVP click => Startup Job Fair: Growth Edition

If you are wondering… YES (if this is of interest to you) you should go!!!


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MSP On Deck Podcast #28: Final Podcast For One Of Us, How We Started And A Little What’s Next



MSP On Deck Logo

Well… we’re back after a 2 month hiatus and A LOT has changed for Kathy Grayson, Casey Allen and I and I can say this with certainty, you’ll want to listen to this episode as it is full of beginnings, endings and change. In the end… all for the better.

We start right from the gate with Kathy changing our intro… Kathy is no longer at the Business Journal, Casey is a new and proud dad and I am a single dude. That last item is not nearly as big as the others. We’ve all known about our news items but this is the first time we’ve been all together since the end of December.

And it felt like a long overdue family reunion.

We start with me asking Kathy a lot of questions about her new role as a Senior Internal Digital Communications Specialist at Medtronic… what is the transition like for her and how the day to day has changed.

We spoke about her time (12 years) at the Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal… who she liked interviewing, stories she didn’t cover and would have liked to and the Twitter accounts @StartupMJackson and @aarpangelsmn

Alex Wittenberg is the new Kathy and he has already been doing a great job covering the Minneapolis and St Pau tech scene. You can find him => @mspbjWittenberg on LinkedIn and send him an email awittenberg@bizjournals.com

We went in depth on how this MSP On Deck podcast started and the evolution of it. How Casey and I decided to do it, how it was easy to want to do it with Kathy, other potential podcast names we had, the audio issues, what we would different, how we came to the Foundry podcast studio, dares and top episodes.

Continue reading "MSP On Deck Podcast #28: Final Podcast For One Of Us, How We Started And A Little What’s Next" »


St Paul #10 Best City For Women In Tech


Top 15 Cities For Women In TechFor the past five years SmartAsset has put together data (gender pay gap, income after housing costs, tech jobs filled by women and four year employment growth) and ranked them. Click The Best Cities for Women in Tech in 2019 for this years survey.

St Paul appears on the list (again) ranking #10:

St. Paul ranks in the top 15 for only one of our metrics: It lands at 12th for gender pay gap. But while it doesn’t hit the heights in any single metric, it also won’t leave women in tech with much to complain about. St. Paul ranks no worse than 33rd in any single metric — in the income after housing data point — and ranks in the top 20 in two metrics.

Minneapolis appears on the larger list at #42.

As I do… I take a look to see where we rank compared to other cities in the “Midwest”… #7 Kansas City, #11 Detroit, #14 Indianapolis & #33 Chicago.

Previous year rankings:

2018

#6 St Paul

  • No city in our study has a faster growing tech industry than St. Paul. According to our data, the number of tech jobs grew by 41% from 2013 to 2016.
  • Women are fairly well-represented in the tech industry. Women in St. Paul occupy 26.4% of total tech jobs and the average women earns 89% of what the average man earns.

#35 Minneapolis

Continue reading "St Paul #10 Best City For Women In Tech" »


Minneapolis #4 Best City In The U.S. To Find A Tech Job



Best Cities In The U.S. To Find A Tech Job

Survey time again (I’ll have another tomorrow)… this one from AgileCraft and their post Best Cities for Tech Jobs in the US. They “… looked at some of the most demanded tech jobs as well as EMSI US Occupation hiring and salary data to come up with some interesting results.” I think by “interesting” they mean not what the average Jane or John Doe would be thinking. For those (I am one) who are always crunching numbers and analyzing surveys these numbers are what I expect to see.

Their Top 10 Cities Hiring The Most For Tech Jobs:

  1. Atlanta
  2. Seattle
  3. Salt Lake City
  4. Minneapolis
  5. Hartford
  6. St Louis
  7. San Francisco
  8. Miami
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. Boston

That’s right… Minneapolis is #4. Maybe it’s interesting to see Hartford and Miami on the list. The rest of the cities have all been seeing considerable job growth. Minneapolis, Atlanta and Salt Lake City frequently are mentioned as top “Tier II” cities behind the Bay Area, Seattle, New York City, Boston and Austin.

Continue reading "Minneapolis #4 Best City In The U.S. To Find A Tech Job" »


Minnesota Morning: HomeSpotter Expands, More On The Code42 Layoff/Reorg, Google Data Center And What’s Next For Minnesota Headhunter Part I



I didn’t get much sleep this week. And I’ve already been restless the past two weeks and did not know why until a conversation with a friend at the Enterprise Rising Happy Hour and another this morning. Let’s say… I was challenged. There are a lot of things I want to do and rather than do them, try it, test it… I over think it (them) and days become weeks become months become (sometimes) never. Or some over thought idea that I squeezed the fun out of and now is not as cool as it could have been.

Enough of that failed strategy Smile

Do you remember the Diet Coke and Mentos videos from a decade ago? That’s how I feel. And I am going to go with it.

More on that below…

Here is a photo from the Enterprise Rising Happy Hour:

19-1 Enterprise Rising Happy Hour

Save the date for the next Enterprise Rising Conference May 8th & 9th 2019.


HomeSpotter Expands

Good news from HomeSpotter yesterday… they announced their first acquisition, Spacio, HQ’d in Vancouver and the addition of Dug Nichols (@dugnichols) to the team => HomeSpotter makes first acquisition, hires former Kidizen CEO (MSP Business Journal). I’ve been a long time fan of Aaron Kardell (@akardell) , CEO. We worked together a few times between 2012 and 2015 as Aaron was growing the team. He is one of the best people, personally and professionally, I’ve been around. I am assuming prepping for the announcement the HomeSpotter web site has had a refresh. Click HomeSpotter Careers… they are hiring.

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning: HomeSpotter Expands, More On The Code42 Layoff/Reorg, Google Data Center And What’s Next For Minnesota Headhunter Part I" »


What The Code42 Layoff And Restructure Means For The Minnesota Tech Community



Change Ahead

I’ve been a bit surprised at the surprised response from some in the Minneapolis and St Paul tech community about the announced Code42 layoff and restructure. Some are worrying… wondering if it’s a “sign”.

I get that Code42 is one of our most high-profile tech companies. I get that they are the most likely talked about company to have an IPO.

And for the 55 people who have been impacted by this… this is a huge thing for them and we all need to help them find a soft landing, fast.

But what does it mean for the MN tech scene in general?

My opinion… nothing.

That’s right… absolutely nothing.

Here is the statement from Joe Payne, CEO:

“Code42’s evolution into a data security company has seen us advance our offering from IT infrastructure products to application security products. Now we are making some organizational changes to realign our resources around how we sell, deploy and support these new products in the market. These changes reflect shifts in our market and in the needs of our customers. They are not a reflection on the talented people whose positions were affected,” said Joe Payne, Code42’s president and CEO. “In 2018, we grew to approximately $115 million in annual recurring revenue. The steps we are taking today are focused on further accelerating our growth. With more than $30 million in cash and the backing of some of the world’s best investors, Code42 has the financial resources we need to win in the data loss protection market.”

And this from the StarTribune, Minneapolis-based Code42 to lay off 55 workers as growth slows

Code42 is like most companies, they are learning and evolving. They are trying new products. They are making decisions on which way to go.

With that comes change and that change at times will impact people. That part sucks. The impact on people. But I have a newsflash… this is normal.

Continue reading "What The Code42 Layoff And Restructure Means For The Minnesota Tech Community" »


Synapse Podcast With Steve LeBeau, Louis King, Casey Allen And I Talking About Economic Development, Job Creation And Minnesota Startups



Synapse Podcast with Steve LeBeau, Louis King, Casey Allen and Paul DeBettignies

It all started with Casey Allen sending me an email:

“do you want to be on a podcast with me?”

And a link to Steve LeBeau’s podcast “Synapse: Think Tank Of The Air”

While I had not previously met Steve (@splebeau), I knew who he was. At one time he was the Editor in Chief of Minnesota Business and at other times a writer, producer, editor for TV, radio, print and the web. His current passion is Synapse:

“The Social Mission of Synapse is to Connect Diverse Twin Cities Influencers and pick their brains for the Greater Good”

“Heck yeah” was my reply.

Casey follows up by saying there is a 3rd guest who I had also heard of but never met. Louis King is the CEO of Summit Academy OIC:

“We exist to assist individuals in developing their ability to earn and to become contributing citizens in their community. Our fundamental belief is: the best social service program in the world is a job”

I told Casey:

“We might be in over our heads… these are some smart fellas”

As Casey and I are walking in the elevator to the studio we meet Louis. It took maybe 3 minutes for us to be quick friends. We’re already talking about jobs, the economy and stuff when Steve comes out and asks us to stop talking. He wanted to be able to record our chat.

What follows is a summary of our conversation and at the bottom you can hear the whole conversation.

Continue reading "Synapse Podcast With Steve LeBeau, Louis King, Casey Allen And I Talking About Economic Development, Job Creation And Minnesota Startups" »


MSP On Deck Podcast #27: Patrick Meenan From Arthur Ventures Joins Us, Top Tech Stories of 2018 And 2019 Predictions



MSP On Deck Logo

Our last episode of 2018 is with a guest and one of my favorite people in the Minnesota tech scene… Patrick Meenan (@pmeenan1), Partner with Arthur Ventures (@arthurventures).

We jump right in with who Patrick is and get history of Arthur Ventures. He talks about the investments they have made in 2018 and spends some time talking about investments to date in Minneapolis totaling 7 companies and $25M.

We also talk about:

  • When should someone contact him about funding
  • Their investment strategy
  • Why they invest anywhere but the Bay Area
  • How they find companies to invest in
  • What are the differences in the cities in which they have invested
  • Their recent investment in Nomics
  • What 2019 looks like for Arthur Ventures
  • What companies did they not invest in they wish they would/could have
  • Scaling recruiting, retention of staff and executive recruiting
  • Why a recruiting hire should be around 20-30 people. HR leadership around 50-60 people
  • How the Minneapolis and St Paul tech scene is doing

We transition to top business stories from MSP Business Journal in 2018 including Bite Squad, Bright Health, Bind, Total Expert, Flip Grid and Reeher.

We talk about leading rounds, being on a board, when/why companies disclose purchase prices (or not) and what happens post acquisition.

We spend some time talking about IPO’s and private equity acquisitions.

Continue reading "MSP On Deck Podcast #27: Patrick Meenan From Arthur Ventures Joins Us, Top Tech Stories of 2018 And 2019 Predictions" »


Minnesota #8 On Tech And Science Index


18 Milken Institute State Tech and Science Index Map

If you’ve stopped by here a few times you are aware that I love a good survey, ranking or index. It’s why I like sports… every day you can look in a newspaper or online and find out if your team is winning, losing, where it ranks and how it is trending.

In this case my team is Minnesota and I like to gauge how we are doing, trending and comparing.

The Milken Institute released their 2018 State Technology and Science Index, something they do every 2 years, and it always has a lot of data to look at.

For 2018 Minnesota ranks #8, -1 from 2016.

From the report:

Minnesota drops one spot to end up eighth on the 2018 STSI. After a strong performance in 2016, Minnesota’s score decreased by 6.47 points to 63.11. The state dropped two places on the RDI to land at 21st. Minnesota also ranks 21st on the RCI in this edition of the STSI, a five-rank drop from 2016. Minnesota increased one rank on the HCI to fourth, while the state dropped to seventh from fourth on the TSW sub-index due to decreases in the concentration of computer, engineering, and science-related occupations. Minnesota dropped three ranks to 18th on the TCD.

The state has been focusing on creating a workforce to support the growing high-tech sector. The statewide College Occupational Scholarship Pilot Program for STEM-related degrees is one such program, and in conjunction, Minnesota has built eight IT Center of Excellence facilities to focus resources on education and internship programs. These eight centers provide a pathway for entering the high-tech workforce, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, expanding the high-tech workforce through diversity recruitment, and providing K-12 grades with a tech-related curriculum.

Minnesota is also making efforts to expand access to broadband internet. Currently, Minnesota has 69 percent of households with broadband internet, ranking 19th in the nation. One estimate puts a $1.4 billion price on the infrastructure needed to connect the remaining 31 percent of households in the state. If Minnesota can provide statewide high-speed internet access, this could generate long-term economic benefits by connecting its population to opportunity through modern infrastructure development. By providing the necessary education, workforce, and infrastructure as the knowledge economy develops, Minnesota should be competitive in the long run.

Overall Minnesota ranking by year:

  • #8 2018
  • #7 2016
  • #13 2014
  • #12 2012
  • #12 2010
  • #11 2008
  • #8 2004
  • #10 2002


Continue reading "Minnesota #8 On Tech And Science Index" »


MSP On Deck Podcast #26: Bright Health And Dispatch Funding, Sezzle Line Of Credit, Writing A Startup Press Release, Minnesota Accelerators And Minnesota Tech Gift Ideas



MSP On Deck Podcast

After a weird tangent about 7-Eleven and software… we get started.

Bright Health picked up a $200M round of funding and Pitch Book now values them at $950M. I ask about “Unicorn” status and if that helps or hurts. Casey explains why and why not and the difference between the Bay Area and the Midwest. Casey also talks about the Bright Health leadership team, their competition and what a potential outcome might be.

Sezzle announced a $100M line of credit, not to be confused with a round of funding. Casey walks us through what Sezzle is and does. And how what is Sezzle now is not what it started as.

That gets me a startup question… what is the percentage of startups that make a pivot or fundamental change in the business.

Dispatch raised a Series A of $7.8M and I talk about the cofounders, what they do, recruiting plan, and the recent hire of a HR Director hire.

Casey talks about raising money from customers.

We have a sweet conversation about startup funding press releases, how to follow up with reporters, the mechanics of how it works, etc. If you’re announcing a round of finding this segment is highly valuable to you.

Target changes their accelerator program away from TechStars and I ask if it is a step back. Clearly Casey agrees. We talk about what it means for the local tech scene.

I learned Nordstrom is a player in the invest in and acquire startup space.

Good news… a new accelerator is starting with Gener8tor, Allianz Life and Securian Financial called OnRamp Insurance Accelerator. And this one seems like a win.

Casey show us more of his nerdy side by talking insurance and fintech.

Continue reading "MSP On Deck Podcast #26: Bright Health And Dispatch Funding, Sezzle Line Of Credit, Writing A Startup Press Release, Minnesota Accelerators And Minnesota Tech Gift Ideas" »


My Minnebar 2018 Presentation: Managing Your IT Career v10 (Why Recruiters Suck So Bad)



Paul DeBettignies at Minnebar 13

Minnestar sent out their email newsletter today and I saw after the Minnedemo 31 save the date for February 7 at Pantages Theater and the Minnebar 14 save the date for April 27th at Best Buy HQ’s… there is a note that Minnebar 13 session were posted in the past days and one of the videos in the image is mine.

And I thought… oh (bleep), did I say anything stupid that was caught on the audio?

So I am listening to it and taking notes for you here so you know ahead of time if this has some value to you. I’m talking about:

  • Why “Why Recruiters Suck So Bad” is in my session title. And no, I don’t think all recruiters suck. And I explain why some tech pros think we do

  • I do a quick intro of me and worked in that the “Badgers Suck”. I look forward to having a picture of Paul Bunyan’s Axe

  • Then clients who I was working with phData (Big Data consulting), Daugherty Business Solutions (IT Consultants) & Livefront (iOS & Android Dev’s and Designers)

  • My love for Prime Digital Academy

  • I mention the MSP on Deck podcast and CoCo now Fueled Collective

  • What the local job market is like and I use terms like funky, churn and weird

  • Why tech salaries seem stagnant

  • Why Midwest employers seem slow to hire Junior Dev’s

  • How to find potential employers that are not well known (and a what is going on in St Paul)

Continue reading "My Minnebar 2018 Presentation: Managing Your IT Career v10 (Why Recruiters Suck So Bad)" »


Poll: Most Promising Minnesota Startup



Minnesota Most Promising Startup

The Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal has their annual poll open for voting => “What's the most promising Minnesota startup of 2018?”

This year’s list:

That’s a sweet list of groups and all of them are doing well. All of them are hiring with the exception of HabitAware… they will be doing it in 2019.

Of course… after spending the past seven weeks with Dispatch I am cheering them on. Click and bookmark Dispatch Careers to see what they have going on.

I’m also a fan of my friends at HabitAware, Foodsby and Sezzle.

As is noted… “This poll is not a scientific sampling. It offers a quick view of what readers are thinking.”

The poll is open until the 14th so if you have a moment cast one more vote this year… this time for the most promising Minnesota Startup.


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