18 - Ability Network’s giant acquisition, Sezzle + Dispatch are cruising, and Amazon is eating the Minneapolis world

May 9, 2018

Riffing points

  1. Paul’s State of Tech Events Report: Tech Cities, MinneBar, Enterprise Rising Conference
  2. Ability Network has a huge exit
  3. Enterprise healthtech + health IT continues to thrive in Minneapolis
  4. Connexio and K12 companies still have an edtech stronghold in MN
  5. Sezzle raises an ever growing chunk of cash and is hiring full throttle
  6. Local MN startup Dispatch is killing it
  7. Arthur Ventures and Rally Ventures on the fundraising trail
  8. Amazon Minneapolis office keeps growing and growing
  9. Follow us at www.twitter.com/mspondeck where we will never tweet about Stormy Daniels.

17 - Bind hauls in a massive series A, Minnesota startup mafias, and why measuring recruiter hiring matters to everyone

March 5, 2018

Riffing points

  1. Bind Benefits lands $60m series A in funding.
  2. The Definity Health Mafia and the startups that its ex-employees have created.
  3. HelpSystems at $160m in rev is acquired by another private equity firm and valued over $1b.
  4. Casey displays a company-crush on Help Systems’ outlier Glassdoor rating.
  5. Paul shares the state of recruiting recruiting and most people will want to hear it.
  6. Ping.mn emerges to be a source for all things Minnesota tech and seeks contributors.
  7. Venture backed SaaS startup Icertis, HQed in Seattle, is opening an office in Minneapolis.

16 - Jenna Pederson on Upsie’s funding, the changes in the MN tech community, and what being involved with Minnestar is like

February 21, 2018

Special Guest: Jenna Pederson, Minnestar board member and Hack the Gap cofounder

Riffing points

  1. Upsie closes $1.7m seed round funding
  2. Two MN tech startups, SparkDJ and Players Health, leave MN to join Techstars programs in Los Angeles and Boulder
  3. Casey’s rant on startup moving away
  4. Tech ecosystem observations from Jenna Pederson
  5. What Minnebar is and what’s in store for 2018

15 - Loup Ventures is in the house, CoCo goes big, and what VCs outside MN invest here?

February 5, 2018


Riffing points

  1. Loup Ventures closes their first fund and proves researchers can be VCs
  2. CoCo Coworking launches a 2nd coworking space brand, goes big and goes national
  3. SportsDigita launches their first product, Digideck, + raises investor cash for it
  4. Why Minnesota’s Amazon bid didn’t make us any smarter
  5. A rundown of VC firms outside of Minnesota that have repeatedly invested in MN tech
  6. Kathy’s list of ‘non-VC’ investors that have invested in MN tech

14 - Another VC firm but this one will improve the world and a complete list of active MN VCs

January 15, 2018


Riffing points

  1. Andy Slavitt launching a VC fund to make the world a better place
  2. The best rundown of MN VC firms that are active
  3. What does a seed round actually get a startup?
  4. Paul explains why being a developer is the best job in the world
  5. SPS Commerce doubles down on Accenture Tower and why it won’t be anything like ADC
  6. Who the hell is ADC?

13 - Maria Ploessl on the road ahead for Minne*, Cargill and Ecolab’s Techstars marriage, and local tech hiring will be in 2018

December 27, 2017

Special Guest: Maria Ploessl, new Director of Minnestar
Riffing points

  1. The state of Minne*, present and future
  2. Tech ecosystem observations, good and bad, from Maria Ploessl
  3. Inclusion in the Minnesota technology community
  4. Cargill and Ecolab Techstars launching in Minneapolis in 2018
  5. Priorities, outlooks, and predictions of tech jobs and hiring in 2018

12 - The most popular tech news stories of 2017 + what big things are in the pipe for 2018?

December 11, 2017

Riffing points:

The top, most popular tech stories of 2017 get dissected in true geek fashion. We throw out detailed funding, IPO, and recruiting predictions for 2018.  Also new announcements for Optum Ventures who formally launched, Revel Health who raised a ton of cash, and WeWork which graced Minneapolis with location #2.

11 - Rob Weber on his new VC firm, building founders from scratch, and what interesting MN startups to buy your holiday gifts from

November 27, 2017

GUEST: Rob Weber, Great North Labs Venture Fund + Startup School

Riffing points

1. Why Rob is starting a fund rather than doing another startup. For more details on Great North Labs, see: Great North Labs on MSPBJ

2. How Rob and his partner Ryan think about investing and what kind of startups the fund will invest in.

3. Rob's best angel investment ever and his biggest miss.

4. What the startup community needs more of and how Rob is trying to fix that.

5. MN tech startup products that you can buy as holiday presents for colleagues or family:

Casey's picks - CooperAndKid.com   Trevls.com/gift   RelateToday.com

Rob's picks - QFOLabs.com   Jamstik.com   LocalCrate.com

Paul's pick - Kidizen.com

Kathy's pick - YOXOtoys.com   PetChatz.com

6. Follow us at www.twitter.com/mspondeck where we don’t tweet about politics. Ever.

10 - Telsa comes to MN, surprising tech companies you never knew about, the 3 hardest roles to hire for

November 14, 2017

Riffing points

  1. Is downtown HOT and the suburbs COLD as a place to grow a startup?
  2. Calabrio is blowing up their team in Minneapolis -- for more see story on MSPBJ
  3. The hardest and easiest roles to hire for in a startup right now
  4. A great blog post by Patrick Meenan of Arthur Ventures about recruiting an HR team for startups: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dont-forget-scale-hr-patrick-meenan
  5. Tesla acquires Perbix -- for more, see story on MSPBJ
  6. Casey’s list of crazy MN tech startups you’ve never heard of that do awesome stuff

9 - Techstars’ 2nd MN program, Amazon HQ2 substitutions, and why Google coming to town would be good for hiring

November 6, 2017

Riffing points

1. Techstars is launching a brand new program in Minneapolis in 2018. Find out which huge corporation they’re partnering with

2. If we won’t get Amazon, who would we want?

3. The reason why big tech companies opening offices in MN is actually good for tech companies already here

4. What you missed at TC Startup Week

5. Follow us at www.twitter.com/mspondeck to see the minute a new episode is launched.