Online learning startup for teachers lands big contract

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By Katharine Grayson, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal

Whitewater Learning, a startup that offers online professional development courses to teachers, has landed a $100,000 contract with a group of Goodhue County school districts.

Ann Werner founded Minneapolis-based Whitewater with the goal of streamlining continuing education for educators. Teachers must take professional development courses to maintain a state license, but college classes can be expensive and it’s not always easy for teachers to fit seminars into their schedule.”

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48 Minnesota tech ventures raised over $44m in Q2 2014

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5693558-green-tree-growing-currency-with-dollar-sign-on-white-backgroundAt least 48 different Minnesota tech ventures raised $44m investment capital during the second quarter of 2014, according to information collected and analyzed from April 1 through June 30, 2014.

The data includes on the record activity compiled from multiple sources; this proxy of current local funding activity and trends is a worse case scenario as there are always undisclosed transactions not factored.

Compared to the same period last year, a record high 62 different companies raised $65m (-20%/-32%). Versus the first quarter of 2014, there’s consistency with 40 companies raising $50m.  Overall this year, our records show Minnesota’s tech ventures have raised approximately $95m.

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NYC patient-doctor matching startup ZocDoc enters Twin Cities market

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS, July 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — ZocDoc, a free online service and app used by more than five million patients each month, arrives in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul areas today, delivering faster access to quality medical care. With ZocDoc, patients can search for nearby, in-network doctors, read verified reviews and health content, see doctors’ availability in real time, and instantly book appointments online. While the average wait to see a physician is over 18 days, the typical ZocDoc patient sees a doctor in under 24 hours.”

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Minneapolis open data policy heads to the Council

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By Eric Roper, Star Tribune

“Reams of public data addressing everything from restaurant inspections to city spending may soon become easier to access under an “open data policy” under consideration at City Hall.

The policy, which will be presented to a committee this Wednesday, would create a new portal where departments can upload raw public data about different metrics they are tracking. To access that information now, inquiring citizens and journalists must formally request it from the city.”

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Joe Stanton on Fundraising

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Joe StantonThanks to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur series.

Minnesota tech entrepreneur Joe Stanton formed software startup Elevate Research to address pain points around customer feedback/satisfaction and targeted marketing.

Elevate recently raised a $500k first round and is a finalist in this years Minnesota Cup competition.

What was your overarching approach/strategy to the first round?

My co-founder, John Cohoon, and I approach everything we do as an opportunity to learn, improve and have fun. It shapes our decisions. And we believe success follows from it. So we approached our seed round from the same perspective.

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Sports tech startup row27 rebrands as FanMaker

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FanMakerMinneapolis client service firm row27 has rebranded as FanMaker, a namesake of the company’s original SaaS product.

Cofounded by Jonathan Dusing and Jason Cole in 2007, FanMaker came in 2009 and provides business intelligence solution for sports teams.  The product ties ticket, apparel and concession sales into social media presence for brands to narrow in on fan loyalty promotions. Part of the suite also includes auctions, crowdfunding and photo sharing tools.

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Chicago’s Jump Capital is fishing for tech ventures in Minnesota

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JumpCapitalChicago-based venture firm Jump Capital is casting lines into the vibrant waters of Minnesota’s tech scene.

Senior associate and Minnesota native Peter Johnson was in the Twin Cities last week, meeting with startups and investors to test the waters.  We took the opportunity to learn more about Jump:

What is your goal in Minnesota and what interests you about Minnesota startups?

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