Civic Startups

MESAMinnesota Emerging Software Advisory — aka MESA –is rolling out ‘Seed’ to augment their C-level mentorship model with a new pathway for local tech startups seeking guidance from others who may have been there before.

As formed in 2009, MESA’s missions is to “make Minnesota’s software community among the most vibrant by providing C-level mentoring for CEOs of emerging software companies.”

Since then, MESA has grown to 21 mentors, engaged with over unique 30 companies and graduated 13 to date.

Now, with Seed, pre-revenue startups have an opportunity to participate provided that they: (1)  Offer a value proposition with significant market opportunity, (2) have  viable  software that already exists and (3) are led by a coachable founder/CEO.

“We’re introducing Seed to serve more companies with the intention of helping them grow into the regular MESA system originally created,” says spokesperson Jim Moar.  “We have the hard evidence and entrepreneur testimonials that what we’re doing is valuable, so it’s time for broader reach and impact.”

Under the original MESA model, now called “Core,” a qualified post-revenue company is paired with two local tech mentors for monthly meetings over a duration of 2-3 years.  In exchange, the company pays MESA somewhere between $500-$2,000/year for administrative overhead as MESA’s mentors are unpaid volunteers who do not take equity.

Under Seed, a single mentor is matched and there is no cost whatsoever for participating companies up to a year. The objective is simply to help the mentee achieve a more significant presence in their respective market and become a revenue-generating scalable enterprise.

18 companies overall are currently active within MESA’s portfolio, and of those, six are already enrolled in Seed.


MESA Modestly Marches On

MESA’s matchmaking has momentum

Seasoned Minnesota Tech Execs Form New Advisory Group


Franklin PartnersThank you to Franklin Partners for underwriting this report.

A total of 45 merger / acquisition transactions involving Minnesota-based technology firms was reported in 2016.

This is down from 47 reported in 2015; there were 63 in 2014, 59 in 2013, and 45 in 2012 – when the annual M&A review first began.

This is the most comprehensive analysis of local tech deals, yet it’s always imperfect because there are off the record/undisclosed transactions.  Observations based off the numbers for 2016:

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Gov Security Startups

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 10.36.17 AMWe’ve all seen futuristic sci-fi movies that depict sophisticated law enforcement operations, the ones where commanders pull up 3D holographic layouts of a building’s interior while outlining the team’s strategic plan.

While current methods are nowhere near that level of advancement, you might not realize just how big the gap is.

Michael O’Leary says that in his discussions with police, paramedics and firefighters across the country, he has been told that Google Maps often provides better location logistics than the antiquated systems used by departments.

In the information age, emergency services are lagging behind, and O’Leary sees that as a major problem.

Read More…

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