Minneapolis mobile startup OMG Transit is on a roll

by Jeff Pesek

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omgMinneapolis transit app startup OMG Transit is hitting a number of milestones this week.

First, after months of an HTML5 MVP, OMG is officially native on Android as of Monday.

Co founder Matt Decuir says the team is “Chomping at the bit to release on iPhone, but waiting to see how things go with the Android before launching on iOS, which can be a more consumable approval and update process.”

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When $100m just isn’t enough

by Jeff Pesek

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helpsys_logoThere’s a 30 year old sleeping giant in Eden Prairie.

HelpSystems, an enterprise IT management software provider, has been quietly growing through acquisition to north of $100m in revenue with 280 employees.  Veteran CEO Janet Dryer now has a new target: $150m by 2016. With goals that ambitious, we had to learn more:

What is the company’s history? 

HelpSystems was founded in 1982 by Richard Jacobson as part of Advanced Circuits (AC), a circuit board manufacturer in Minnetonka. He wanted to offset the computer costs for AC, thus creating HelpSystems, which was spun off in the late 80’s after AC was sold.

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B2B marketing automation startup CartStack bootstraps to revenue

by Jeff Pesek

CartStackIt’s a big chasm for any startup to cross — making the jump from MVP/beta to commercialized product with actual paying customers.

That’s how the story is unfolding for local tech venture CartStack, a B2B SaaS firm previously profiled on ‘Beta Byte’ that makes a niche plugin product for e-commerce sites. It addresses the specific pain of cart abandonment through an automated email re-marketing scheme.

Quietly grinding away last year with a laser like focus on customer development vs. funding, co founder and CEO Brett Thoreson has ramped up to 80 sites with 50 customers signed on a recurring revenue model.

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Virteva’s growth spurs new Golden Valley headquarters

by Jeff Pesek

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VirtevaEnterprise IT consulting firm Virteva has relocated its HQ from Golden Valley’s Park Place East building to 20,000 square feet at 6110 Golden Hills Dr.

After months of prep, planning and construction — the upgrade was unveiled this week during a series of open house parties and tours.  Although the change isn’t far in distance, CEO Tom Kieffer considers it the result of “Years of hard work and a little luck,” a reflection of Virteva’s growing prominence in the competitive marketplace for managed services.

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MinneWebCon nails the elusive gender ratio

by Jeff Pesek

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MinneWebConAs if Minnesota’s tech community couldn’t get enough over the weekend — between Minnebar and The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge at the same timeMinneWebCon delivered (once again) on Monday.

Now on year seven and sold out, 250 participated in “Grassroots knowledge sharing for people who create, work with and love the web,” held at the University of Minnesota’s McNamara Alumni Center.

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Former Digital River VP launches new fintech startup ReliaBills

by Jeff Pesek

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ReliabillsA former VP of business development with Digital River has taken a quarter century of corporate experience and flipped that on its head.

After graduating from Hamline in 1986, Brant Pallazza spent his professional career with companies like Fingerhut, Western Publishing, Damark, and the aforementioned Digital River – where he previously managed half a billion in e-commerce software sales with a staff of ~100.

The executive turned entrepreneur launched ReliaBills, a product of Tachy Technologies, earlier this year in response to his “Passion for small business and experience with managing software products.”

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On the record with Accelerate MSP CEO Pam York

by Jeff Pesek

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PamYorkAccelerateMSPAccelerateMSP has lingered in the shadows for over two years since their Ohio precursor JumpStart failed at introducing a public-private venture development organization (VDO) in Minnesota.

After a year long CEO seach, the wife of an original AccelerateMSP board member was chosen to be the leadership face. The plan of directly investing into startups was scrapped in favor of a $750k annual budget for a “roll-up-your-sleeves approach to mentoring seed-stage companies.”

Local legacy media has attempted to provide insight around AccelerateMSP’s intentions [1][2][3], however absent of any real questions. We sat down with CEO Pam York for an on the record conversation:

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Meet Minnestar’s newest board member: Alex Ryan

by Jeff Pesek

Categories

AlexRyanMinnestar is known for some of the state’s largest and longest standing technology events, namely Minnebar and MinneDemo.

The organization has organically flourished since early 2000′s, moving from a grassroots initiative to an official non-profit.  As the scope and audience has grown, so has the demand for committed resources.

It was announced today that Alex Ryan has joined the board of Minnestar and we took the chance to learn more about her:

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