VC-Backed Vidku Unveils A New Set Of Consumer Mobile Apps


VidkuSocial video startup Vidku has produced the first consumable fruits of labor since emerging from the University of Minnesota in February flush with $17m cash in hand.

The free apps, available today on both Android and iOS, offer a new way for anyone to create short video clips (17 second max) to share with peers organized around themed invite-only groups.

Vidku is the parent company and sister product of Flipgrid, the brainchild of Dr. Charles Miller and a specialized team coming from within the Institute for Design and Innovation.

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CEO Joe Payne On Code42’s March To The Public Markets

Joe-Payne-HeadshotCode42 has reset the bar in Minnesota between their massive $52.5m first round in 2012 and a fresh series B of $85m announced yesterday.

Both are local tech records in their own right and the latter a huge vote of confidence for a CEO who’s officially been at the job less than three months.

Not long ago, amid these two milestones, curiosity was piqued as Code42’s internal growing pains led to some external triage.

A decision to pullout of planned relocation, the quiet resignation of cofounder + CEO Matthew Dornquast and then a President/COO departure left many questioning whether something was fundamentally off with this north star of Minnesota tech.

Then came Joe Payne — an east coast tech executive who previously sold software Eloqua for almost a billion to Oracle in 2012, merely six months after taking it public.

“On an annual return basis, ELOQ was the most successful technology IPO in history,” Payne proudly proclaimes.   The CEO who “likes doing deals and is playing for the championship,” was blessed by the board in July to best serve the interests of Code42 during this middle mile of liquidy, the explicit end game for investors and controlling owners.

Here’s what Payne had to say about the $85m of capitalization and the future of Code42:

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Minnesota M2M Developer NimbeLink Relocates In Plymouth, Doubling HQ


Minnesota M2M tech firm NimbeLink completed a move this week that will more than double the size of their Plymouth footprint — from 1,700 ft2 to over 4,300 ft2 at 3131 Fermbrook Lane N., Suite 100.

It’s the company’s second expansion in 18 months, “Fueled by sales of our Skywire line of cellular modems and increased demand for developer services,” CEO Scott Schwalbe says.  NimbeLink’s headcount is now at 20 full and three part time employees.

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Minnesota Startup DOSE Health Is Going All In On A Smarter Pillbox

For three years, Paul Hines has had an itch that won’t go away.

While at the University of Minnesota’s Medical School, he became acutely aware of the myriad of challenges facing America’s health care system, and therefore, his future career path.

But one need hit especially close to home: his own grandmother required a wakeup phone call every day at 4am with a reminder to take her medications.

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Minnesota M2M Startup 75F Relocates In Burnsville & Ramps Up Hiring

75FMinnesota M2M startup 75 Fahrenheit aka 75F is relocating within Burnsville to accommodate for growth.

Launched out of Mankato in late 2012 and since holding space (800 ft2) at 760 S Cross Drive in Burnsville, 75F is now expanding to 5,000+ ft2 at 221 River Ridge Cir S, also in Burnsville.

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NE Minneapolis’ FourCubed Is Doubling Down on iGaming


FourCubedA decade ago, financial analyst Chris Carlson started developing software tools he could use to profit off the emerging world of online gambling.

A lot of has changed since then, as Internet gambling has evolved and expanded into it’s own sector of tech dubbed ‘iGaming’ to include virtual sports betting, lottos and many genres of poker.

Despite stigmas, scrutiny and enough regulatory risk to deter many investors, the global market for fee-based igaming has quadrupled from $10b in 2004 to $40b in 2015, seeing a steady 10% annual growth rate.

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More Minnesota Angel Investor Tax Credits Are Opening Up In 2015


Minnesota’s Angel Investor Tax Credit (AITC) program has more money lined-up for investors who fund Minnesota tech startups.

Introduced in 2010, the AITC provides a 25-percent credit for accredited investors or investment funds that put money into qualified companies focused on high technology or new proprietary technology.

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Drive Capital Is Fishing For Opportunities in Minnesota


Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 7.58.14 PM Columbus-Ohio VC Drive Capital is in search of another big Minnesota catch, trolling the entrepreneurial waters since they hooked LeadPages three months ago.

Drive’s Robert Hatta was in Minneapolis recently for Twin Cities Startup Week, and a recent conversation with ex-Google Nick Solaro and serial entrepreneur/investor Andy Jenks — both now partners — reveals more about their appetite for Minnesota startups.

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