MESA Rolls Out ‘Seed’ For Mentorship of Early Stage Tech Startups

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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.

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The 2016 Minnesota Tech M&A Review

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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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NetGain CEO Scott Warzecha On The $25M Capital Raise

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SWLate last month, St.Cloud-based Netgain announced receiving $25m in a majority strategic stake from Bluff Point Associates, a private equity firm focused on the healthcare IT and financial services space.

We spoke with founder and CEO Scott Warzecha about the past, present and future for Netgain:

When and how did Netgain form?

I founded Netgain in January of 2000 as a pure play application service provider (ASP) because I realized that St. Cloud had a lot of fiber optic available.

For the first time ever, in this area at least, we were able to use this to access our data centers and do things never done before.

My original business plan included about 25 employees and was really just focused on the area, which we were concentrated on back in the beginning.  An early salesperson really helped us break into the healthcare industry, which has become our specialty today and really expanded the geographic scope of Netgain.

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Eric Martell Is Gener8tor’s New Managing Director In Minnesota

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mw_ey_EricMartellEntrepreneur Eric Martell is the new of face of gener8tor Minnesota, replacing Mark McGuire, who has since co-founded a startup of his own.

As the Managing Director of gener8tor Minnesota, Martell is taking over for gener8tor’s gBeta ‘pre-accelerator’ program and also spearheading the introduction of an actual fund + accelerator in Minneapolis slated for mid-2017

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HealthIT Startup Ambient Clinical Analytics Closes On $3.9m of Series A

Ambient_FullColorRochester-headquartered Ambient Clinical Analytics has closed on $3.9m of $5.4m series A funding round according to this recent SEC disclosure.

Created in partnership with the Mayo Clinic, Ambient Clinical Analytics launched its initial big data platform AWARE for hospital ERs & ICUs in early 2014.

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Q&A With Minnesota’s Most Active Heathtech Investor, TreeHouse Health

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Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 10.18.55 AMTreehouse Health is Minnesota’s most active healthtech investor by deal volume.

Since 2013 inception, the incubator has funded 14 HealthIT companies, 11 based in Minnesota.

We spoke with Managing Partner Jeffrey “JD” Blank about what’s working for TreeHouse Health right now.

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NUU Mobile Intros $50k Kickstarter For 4G LTE Global Wi-Fi Device

fTFKbUt8Nuu Mobile, a lesser known Rochester maker of unlocked Android devices, has taken to Kickstarter for a $50k crowdfunding campaign to launch the Konnect i1:

“The NUU Konnect i1 provides worldwide 4G LTE service at an affordable flat rate of USD $10/day for unlimited data. The award winning eSIM technology found in the Konnect i1 allows for up to 5 connected devices.

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