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

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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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GiveMN announces new technology partner Kimbia

by Jeff Pesek

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GiveMNAs GiveMN.org approaches $100m in online fundraising for Minnesota schools and nonprofits, they are joining forces with Austin-based Kimbia for a new omni-channel fundraising solution.

Executive Director Dana Nelson announced it at the Nonprofit Technology and Communications Conference this morning, saying, “This a partnership that will generate new technology solutions and creative ideas to connect more donors with more causes than ever before.”

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Minneapolis dev firm MentorMate is spinning out a mobile startup

by Jeff Pesek

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mentormate-logo1What started as a custom mobile development project inside Uptown-based MentorMate has grown into a standalone startup company.

BevEngine is the result of a collaboration between France 44 owner Rick Anderson and MentorMate CEO Bjorn Stansvik.

As a veteran liquor retailer, Anderson had initially hired MentorMate for a “purpose-fit loyalty app to deepen the relationship with customers.”

The results were so positive that the duo have decided to form a joint venture and scale it out.

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More Minnesotans are getting into Bitcoin

by Jeff Pesek

Bitcoin MinnesotaAs Bitcoin continues gaining global traction, so goes Minnesota’s Everything Bitcoin group.

In an empty office suite nestled within a random Bloomington professional building, a few dozen enthusiasts gather around a series of 4 by 8 tables.

There aren’t enough chairs — but sitting down isn’t really part of the agenda anyways; once a quick round of introductions is made, it’s all business from there.

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