[Video] Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Patrick Riley’s 10 Lessons Learned At Exit

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Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 8.48.19 AMMinnesota Tech Entrepreneur Patrick Riley and his partners Dan Riley + Don MacPherson bootstrapped Modern Survey to ~$6m and 43 employees before selling (undisclosed) to London-based human resources, insurance, and technology consulting firm Aon Hewitt in February.

He took the time to reflect on that at Minnebar last Saturday in a session titled: “10 lessons learned at the end that will help you at the beginning.”

We captured this gold for your enrichment:

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: The Big Know CEO Don Smithmier On Raising $3m

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donsmithmierThank you to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Series so we can hear it from the source!

 
Don Smithmier is at it again.  This serial tech entrepreneur with a track record of success is now leading The Big Know — a brand driven educational content platform that launched in October.

Yesterday, The Big Know announced a $3m series A funding round with local partners LFE Capital & Steve Shank, the original founder of online university Capella Education Company in 1991. We reached out for more details:

The Big Know…what was the big aha?

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Colin Hirdman on Kickstarter Winning

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Colin HirdmanThank you to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Series so we can hear it from the source.

 
Colin Hirdman has been practicing tech entrepreneurship since 2007 when he and partners Zack Steven + Josh Becerra formed Monkey Island, LLC — named after childhood experiences growing up in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood.

They’ve spawned a lot of products over the years and hit a nerve in the market with their latest invention: FLUID is an iot water meter that raised $116k on Kickstarter last month from ~600 backers. Let’s hear more from this winner about how they did it:

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Rick Kupchella On the BMTN Acquisition

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Rick-KupchellaThank you to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Series.

In early August, the Pohlad-owned radio station Go 96.3 purchased the brand and assets of web-based delivery service BringMeTheNews (BMTN), founded by veteran news anchor Rick Kupchella in 2009.

Why did Go buy BMTN?

In all honesty… nobody could answer this better than the buyer. That said, I know our groups compliment each other well. On the broadcast side – they had a single metro station. And with BringMeTheNews – they become a 30-station statewide radio network with a broad footprint across the state. BMTN also brought a 1M+ person monthly digital audience to Go963MN – and a strong social news presence with nearly 100k likes in FB… beating the largest-staffed news operations in the state.

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Clarence Bethea on Team

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Clarence BetheaThank you to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Series.

Clarence Bethea is the founder & CEO of Upsie, a ‘new way to warranty’ using mobile as a gateway to insurance providers.

Bethea doesn’t just talk about team, he’s stacks it — recently landing some big names, including former Code42 CFO Jason Bristow and Best Buy veterans Stacy Webb + Brian Dunn.

Why is the team so important to you?

Our team is the lifeblood of our company. They build the product, service our customers, and their passion and ideas deem whether we are successful. The “startup life” is already tough, and finding people that you want to bring into battle with you is very important. In this startup phase especially, the people are the company. They are working in many different roles to keep things moving forward and gaining momentum.

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Entrepreneur To Entrepreneur: Chad Halvorson On The ShiftHub Acquisition

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Thank you to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Series.

Chad Halvorson is the founder & CEO of scheduling software startup When I Work, which just acquired Toronto-based Shifthub.

Why did you acquire Shifhub, what’s the strategic value?

Their go-to-market strategy was well aligned and we saw an opportunity to fold that into ours. We saw the potential in the sales pipeline they had built over the last 3 years and determined it would was a no brainer for us to work with them.

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Jason Bright on the MediaBeacon Acquisition

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Jason Bright - headshotThank you to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Series.

Jason Bright is the Founder & CTO of MediaBeacon, a digital asset management firm bought by Esko last week.

When, why and how did you start MediaBeacon?

In 1988 I was working at the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute and I couldn’t have asked for a better job or chance to learn. Armed with an amazing business card I was introduced to several local companies including
Andersen Windows and Cardinal Glass.

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Ben Jordan on Fundraising

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Ben Jordan Sense AIThank you to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Series.

Minnesota Tech Entrepreneur Ben Jordan is the founder and CEO of Sense AI — a mobile startup company that recently raised a $500k first round.

We reached out to hear more about his firsthand experiences and advice for peers:

Was this this first time you’ve raised investor capital and what was the process like for you?

Yes, it’s a first for me. Our process was unique and interesting…although I wished we could have closed earlier, we did accomplish what we set to.

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Paul Saarinen on Family

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PSFINALThank you to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Series.

Paul Saarinen is the cofounder & CEO of Miinome — a Minneapolis startup concerned with genetic sequencing, privacy, and profit.

Of all the topics available, why did you pick “family”?

The biggest misconception is only young, single people have successful startups, and people with families have baggage, responsibilities, and too much to lose. Founders rarely talk about the impact on their spouses or children. It is like have another child, and a second spouse.

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Phil Wilson on the Hyper IQ Acquisition

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PhilsonThanks to Split Rock Partners for underwriting the Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur series.

Q&A with Minnesota tech entrepreneur Phil Wilson of Hyper IQ, a Minneapolis mobile & web development shop bought by Buzzfeed last week.

When and how Did Hyper IQ start?

Hyper IQ started as the DBA of another firm I was working for as an Operations Manager. I started Hyper IQ, Incorporated in May of this year after closing a deal to purchase the assets of that firm. We started with three full time employees and had a small group of clients.

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