Thank You Sponsor: Leadpages

by The TECHdotMN Team

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 12.09.01 PMIt is important we recognize those who sponsor TECHdotMN because their financial reinvestment advances Minnesota’s technology industry.

What does Leadpages do?

At Leadpages, we create software that helps businesses grow by collecting more leads and converting more customers. We also help marketers automate their marketing stack through Center (launched in 2016) and run sophisticated, automated email marketing campaigns through Drip (which we acquired last year). Together, these tools let large enterprises and DIY marketers alike engage their audiences and rapidly increase their revenue.

How did Leadpages start?

Clay Collins and Tracy Simmons officially founded Leadpages in January 2013 after Clay discovered a huge demand for the landing-page templates he’d begun creating and releasing via his popular marketing blog. In 2016, our team and customer base expanded when Leadpages joined forces with Drip, convincing cofounders Rob Walling and Derrick Reimer and other members of the Drip crew to move from California to our headquarters in the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis.

What is unique about Leadpages?

We have a pretty remarkable community that extends both inside and outside the building. Regardless of their job title, the majority of our 125+ employees spend time talking to our 46,000+ customers and other people in our market every week. And those customers share their knowledge generously with us and with each other, whether it’s in our members’ Facebook group or at our annual Converted conference in October.

As strong believers in the idea of the open marketing-technology stack, we also treasure our partnerships and integrations with other software companies. We’re lucky to be surrounded by so many sources of inspiration in our industry and local tech community alike.

Why does Leadpages sponsor TECHdotMN?

We value TECHdotMN both for its in-depth reporting and for all the connections between people and companies it enables. It’s one of the first places we think about when we’re talking about our local tech scene, and we’ve enjoyed watching it grow.

How could Minnesota’s tech industry improve?

We’re always hoping to see more scrappy startups spring up around us in Minnesota and watch them thrive. There’s nowhere we’d rather be working in tech right now.

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Innovation: Dead or Alive?

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March Meta Poll: Is “Innovation” Dead or Alive?

by The TECHdotMN Team

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 9.38.17 AMInnovation – what is it? What isn’t it?  What does this word even mean anymore? Has innovation been abused and diluted beyond any recognizable matter of substance?

Is it time we find a better noun in the tech vernacular?

What do you think…

Innovation: Dead or Alive?

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Thank You Sponsor: InboxDollars

by The TECHdotMN Team

InboxDollarsIt is important we recognize those who sponsor TECHdotMN because their financial reinvestment advances Minnesota’s technology industry.

Thank you InboxDollars for reinvesting!

What does InboxDollars do?

InboxDollars is a rewards program that pays consumers cash for completing activities via our website and iOS + Android mobile apps. Activities include shopping online, taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, in-store tasks, and more. InboxDollars connects advertisers with consumers in a way that benefits both.

When/why/how did InboxDollars start?

InboxDollars was founded by Daren Cotter in 2000 while attending Minnesota State University, Mankato. As a broke college student, Daren’s entrepreneurial nature led him to exploring ways to make money online. He found success in the consumer rewards / affiliate marketing industry, and launched InboxDollars to bring a consumer-friendly program to the masses. By the time Daren graduated from college in 2004, InboxDollars was generating more than $2 million in annual revenue. Since then, the company has bootstrapped its way to nearly $30 million in annual revenue and 50 employees.

What is unique about the company?

InboxDollars has a unique culture that attracts new grads and experienced executives alike. Although they’ve been a successful business for over 15 years, they foster an entrepreneurial culture with the distinct advantage of having a strong balance sheet. Lunch-time trivia and epic Ping-Pong battles are daily occurrences. These values have landed InboxDollars a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America for 6 years.

Why does your InboxDollars sponsor TECHdotMN?

A vibrant tech/startup community benefits us all. TECHdotMN is a catalyst for this community and InboxDollars is proud to help support their mission.

How Minnesota’s tech industry could improve?

Focus more on what we do well and the assets we have vs. comparing ourselves to other markets. There are many awesome, successful tech startups in MN. Let’s acknowledge and celebrate these success stories!

Thank You Sponsor: CliftonLarsonAllen

by The TECHdotMN Team

CliftonLarsonAllen

It is important we recognize those who sponsor TECHdotMN because their financial reinvestment advances Minnesota’s technology industry.

Thank you CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) for reinvesting!

What does CLA do?

CLA helps private businesses and their owners achieve their dreams, from start-up and entity formation to capital planning and succession. Every decision an entrepreneur makes effects them as a business owner and it also impacts their personal financial situation.

We understand this relationship between business and personal decisions and our advice goes far beyond the traditional accounting and tax services. We help business owners make a wide array of interrelated decisions with industry-specialized guidance.

Our integrated capabilities include business consulting, tax and audit, outsourced accounting, IT security, and wealth advisory services, among others. Whether you’re just starting a business or already have an established business, at CLA we are confident that our experience will have an impact while providing our clients with an exceptional client experience.

When did CLA start?

CLA has been serving entrepreneurs and privately owned businesses for more than 60 years and has been a leader in industry specialization. We started as a public accounting firm but recognized how our clients needed help with so much more, so we added the capabilities that help them be competitive and successful in the industries they operate in.

What is unique about CLA?

Our emphasis on privately owned businesses and their owners is unprecedented, as is the way that we operate within an industry — as part of it — rather than merely serving it. So when we say that we offer industry specialized guidance to software and technology companies and their owners, it’s coming from a perspective of industry knowledge and experience that our professionals are involved with every day.

That means a tech company and its owner don’t just get accounting and tax services, for instance; they get advice on business strategies and operational matters than can truly impact their personal and professional success delivered by a team that dedicates their time to serving the industry.

Why does CLA sponsor TECHdotMN?

CLA professionals are embedded in the industries we serve. We admire the innovation, job and wealth creation, and sheer entrepreneurial grit that entrepreneurs demonstrate every day and we want to see the software and broader technology industries grow and prosper in this state and help however we can.

Entrepreneurs face daunting challenges each day, and we want to be a part of helping them achieve their dreams.

How Minnesota’s tech industry could improve?

Over the years, Minnesota has had many great tech success stories. Many entrepreneurs build on that legacy through successive businesses or through support, mentoring and investment within the technology community. This is great place to build a software company, and we have to give credit to entrepreneurs that have kept their business here despite the pressure to move out of the Midwest.

In some situations we are now seeing entrepreneurs acquire tech businesses and move them back to Minnesota, which is a great sign.

To maintain and improve the tech industry in this state, we need to make sure we have an economic environment that makes it easier to start and grow a business here. The national perception is that while Minnesota provides a fantastic qualify of life, great education system and workers with strong work ethic, it is also a place that has a high cost of doing business both from a regulation and tax standpoint.

In addition, we need to have a workforce that is prepared to handle the changing economic and employment market that requires the understanding of leveraging technology to accomplish this. That means more hands-on technology learning opportunities for K-12 students so that our children are better prepared along with incorporating entrepreneurship at an early age.

Investment advisory services are offered through CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC, a SEC-registered investment advisor.

SportsEngine Makes A Pair Of Purchases

sourced

Via News Release

SE“Minneapolis, MN / March 8, 2017 – SportsEngine, a division of NBC Sports Group, today announced the acquisition of background screening service providers, National Center for Safety Initiatives, LLC. (NCSI) and Southeastern Security Consultants, Inc. (SSCI). Combined with the current SportsEngine Verify background screening solution, these acquisitions strengthen SportsEngine’s position as the leading national provider of secure background screening for youth sports organizations, parks & recreation agencies, and national sports governing bodies.”

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Jay Z Partners With The Company Formerly Known As Imation

sourced

JayZBy Patrick Kennedy, Star Tribune

“Jay Z and the company formerly known as Imation Corp. are collaborating on a new subsidiary that will be part of Jay Z’s entertainment company, Roc Nation.

Shawn “Jay Z” Carter is launching Arrive, a new platform company as part of Roc Nation. The new company will partner with a select group of early-stage start-up companies to offer brand and business development services and also may provide capital to support their growth.”

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