OceanTech rides bigger jobs to faster sales growth

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By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

OceanTech, a two-man electronic-waste recycler at inception in 2005, is putting up electric numbers as it takes bigger jobs decommissioning and reselling equipment from large firms and data centers.

OceanTech was founded by entrepreneurs Alex Sumetsky, 35, and Mikhail Zabezhinsky, 33, who worked for small recyclers a decade ago while they were students at the University of Minnesota. They struck out on their own in the Plymouth garage of Zabezhinsky’s parents, just as Minnesota and other states passed laws that banned dumping or incinerating TVs, computers and other electronic waste.”

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State can’t afford to wait for feds on crowdfunding

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By Lee Schafer, Star Tribune

“It’s about time somebody in the state decided to quit waiting for workable rules for equity crowdfunding from federal securities regulators.

A Minnesota group, calling itself MNvest and started by Minneapolis attorneys Ryan Schildkraut and Zach Robins, is hoping to persuade the ­Legislature next year to go ahead and let equity crowdfunding take place here. Quite a number of ­Minnesotans have jumped on board to help, including Sen. Terri Bonoff, a DFLer from Minnetonka.”

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The key to growth at Thief River Falls’ Digi-Key

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By Adam Belz, Star Tribune

Digi-Key Corp., a wholesaler of electronic components that’s based in Thief River Falls, Minn., announced last week that its European sales are up 26 percent through the first nine months of the year.

The private company doesn’t release its profits, but overall sales are expected to be $1.7 billion in 2014, and all the parts for smartphones, electric cars, LED lights and medical devices ship out of Thief River Falls. Headcount at the company has grown from 2,600 to 3,200 in the past 18 months.”

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Imation investor demands ouster of CEO

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By David Phelps, Star Tribune

“A group of dissident shareholders of the data storage company Imation have demanded the ouster of CEO Mark Lucas and the sale of certain assets to bolster shareholder value.

New Orleans-based Spear Point Capital Partners, which owns more than 2 percent of Imation’s stock, is also contacting other shareholders for their support to “make serious changes to the company’s strategy” and “demand results rather than words.”

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Enterprise data backup company Arcserve is relocating to Minnesota

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By Lee Schafer, Star Tribune

“A $100 million-plus software company called Arcserve has just chosen Minnesota and will be moving in December into new headquarters in Eden Prairie, overnight becoming one of the largest software companies based here.

By the second quarter of next year, Arcserve hopes to have 100 employees working here, all hired without any taxpayer assistance.”

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For Franken, net neutrality remains key campaign issue

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By Abby Simons

“Headline-dominating issues such as Ebola and ISIL have commandeered most ­campaign conversations during the waning days of the race between U.S. Sen. Al Franken and his ­Republican challenger, Mike ­McFadden.

All but forgotten? Franken’s ­crusade for continued free and open access to the Internet, more ­commonly known as net neutrality.”

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Edina’s SafetyPAD software helps paramedicts detect Ebola risk

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By Joe Carlson, Star Tribune

“Thomas Eric Duncan, America’s first Ebola fatality, went to a Dallas hospital twice in the days before he died. The first time he arrived under his own power. The second time, when he was much sicker and more contagious, an ambulance took him in. He ended up exposing three people who rode in the ambulance with him to the virus.

Experts say that this second route, via Emergency Medical Service transport, is how future Ebola patients in the United States are likely to get to a hospital — and in the process, they will expose first responders and other patients to contagion risk. EMS organizations are already adapting, and they’re getting support from private companies that make software for first-responders, including Edina’s Open Inc.

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75F wins regional entrepreneurial competition

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By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

“A Mankato company, 75F, which has developed sensors and cloud-based software that computes the forecast nightly and saves energy for small commercial buildings, has won a regional entrepreneurial competition.

75F also was one of three finalists selected at the several-state Midwest Cleantech Open in Minneapolis this week to compete for $200,000 in investment and in-kind services at the Global Cleantech Forum in November in San Francisco.”

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Minnesota schools scramble to catch up on computer coding classes

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By Kim McGuire, Star Tribune

“The students in Kirsten Lunzer’s fourth-grade class watch as Codey the Troll crosses their computer screen, guided by the program they wrote to leap obstacles and collect blue jelly beans.

These programming-savvy students in Minnetonka are on the leading edge of a new high-tech era that has Minnesota schools scrambling to respond to student demand for computer science classes that teach them how to develop software, apps, games and websites.”

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Wayzata homebuilder constructs project management software

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By Jim Buchta, Star Tribune

“As a fourth-generation homebuilder, Sven Gustafson knows he’s not just selling houses. His customers expect far more than that.  “All builders build a pretty nice house,” he said. “As much as they’re buying a new house, they’re buying a really nice experience.”

From start to finish, builders juggle thousands of moving parts and a mind-boggling array of expectations, but there’s no industry wide standard for managing that process.”

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