Target lays off 235 in Twin Cities Tech Operations

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By Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune

“Following months of anticipation, the ax fell in Target Corp.’s technology operations in the Twin Cities, where about 235 employees were let go this morning.  The retailer’s information technology units had largely been spared in layoffs earlier this year that wiped out affected about 2,500 jobs, or about one-fifth of the workers in the company’s corporate offices in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park.

In addition to the layoffs Tuesday, Target said it will close about 35 open positions. Another 40 people will be laid off at Target’s IT center in India, where it employs about 2,600 people.”

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ReconRobotics Tries to Right The Ship After A Big Fail

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By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

“By 2012, the confident executives of ReconRobotics had positioned the company, surging thanks to government contracts, as the poster child of a new Upper Midwest trade group, “Robotics Alley,” and the emerging industry of all things drones and robotics.

The future remains bright for the industry. However, ReconRobotics is broke.”

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Infinite Campus Wants To Lure IT Workers To Blaine

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By Lee Schafer, Star Tribune

Charlie Kratsch of Infinite Campus is all but cocky about his ability to recruit up to 400 new employees over the next few years to his company located in what he merrily called “the swamps of Blaine.”

That puts him nearly 20 miles north of the hottest area for technology firms, in Minneapolis, and even farther away from the technology cluster in and around suburban Eden Prairie.”

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Pandora Opens Minneapolis Office

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By Kristen Leigh Painter, Star Tribune

“Web-based radio company Pandora is increasing its revenue by growing its physical presence. The latest destination? Minneapolis.  The online music streaming company from Oakland, Calif., hopes its new office will help rake in more advertising dollars from Minnesota companies looking to reach local and national listeners.”

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Industrious, Assemble Offer New Co-working Spaces In Minneapolis

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By Kristen Leigh Painter, Star Tribune

“The co-working office competition is accelerating in the Twin Cities with two Chicago-based firms recently announcing expansions in downtown Minneapolis.

Industrious has signed a 20,000-square-foot lease on the 28th floor of the RBC Plaza, which sits at the corner of Nicollet Mall and S. 6th St. The news comes two months after Assemble Shared Offices announced a lease at 15 S. 5th St. for 16,000 square feet. Both companies were founded in Chicago and will open their first Minnesota locations less than a block from one another this fall. “

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Rochester Upstart Sees A Niche In Smart Phones

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By Lee Schafer, Star Tribune

“The Boston Consulting Group uses a little grid to guide the thinking of CEOs when their products turn into commodities. It’s hard to know where to put smartphone maker Nuu Mobile.

It’s not the box on the top of BCG’s grid, for the strategy of the premium player. Nuu can’t fit the strategically sound positions occupied by the lowest-cost producers, big companies that can survive when their higher cost competitors bleed to death.

The only box that seems to fit for a small player like Nuu is the one in the lower left corner. It’s labeled “exit.”

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Target Tests Beacon Beaming In 50 Stores

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By Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune

Target Corp. is taking the next step to integrate smartphones into shopping by testing a system that alerts customers to deals and reviews as they walk through a store.

The Minneapolis-based retailer on Wednesday will become one of the largest to test a technology known as beacons, which are small transmitters placed above a shelf that send signals a short distance. They will link to shoppers’ smartphones through the Target app, sending them relevant coupons, deals and product recommendations based on where they are in the store.”

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Data ‘Nerd’ Sues Bloomington To Keep It Transparent

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By Jon Tevlin, Star Tribune

Tony Webster has been called a nuisance, a harasser and “an apparent agent of Black Lives Matter,” among other things. He says he’s just a policy wonk with a desire for government transparency.

“I’ve called myself a data nerd, and I don’t mind the term nerd,” said Webster, 28.

Webster is the local guy who recently sued the city of Bloomington, accusing it of violating the Minnesota Data Practices Act by refusing to give him information about the December protest at the Mall of America, which he believes is public under the law.”

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Stratasys 3d Printers Ramp Up Healthcare Applications

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By Dee DePass, Star Tribune

“When twins Lincoln and Nolan Potts were born in November, their heads were perfectly shaped.

By April, it was clear that weeks of lying in cribs and strollers had caused a condition known as flat head syndrome. They’d each require a specially fitted helmet to reshape their skulls over a critical 14-week growth period.”

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CEO Clay Collins Has Big Ambitions For LeadPages

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By Lee Schafer, Star Tribune

Clay Collins of LeadPages looks to be that rare co-founder of a technology company who can stay in the top job all the way through an initial public offering or sale that will make pretty much everybody involved rich.

This is a risky call, I suppose, a little like Gophers coach Jerry Kill seeing an All-America linebacker after watching a sixth-grader play flag football. It’s true that LeadPages is still mostly a start-up.”

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