UMN Researchers Pursuing 3D Printed HCI Pressure Sensors

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Via NBC News

“Wearable technology may soon be at your fingertips — literally. Researchers have developed a pressure sensor that can be 3-D printed directly on your hand. The device, sensitive enough to feel a beating pulse, is made from soft, stretchy silicone that conforms to the curves of your fingertip.

It’s a step toward a more seamless integration of human and machine, said Michael McAlpine, a materials scientist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. His team didn’t print the device on a real hand yet — just an artificial one. “But,” he said, “it sets the stage for future work in 3-D printing electronic devices directly on the body.”

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Minnesota Virtual Reality Parlour Voxel Doubles In Size

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“St. Paul, MN — ­ May 22nd ­ — Voxel Virtual Reality Parlour, Minnesota’s first Virtual Reality Arcade, announces the expansion of its first Twin Cities location, which offers a high ­end, curated experience for special events for an unforgettable night out. The Voxel team, headed by three Minnesota locals, is now capable of hosting large events with up to 30-­60 guests in its newly renovated space in Vandalia Tower, 550 Vandalia Street, Suite 218, St. Paul, MN 55114.

The exciting new venue features a suite of custom hardware solutions and an ever evolving curated library of cutting­ edge experiences to bring the best of VR to the Twin Cities. Set in the visually impressive creative spaces of Vandalia Tower, the parlour has now doubled in size and is now equipped with six virtual reality bays that offer captivating and immersive environments for their guests to experience.”

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Outsell Elevates CTO Bryan Harwood to President, Bolsters Management

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“MINNEAPOLIS, MN–(Marketwired – May 22, 2017) – Outsell, which drives more revenue for auto dealers by transforming how they engage customers and prospects throughout their lifecycle, announced today that CTO Bryan Harwood has been elevated to President of the company, in recognition for the important role he has played in driving Outsell’s growth and success in recent years.”

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Minnesota Tech Investor Turned Entrepreneur Chris Smith: To VC or Not to VC?

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By Christopher Smith

“I am surprised at how often most tech founders assume that to build a high growth start-up requires raising venture capital.

I happen to have a distinct perspective on this. I spent ten years of my career as a growth stage venture capitalist working with a well regarded investment fund. Conversely, I also spent the last number of years building a company that never raised institutional capital nor will it ever need a venture capital financing. I have a decent network in the venture business, and understand exactly how to raise venture dollars. Oddly, I chose not to.”

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Mobile Startup CheckNGN Connects Drivers With Mechanics

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By Neal St. Anthony Star Tribune

Jake Koelln and two partners this year launched CheckNGN, an interactive car-repair application business that links independent auto repair shops and young people with used cars. “I can change my oil,” quipped Koelln, 33, who drives an 11-year-old Mazda. “But I can’t change my timing belt.”

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Graveti’s Inaugural Summit Is Going Down In Minneapolis Next Week

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Grassroots tech group Graveti is hosting their inaugural summit next Thursday at CoCo in Uptown Minneapolis to focus on increasing tech entrepreneurship among underrepresented demographics. 

“We’re doing this to provide a platform for practicing and emerging entrepreneurs to learn strategic ways to start, grow and manage their business and navigate the tech industry,” explains Graveti cofounder Alex Rodriguez.

Attendees can expect a diverse and qualified lineup of speakers, some local, others national:

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Big John Games Reflects On 27 Years Of Making Games In Minnesota

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In an Edina office complex, a small team of dedicated game makers is building an international audience where Big John Games president Ken Patterson has been developing games since 1991. He began by making PC games, but jumped to the Game Boy Advance when asked to create a version of the 1987 NES classic Shadowgate for the handheld system. This meant that he was now a Nintendo developer–a distinction that lasts a lifetime.

Formerly Digital Content LLC, Ken renamed the company in honor of his father, Big John Patterson. The two had worked together since the mid 1990s, but when Big John suffered a heart attack in 2003, they made the name change.

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