HelpSystems announces new CEO Chris Heim, CFO Dan Mayleben

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Via News Release

“Minneapolis, MN, December 16, 2014—HelpSystems today announced that Chris Heim, who has served on the Company’s board since 2012, will be joining the Company as its new Chief Executive Officer. Current CEO, Janet Dryer, has decided to retire after 30 years of successful leadership, including 16 years as CEO.

She will continue on the Company’s board, providing guidance and direction as Chairman of the Board. During Dryer’s tenure as CEO, HelpSystems grew from $20M to over $110M in revenue, completed 13 acquisitions, and tripled its number of employees to over 285.”

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MN Tech Startup Retention Hero Debuts Predictive Marketing SaaS

Predictive lifecycle marketing is a relatively new concept for many, based on using analytics to determine customer tendencies and purchasing behaviors so that communications can be sent at the most opportune and effective points in time.

Hans Kuder, a longtime software engineer, has built a product called Retention Hero that helps ecommerce companies leverage this information to get the most out of their customers and incite repeat business.

Kuder’s previous position was with a company called Goodsie.com, which made online store builder software for people who wanted to set up ecommerce shops. He says that one of the biggest challenges he saw with clients was finding ways to effectively market to existing customers.

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The Nerdery Launches Prime Digital Academy, A School For Software Engineers

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Via News Release

“Minneapolis – (December 15, 2015) – Twin Cities-based custom software company The Nerdery today announced its launch of Prime Digital Academy (Prime), a school for software engineers. Prime is accepting applications from prospective students today at http://primeacademy.io for its beta cohort starting March 3.”

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Bloomington-based Video Guidance plans sale to British firm

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By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

“Mike Werch, who started Video Guidance in 1999, is merging his Bloomington-based video conference company with London-based BCS Global Networks.  BCS, which operates mostly in Europe and Asia, started the courtship in 2013 and pursued Video Guidance to broaden its product and geographic portfolio. The unspecified cash-stock deal is expected to close within a few weeks between the private companies. Werch will get paid over the next four years, partly based on performance.”

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Selling the cold, Minnesota’s tech community welcomes data centers

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By Matt McKinney, Star Tribune

“The bracing chill of a Minnesota winter doesn’t make for alluring tourism slogans, but there is an industry beyond dogsledding in which it’s a selling point: data centers.  Selling all that cold air to tech companies that need to keep towers of computers from overheating has become the work of people like Tom Lambrecht, manager of economic development services for the utility cooperative Great River Energy.”

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Twin Cities developer creates ‘shortwave radio’ app for world news

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By Julio Ojeda Zapata, Pioneer Press

“Smartphone users have no shortage of radio-style apps that will stream news-and-information programming to them over the Internet.  But app developers are always in search of niches within well-populated app categories, and Twin Cities resident Steven Clift thinks he’s found one.

He’s released an app called 1 Radio News that provides news-related audio from around the world for English speakers who are eager to keep up on the latest global happenings.”

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Chasm.io (Formerly Wahooly) Merges With Social Marketing App Loot

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By Anthony Ha, TechCrunch

“Remember Wahooly? We wrote about the startup a couple of years ago, describing it as “Klout meets Kickstarter” because it allowed users to gain startup equity in exchange for promoting the company on social media. Since then, Wahooly joined the AngelPad accelerator, rebranded as Chasm.io, and shifted focus to reciprocal sharing (“I’ll tweet your link if you tweet mine”)  Now it’s announcing a merger with Loot, an Orlando, Fla.-based startup.”

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Under The Hood With Girls in Tech MSP

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LogoIn October, we introduced Under the Hood to better understand how technology oriented nonprofits in Minnesota function.

This recurring series is made possible by research partner Altrulytics and underwriter Atomic Data.  Over the coming weeks we will publish individual responses, and in the end, compile an aggregated assessment of the landscape with further analysis.

Organization name: Girls In Tech Minneapolis-St. Paul

Executive Director: Shuvi Powers (Managing Director)

When was it formed and for what purpose?

Girls in Tech was founded in 2007 as a global non-profit focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of influential women in technology and entrepreneurship. As women with the capacity to inspire and lead, we’ve created an organization that focuses on the promotion, growth, and success of entrepreneurial and innovative women in the technology space. The Minneapolis chapter is now 7 years old.

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Local Real Estate Tech Startup Total Expert Raises $500k Seed Capital

Minnesota fintech startup Total Expert has raised $500k of a $750k seed round according to founder Joe Welu.

The TE PRO platform provides a robust co-marketing suite complete with responsive design, lead generation, landing pages, analytics, and other tools that unite the two key sides
of a residential real estate transaction: real estaste + mortgage agent.

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NativeX sheds 12 positions at its Sartell headquarters

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By Kevin Allenspach, St. Cloud Times

“SARTELL – In the last 15 months, technology company NativeX went from a round of layoffs to a partnership with video game giant SEGA, to a list of the top 10 most effective monetization companies serving the mobile gaming industry. Now it’s back to downsizing again following the reduction in work force of 12 employees this week at its Sartell-based headquarters.”

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