Meet A Minnesota CTO: Mark Benson

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Mark BensonThank you to Andcor Companies for underwriting the Meet a Minnesota CTO series.

Mark Benson is the CTO of Exosite in Northeast Minneapolis, a cloud-based data platform enabling the Internet of Things and M2M solutions.

How long have you been working in technology for and what is your technical background?

I’ve been working with technology for 15 years. Growing up, I wanted to be an artist or psychologist and the last thing I wanted to do was work with technology. However, in college I stumbled on computer science and loved the way in which it combined math, art, and psychology in a way that could make real impact in the world.

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Imation CEO, Chairman Booted From The Board

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By Tom Webb, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“An activist hedge fund has won a hotly contested proxy fight at Imation Corp., replacing three board members — including the company’s CEO and nonexecutive chairman, the Oakdale-based company said Wednesday.

The Clinton Group, a New York-based hedge fund, had urged shareholders to overthrow the directors of the data-storage and data-security company, whom they blamed for lavish executive pay and years of poor stock performance.”

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Digital River SVP Badran Leaves For CEO Post At Chicago Startup

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By Luisa Beltran, PE HUB

Edo Interactive said Wednesday that it raised a $20 million Series E round of financing from existing major investors including VantagePoint Capital Partners, Baird Capital, and a number of Nashville-based investment firms. Edo also said it named Souheil Badran as its President and CEO.”

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Minneapolis Startup Apruve Joins Startup Accelerator Commerce Innovated

ApruveMinneapolis B2B fintech startup Apruve is one of four nationwide accepted to startup accelerator Commerce Innovated — a joint initiative between Silicon Valley Bank and Mastercard.

Apruve is a payment and communication platform connecting B2B buyers and sellers. Business buyers want to get what they need now, but be invoiced for it later. To make this happen, sellers need to efficiently weigh the buyer’s credit risk and facilitate customized payment terms for purchases. Apruve automates this entire process for the seller, eliminating offline, manual accounts receivable tasks and giving a real time picture of captured and pending revenue in an eCommerce store. 

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Minnesota Made Assistant App For Parents Hits Crowdfunding Goal

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Little Peanut on the GoLittle Peanut on the Go — a personal assistant app for busy parents — has exceeded a crowdfunding goal of $7,500 set and launched last month.

82 backers supported the app, made by veteran product manager Karla Lemmon who created it based on her personal experience traveling with kids.  Readers may recognize the unique name from MobDemo, a local mobile pitch competition Lemmon won last November, earning her the initial $25k for development:

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Beta Byte: RevampCRM

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logoBeta Byte is a series underwritten by Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq for that early stage tech found somewhere between idea and traction.

What is the name of the company and/or product? Where is it found online?

The name of the company is Revamp Consulting. Our web-based Sales CRM and Sales Pipeline Management Software is online at: www.RevampCRM.com.

What problem does this solve?

The idea for RevampCRM came to us when we noticed the lack of enterprise-scale intuitive SaaS business tools and other solutions that are geared towards small businesses and startups. Current SaaS offerings addressing these needs are scattered with very poor integration.

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Access To Minnesota Government Data Can Improve

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By James Eli Shiffer, Star Tribune

“Trying to get information out of the government can feel like standing in a Soviet bread line. Except that the bread has gone stale and inedibly hard by the time you reach the front of the queue.

That’s often what happens when you file public records requests with federal, state and local agencies. The length of time government takes to hand it over, whether intentional or not, can make the data so old that it’s next to useless.”

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$6 Million & Counting: The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge

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http://tech.mn/files/2013/01/Overnight-Website-Challenge-300x237.jpg150 technically capable conjugated at the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus earlier ths month for a 24 hour competition of good known as The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge.

They were joined by another 50 who represented the 14 nonprofits selected for a site makeover at this years annual charity hackathon.

Meanwhile, similar scenarios were playing out in Chicago and Kansas City — home to The Nerdery’s sister offices.  While those locations lack the roots laid here in Bloomington eight years ago, they already account for 6 of the 14 Website Challenge’s held to date.

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