Minnesota Startup Yonder Is Using Tech To Protect World Travelers

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Yonder“Are you covered by your health insurance policy when you leave the country?” posits entrepreneur and international traveler Ryan Skoog.

“We found that about 80% of policies don’t provide coverage outside the US while about 80% of people think theirs does. This paradox presents a big problem.”

Together with Terry Boynton, the two were traveling in Nepal on a mission trip when they realized just how fortunate their lives are. Travel is essential to understanding more than just a geography — but to mankind as a whole.

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MN E-Comm Captains: Brenda Boehler, Bellacor

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Brenda BoehlerThanks to Irish Titan for underwriting our new MN E-Comm Captains series focused on leaders in the online retail sector!

Brenda Boehler has been in retail for over 25 years and the CEO of Bellacor since 2014.

Located in Minneapolis’ North Loop, Bellacor is an Internet Retailer Top 500 lighting and home furnishings multi-channel e-commerce company with revenues of $40 million and a team of 70.

She will be speaking to her success in person at the next Twin Cities E-Commerce Meetup on 3/29.

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MN Cup 2017 Season Starts Today

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MNCupLogoColorVia News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS — MARCH 20, 2017—Wondering if you have what it takes to create the next game-changing business venture in Minnesota? Drop by the MN Cup launch party March 20 in Saint Anthony Main’s Minneapolis Event Center to ask questions, meet past winners, and get a better feel for how MN Cup could help launch your dream — with $450,000 in total prizes!”

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Thank You Sponsor: InboxDollars

by The TECHdotMN Team

InboxDollarsIt is important we recognize those who sponsor TECHdotMN because their financial reinvestment advances Minnesota’s technology industry.

Thank you InboxDollars for reinvesting!

What does InboxDollars do?

InboxDollars is a rewards program that pays consumers cash for completing activities via our website and iOS + Android mobile apps. Activities include shopping online, taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, in-store tasks, and more. InboxDollars connects advertisers with consumers in a way that benefits both.

When/why/how did InboxDollars start?

InboxDollars was founded by Daren Cotter in 2000 while attending Minnesota State University, Mankato. As a broke college student, Daren’s entrepreneurial nature led him to exploring ways to make money online. He found success in the consumer rewards / affiliate marketing industry, and launched InboxDollars to bring a consumer-friendly program to the masses. By the time Daren graduated from college in 2004, InboxDollars was generating more than $2 million in annual revenue. Since then, the company has bootstrapped its way to nearly $30 million in annual revenue and 50 employees.

What is unique about the company?

InboxDollars has a unique culture that attracts new grads and experienced executives alike. Although they’ve been a successful business for over 15 years, they foster an entrepreneurial culture with the distinct advantage of having a strong balance sheet. Lunch-time trivia and epic Ping-Pong battles are daily occurrences. These values have landed InboxDollars a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America for 6 years.

Why does your InboxDollars sponsor TECHdotMN?

A vibrant tech/startup community benefits us all. TECHdotMN is a catalyst for this community and InboxDollars is proud to help support their mission.

How Minnesota’s tech industry could improve?

Focus more on what we do well and the assets we have vs. comparing ourselves to other markets. There are many awesome, successful tech startups in MN. Let’s acknowledge and celebrate these success stories!

A Tale Of Two [BIG] Minnesota Tech Companies: Code42 vs. Digi-Key

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code42-crashplan“Though well aware of the available options, Code42 chose not take advantage of grants, tax breaks or incentives from city and state governments. Fortunately Code42 is a well-funded, private company  experiencing the type of growth that required extending its space in earnest. As a result, Code42 has been able to support that expansion with a fabulous space and great place to work.” (source)

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logo_dk“Although Digi-Key is considering other locations for expansion, Thief River Falls remains its “preferred location,” said Rick Trontvet, Digi-Key’s vice president of administration and human resources. Digi-Key will give the city and state a chance to put together an incentives package before expanding the search to other sites.” (source)

Stratasys and VA Create The First Hospital 3-D Printing Network

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By Dee DePass, Star Tribune

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.10.46 AMStratasys Ltd. has teamed up with five veterans hospitals to create the first three-dimensional printing hospital network in the country, company officials announced Thursday.

Under the partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Stratasys will provide VA hospitals around the country with industrial 3-D printers, 3-D printing plastics, other materials and training that will allow doctors to make customized medical devices for veterans. The first VA hospitals to receive the 3-D printers are located in Seattle, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Orlando and Boston, Stratasys officials announced.”

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Holding Space At The Midwest Capital Call 2017

by The TECHdotMN Team

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ad-techdotmn-midwestcapitalcall2017(1)We’re changing up the Midwest Capital Call this year in the essence of evolution.

As we enter iteration number four, the purpose remains the same: bring tech entrepreneurs and investors together in person for candid and enlightening conversations.

To connect, to learn, and to grow the fruits of labor.

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Chuck & Don’s buys Online Retailer Fetch

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2dc68101074da2fa54a9d1896d379da0By Tom Meersman, Star Tribune

“A local chain that sells pet food and other supplies is getting into the e-commerce business. Chuck & Don’s announced that it has acquired Fetch, a Minneapolis company that’s been offering online sales and home delivery of pet food and supplies in the Twin Cities metro area since 2006.”

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