Beta Byte: Estate Map

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Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 11.22.18 PMBeta 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?

Estate Map can be found at https://estatemap.com

What problem does this solve and how does it create value?

What if you died today? Could your loved ones find your will? Your online asset accounts? How about accounts where you only get emailed statements? The key to the riding mower?

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CaringBridge hires former Meijer eCommerce VP as COO

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Via News Release

CaringBridge, the nonprofit organization created so people experiencing a health journey can remain connected to their family and friends, hires Liwanag Ojala as Chief Operating Officer. Ojala will lead management by establishing operational direction to achieve the goals of CaringBridge and further its mission to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world.”

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VP of Engineering at AutoMotionTV Minneapolis

10 questions for Venture Lake

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Remember JumpStart?

How about AccelerateMSP?

Now there’s a new spin on the idea: Venture Lake.  Little is known about this taxpayer subsidized and politically connected nonprofit concerned with entrepreneurship in Minnesota. Considering the track record of secrecy behind these types of things, inquiring minds would like to know:

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Healthcare.com setting up shop in Minneapolis

Healthcare.com LogoHealthcare.com — a brand name, premium domain, and healthcare marketplace for consumers — is establishing office in Minneapolis this fall.

Cofounder and CEO Jeff Smedsrud says the company has three executive employees in state operating remotely, is adding more and settling down in the near term.

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Minnesota firm using 3-D printing to customize cremation urns

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By Julio Ojeda-Zapata, Pioneer Press

“Urns for storing ashes of the deceased, intended to look classy, sometimes can be tacky — even creepy. One company hawks 3D-printed busts of the dearly departed, or famous people like Barack Obama.  Then there is Foreverence, an Eden Prairie startup that is attempting to aim a bit higher.

Foreverence is offering custom 3D-printed urns shaped like objects that were important to the deceased — a sportscar, say, or a guitar — and made out of a ceramic material that is intended to look and feel more appealing than the more-common 3D-printed plastic.”

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Spanlink bought by Converge One

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By Katharine Grayson, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal

Spanlink Communications, which designs and manages call centers for businesses, has been sold to ConvergeOne for an undisclosed amount.

Southport, Conn.-based ConvergeOne, a communications-technology provider and integrator, has most of its operations in Eagan.”

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LeadPages lands former HighJump CFO Matt Ouska

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 2.53.11 PMSprawling SaaS tech startup LeadPages has hired its first outside executive as Matt Ouska officially joined the team this week as Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to joining Lead Pages, Ouska was with HighJump Software for a decade, acting as their CFO for the latter half of that time.  At HighJump, he was intimately involved with the Accellos merger that resulted in a $150m combined company.

Ouska says he’s number one goal is to continue supporting founders Clay Collins and Tracy Simmons during their phase of hyper growth, naturally acting as the money manager on all fronts.

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MNVest open sources crowdfunding proposal, plans ‘Forkathon’

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MNVestMNVest’s campaign to loosen securities regulations around Minnesota intrastate crowdfunding has taken an interesting turn this week.

After posting the v1 bill to a GitHub repository — opening up the draft for inspection, editing and revision — the related meetup group has announced a hackathon of sorts, but instead of code, it’s all about the legalese.

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Digital River is being acquired for $840 million

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Digital River, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRIV), a leading global provider of Commerce-as-a-Service solutions, today announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by Siris Capital Group, LLC (collectively “Siris”) in a transaction valued at approximately $840 million.”

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I’m Matthew Dornquast, CEO of Code42, and This Is How I Work

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By Andy Orin, Lifehacker

“…CrashPlan was developed by Code42, which was founded in 2001 as an IT consultancy but has since shifted to both consumer and enterprise software. At the helm as CEO is Matthew Dornquast, who co-founded the company and continues to run it. We spoke with Matthew to learn about his work habits and the challenges his team has faced in developing CrashPlan.”

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