Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: The Okiror Bros. On Mixing Business With Family

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The Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur (E2E) series is curated by Sean Higgins and underwritten by Router Ventures.

 
Starting a tech business is like driving your car through the desert while your tank is almost always on empty and the next gas station is in 100 miles away.

Having the right passengers with you in the car helps, but you better be prepared to disagree, debate, and discover with them. This dynamic can push relationships to the brink.

So when you start a company with someone you are related to – how do you manage to keep business from ruining your existing relationship?

We catch up with brothers Simon and Jesse Okiror at Suprabook to learn more about how they are doing it:

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RedBrick Health Cofounder Jumps Ship To Revel Health

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Revel, a leading health action platform, announced today it has experienced significant growth in 2018, more than doubling its staff and adding new leadership to its executive team. The company has named Kurt Cegielski to the role of Senior Vice President, Client Success and Ryan Schoenecker as Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing. Schoenecker and Cegielski previously worked in senior leadership positions at RedBrick Health, a successful Minnesota-based healthcare organization. Both Schoenecker and Cegielski will work closely with Revel CEO Jeff Fritz and President Kyle Gunderson.”

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What Is The Difference Between A Founder & Entrepreneur?

by The TECHdotMN Team

Founders are those who have incorporated a for profit company; they have literally laid the foundation of being recognized as a legal entity and are forever recognized as that, regardless of their title or role (if any) related to the company over time.  Founder status is by-in-large irrevocable, and while each company will have it’s own requirements and qualifications, at TECHdotMN, we refer to the above as a guiding definition.

Entrepreneurs generate revenues into the for profit corporation by addressing inefficiencies, explicit problems or implicit need in the market with mutual economic value exchange between the ownership and customers.  This involves sourcing, organizing and allocating the necessary resources, while assuming both the risks and rewards associated with the endeavor. Entrepreneurial success is measured by positive financial Return on Investment (ROI) over time.

Therefore the difference between the two, as you read TECHdotMN may seem semantically subtle, but it’s actually quite significant: commercialization/revenue/income/monetization. Founding a company is the single most important step in the process of entrepreneurship as it relates to a path for remuneration of products and services offered.  Most entrepreneurs are by default also founders, though many founders will not become entrepreneurs.

*There is no right or wrong definitions – this is simply a clear articulation of implied capacity around two important and powerful words often used in sentences and the database architecture :)

HelpSystems Acquires MVP Systems Software

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HelpSystems announced today that it has acquired MVP Systems Software, a leader in enterprise workload automation software based in Unionville, Conn. Founded in 1985, MVP has earned a loyal, global customer base, and they’ve enjoyed fast growth due to demand for its JAMS solution”

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New OnRamp Insurance Accelerator Is Coming To Minnesota

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS & ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–To invest in the next generation of insurance technology and innovation, Allianz Life Ventures, part of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, and Securian Financial have joined forces with nationally ranked startup accelerator, gener8tor, to establish the OnRamp Insurance Accelerator.”

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Is There A Future For The Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator In Minneapolis?

Those who have been following along with the Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator will recall the contractual term between these two respective companies has come to a halt after three years and some ~30 startups later.

Can they renew the relationship or was their most recent class Minnesota’s last?

That’s the question we posed to both sides, including Program Managing Director Ryan Broshar.

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Thank You Sponsor: Sezzle

by The TECHdotMN Team

It is important we recognize those who financially sponsor TECHdotMN because their direct contribution advances Minnesota’s technology industry.

Thank You Sezzle!

What does Sezzle do?

Sezzle is a fintech company whose mission is to financially empower the next generation. Our first product is an alternative payment platform that enables shoppers to pay with interest-free installment plans. We help merchants increase conversion rates, basket sizes, and purchase frequency, primarily with young shoppers who lack traditional credit.

When and how did Sezzle start?

Sezzle started in January 2016 when Charlie Youakim left Passport, a transportation payments company he co-founded, to build a solution that catered to Millennial and Gen Z consumers with Paul Paradis, a friend from business school and experienced sales and marketing executive.

What is unique about working at Sezzle?

We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we take our work very seriously. We believe there is a massive disconnect between traditional financial services companies and young adults in the US, and everyone here is energized to solve this problem.

What are some open positions Sezzle is hiring for right now?

Current open positions include: Full-Stack Engineers – Senior & Junior, Android and iOS Developers, Customer Service Representatives, Merchant Success/Development, Sales, and Data Science.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Sezzle is growing very quickly and we are determined to become a major player in the payments industry by focusing on the customer and what they need and want.

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