Over 20 Minnesota Tech Startups Funded in the First Quarter of 2011


Minnesota tech fundings

According to our quarterly analysis of the local entrepreneur/investor landscape, over 20 early-stage Minnesota tech firms received investment capital during the first three months of 2011.

At least $38m in total funding was procured by Minnesota’s high tech sector alone from January through March — largely skewed by Cima NanoTech’s $15m D round, 8thBridge’s $10m series B and RedBrick Health’s $5.7m raise. The remaining 18 startups raised just over $7m combined, for an average round of $388k.

Things are not as bad as the legacy media makes them out to be — but misery loves company and you are free to follow shallow opinion if it supports your prejudice.  Another recent, and slightly more useful attempt, paints an incomplete picture of what’s really happening within the industry.  Since most of the action is on the ground-level, our coverage extends beyond “VC” (definition please?) to include seed-stage funding on up.

A reported ten tech deals representing $3.3m were facilitated under the umbrella of the Minnesota Angel Investor Tax Credit (date=UNK).  The data does not factor off the record and undisclosed transactions; any relevant PWC MoneyTree data will be updated accordingly.

See Zach Robins’ 2010 Capital Recap for a comprehensive review of last years activity.  Did we miss something? Leave a note…

Date Type Company Amt. Investor(s)
UNK Equity 3d Sports Technology $50k
UNK Equity 7 Ventures (stealth) $1.25m
UNK Equity Argos Risk $96k
UNK Equity AsystMe (stealth) $50k
UNK Equity Cloud Sports Data (stealth) $1.2m
UNK Equity Conservis Corp $75k
UNK Equity For My Children (stealth) $25k
UNK Equity LeagueSafe $115k
UNK Equity Packet Power $250k
UNK Equity Seeonic $200k
3/25/11 Equity GeaCom $817k
3/21/11 Equity 8thBridge $10m Trident & Split Rock
3/10/11 Equity A-Vu Media $200k
3/6/11 Equity Cima NanoTech $15m
2/18/11 Equity Boost Information Systems $1.5m
2/16/11 Equity mPay Gateway $716k
2/14/11 Equity RedBrick Health $5.7m Highland & Versant
2/11/11 Equity Good Connective $200k
2/8/11 Equity MIDART Communications $270k
2/7/11 Equity Rapid.IO $1.1m Vesbridge, El Dorado
2/4/11 Equity Inveni $283k


  • Fjaskulke


    Very cool! And this is just the IT (except for GeaCom which is in both of our worlds). I don't have a hard count of the medical device and biotech companies that raised capital in the first quarter but a quick count in my head would add another 20 companies and $60 or so million (with some of the larger venture rounds throwing off the average).

    I'm with you – things are moving in the right direction for a robust and more diverse startup community in Minnesota.

  • https://sites.google.com/a/mippstrategy.com/project-skyway-work-site Darren Cox

    It is awesome that more companies at every stage are getting funded in Minnesota. We are NOT where we want to be yet, but there is definitely a huge groundswell of support for early stage tech companies here. Hopefully those of us who know better will start to be believed when say it is complete bullshit when others bitch about the myth that there is no money here for startups.

    We entrepreneurs have to really get serious about doing more to publicize the companies who are growing, creating jobs, returning money to investors and changing the visage of Midwest-based startups. We need to all be better at getting the word out about our growth and upside prospects; that you don't need to move west to get funded; you don't need to be near the 101 corridor to build a game-changing company; and you can find experienced mentors, money and motivated employees right here.

    Every time an entrepreneur leaves Minnesota for the west coast, it is a huge loss to our local entrepreneurial ecosystem. It doesn't matter whether those who leave become successful with their companies; what does matter is that the talent and drive it takes to even start a company in the first place is leaving. That means there are fewer entrepreneurs who will take the experience gained from their first foray into the startup world, who can then apply those lessons learned to their next company or who can work for other startups and apply that knowledge.

    Now is the time for us to come together and start working on an organized, concerted and frontal campaign that encourages bright, eager and committed entrepreneurs to stay here, build here, grow here and become long-term active members of our tech-startup community.

    We should be running ads on the coasts telling folks out there what we have going on here and why they should join us. We should be running government-funded weekend classes on basic programming, so we can give more people the skills they need to continue to sustain the incredible growth of our early-stage companies. We startup founders should be getting together weekly, in little groups, trying to figure out ways to share our resources for the benefit of the group.

    We need to push harder, do more and help each other instead of whining about the fallacy that it is better somewhere else. That is simply not true…


    • http://tech.mn Jeff Pesek

      Thanks for the note Darren…always appreciate your passion.

      When you say: “Now is the time for us to come together and start working…” — could you elaborate on who “us” is referring to?

  • Leslie

    Very encouraging. I would like to see MN get back on top as an IT leader in the US. Startups are an important factor in doing this. To that end, do you know how MN compares to other state tech start-ups in Q1? ~Leslie