Ask The Editor: I’m Relocating from NYC To MN, Where Are The Duluth Tech Startups?

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 6.59.34 AMWe receive inquiries from people near and far who have questions about Minnesota’s technology industry. Because rule #1, we make it a point to respond to all of them, even if to say “That’s a great question, no idea!” or “check out these links” or “you should talk to _____, they would know better”.

Now for something new: from time to time we’re going to take these questions — the better ones that are a bit more unique, maybe hard to answer — and put them out there (with respect for the privacy of those inquiring).

This one comes from DP:

“I will be moving to Duluth from NYC in the next month and wanted to see what it has to offer. What is the startup/entrepreneurial scene in and around Duluth? The city has three colleges (that I know of – maybe more!), so I would imagine having all these students around creates a ripe environment for creativity and willingness to challenge the status quo. But I don’t really see too much entrepreneurial talk around the various groups and news portals that I visit. Any information would be helpful. Thx!”

Hi DP, thanks for reaching out. That sounds like a big change! Duluth is a great city that’s pretty sparse on tech entrepreneurship, unfortunately, even with all those college students. Really, 90% of the action in the state of Minnesota is found in/around Minneapolis. That said, here’s what we know regarding Duluth & tech startups, surely there are others with insights:

+ Urvogel Games, pursuers of the to-be-made game Saurian, is supposedly in Duluth? Thing is, the company is registered with the state in Oakdale, Minnesota and the article reporter claims this game to be “The Biggest MN-Made Game Since Oregon Trail” – which is absurd for a game that hasn’t even been published yet, so take this one with a grain of salt.

+ h/t to Duluthian Martin Sawkinski for pointing us to blueberry, a new app for collecting rent payments that looks pretty fresh.

+Tryon Media appears to be in the both product & service space, with an ecommerce app for the fashion industry, perhaps relevant to the world you’re coming from in NYC.

+ Geacom, a hardware + software device venture for saving lives showed big promise but has been really quiet since winning the Minnesota Cup in 2010.

+ There once was an app called Turf, built by a UMN student, that has since passed away — as most startups do.

+ Maybe some of 50 Below’s former employees have gone on to start companies of their own?

+ If you can find them, the Thralow brothers might know what’s happening in their neck of the woods.

Does anyone in the audience have a tip or two for DP?



  • Frank Jaskulke

    A couple more: SISU Health – not a startup anymore: but a high tech venture that was a startup

    and Phyiso Control, a startup that was acquired and is growing in the region:

  • Dmitriy Perelstein

    This is very helpful. Thanks for posting this, Jeff! And yes, that was me hopefully starting the trend of people relocating from NYC to Duluth! :)

    • Jeff Pesek

      you’re welcome Dmitriy. FMG Suite also has an outpost in Duluth –

      and Club E has a meetup there:

    • mattberan

      You’re not the only one either – I know a couple moving from Brooklyn to Duluth as well. It’s too bad the co-working space is gone, would have been a great way to meet starters, entrepreneurs etc…

      • Dmitriy Perelstein

        Great Matt. Any chance I can get a contact? I am moving from Brooklyn as well!

    • Scott Josephson

      Hey Dmitriy, I work at fmgsuite, and I have to say it’s a pretty awesome place. We are a distributed team, but most of us are around Duluth (I come up from the cities each month). Drop me a line if you’d like

  • Matthew Timpane

    Fasetto is a cloud storage startup located in Superior. I just noticed it wasn’t mentioned.