Why We’re Pulling “Startup” From The Database

by The TECHdotMN Team


Greetings readers – a quick time out from the action to share an important site update: we’re pulling “startup” from the database (though it’s still in the blogging vernacular for now).


1. Startup isn’t a clearly definable word or real thing — it’s more of a concept, even an idea that is wide open to interpretation. It means different things to different people and therefore it remains really inconsistent across the board – especially in the media. Would anyone disagree with that?

2. We’re not (who is?) in a position to define what constitutes a startup so far as any database or list is concerned…that becomes an act of god, picking who is in or out, drawing arbitrary lines – all leads to increasing subjectivity.

3. Because there’s a better way forward..and by better we mean that you get to create your own definition of startup based on a more consistent and objective set of criteria that’s found at the core of every businesses.

As such, company search functionality is expanding to include the following filters across the ~2,000 Minnesota tech companies within the database:

1. Incorporation date
2. Active/inactive (aka deadpool)
3. Pre/post revenue
4. Bootstrapped vs. fundraised
5.  Number of employees (in Minnesota and beyond)

One reader may be searching for Minnesota tech companies that are software/product based and formed within the last 24 months, pre-revenue with <5 employees.  Maybe that’s a startup? Another reader may be looking for companies that have fundraised and count over 20 employees, still less than 5 years into things. That could also be a startup, right?

What is/is not a “startup” doesn’t matter…what matters is what’s behind that concept, specifically what you’re looking for.

Nothing changes so far as the tags and categories go for all companies at this time. We’ll do our best to share updates as they rollout on the /company overview page. The tweaks are already adding up to provide our readers with greater degree of accuracy and transparency into Minnesota’s technology industry. The data is unparalleled (though imperfect) and only getting richer + easier to access as said functionality comes to the frontend.

Early feedback/testing with entrepreneurs and investors around this new approach is favorable so far, and we welcome yours as you go through and use it.

May you find what you seek :)