Startup Week Is For [Tech] Startups


Startups are led by founding entrepreneurs, the defacto leaders of a startup community.

As the third annual Twin Cities Startup Week commences today, we’re calling on the tech community to recognize, support, and learn to love these entrepreneurial leaders.

They put the startup in Startup Week. 

Between cofounders and the next generation of those coming up through Startup Weekend, there’s over 100 unique founders representing Minnesota tech this week. With that in mind, here is a running list of many of the tech startups appearing during Twin Cities Startup Week 2017:

Minnesota Cup – Monday night – 4pm at McNamara Alumni Center


The high tech division is represented by none other than:  Starting 11, cofounder and CEO Teague Orgeman.

Other tech finalists include:

Food/Ag/Beverage: Autonomous Tractor Corporation – a self-driving tractor.

Student: UnderRecruited Preps – Connects student athletes to college coaches.

Beta.MN – Tuesday night – 5pm at Target Commons


Starting 11 is a live scoring app for soccer fans that allows users to modify their teams during real world matches to best their virtual opponents.

CheckNGN is a real-time bidding engine pairing trusted auto repair shops with car owners in need of service via seamless app experience.

Under Recruited Preps connects student-athletes to college coaches via web-based and social platforms to showcase the player’s academic and athletic abilities.

Take 12 is a digital registry for expecting mothers, where friends, family members and co-workers give financial gifts to allow new moms to spend the first three months with their newborn child(ren).

Gravy gives talented, professional content creators (artists, beauty influencers, foodies, celebrities and more) a new digital platform to a host their own branded live-streaming shows.

FLUID is a smart water meter that helps you understand your home’s daily water usage. The product simply snaps around the main water pipe in your home, which begins delivering real- time consumption reports and alerts to your iPhone or Android device.

Dispatch With Us is a modern delivery service, applying common app interfaces like real-time tracking, in-route ETAs, mobile signatures and more to the antiquated field of package delivery.

Alska is a web-based platform for care teams to securely share and store a patient’s medical information, including care coordination details (legal docs, calendars, etc.) and vitals such as blood pressure, weight and oxygen saturation, for improved management of chronic diseases.

Soundly promises those struggling with snoring with an alternative to other devices, by providing users with a 15-minute exercise via their mobile device, to addresses the underlying cause of snoring.

Curate provides personalized, web-enabled advice from fashion experts catered to the preferences and body type of each customer.

Lasso is an app that lets friends join up for impromptu gatherings at local restaurants and hotspots, in exchange for free drinks and food.

CaptureLife enables professional photographers to send their photos directly to their customers’ mobile device to proof and purchase digital photos on the go.

mXers is a patented, modular audio system that allows users to customize and repair their headphones.

GogyUp empowers emerging adult readers to build their literacy skills via personalized reading instruction on any text accessible device.

gener8tor – Tuesday night – 8pm @ Minneapolis Event Center


Formed: 2016

Headquartered: Vancouver, Canada

Founder: Mike Allan

Categories: Retail / Logistics / Supply Chain

Purpose:  To reduce the complexity and cost of shipping and logistics costs associated with last mile delivery

Market: B2B

Revenue: Post

Value Proposition:  Routeique helps manage every aspect of an independent distributor business via its cloud-based logistics and delivery management platform. The application handles everything from CRM to order management and invoicing, vendor and product management, route optimization, fleet and driver management, reporting and a host of other functions.

Other: Bootstrapped outside of $90k seed capital from gener8tor

Martell: They are already on a $1m run rate based on a customer relationship with Nestle in Canada and when they close their next customer that will triple to $3m in 2018.


Kaleidoscope Group
Formed: 2016

Headquartered: Minnesota

Founder: Greg Dehn

Categories: Fintech & Edutech

Purpose:  SaaS platform to connect scholarship administrators with students.

Market: B2B

Revenue: Post

Value Proposition: Save money on fees, better program management, increased student engagement aligned with corporate brands — all which leads to more scholarship matches and theoretically more students achieving higher education in the United States.

Other: Kailedescope has previously close on $650k and partnered with GoKart Labs; for a peek at what Kailedescope has going on right now, check out Dehn’s recent presentation during FARCON.

Martell: The company signed first client in march, has grown customer base with more in the pipeline.

Formed: 2015

Headquartered: Minnesota

Founder: Sam “Swannie” Swanson; Matt Stang; Adam Iverson

Category: E-commerce & SportsTech

Purpose: To sell golf apparel online.

Market: B2C

Revenue: Post

Value Proposition: Helping the golf industry, specifically brands and courses, engage with and sell products to millennials.

Other: The company started with a golf-spiked sandal, since expanding across all golf apparel, and says they are on pace to hit $500k in sales this year. Further company information can be seen here.

Martell: They are in 150 courses (pro-shops) selling products off the shelf currently and projecting 150 more by end of this year supported by new salespeople hires. They have tripled revenue year over year since formation & 20% revenue growth month over month since June.  Additionally, they are entering the PPC market this week to bolster ecommerce side of business.

Formed: 2016

Headquartered: San Francisco, CA

Founder: Suz Somersall

Category: Edutech & Ecommerce

Purpose: To transforms consumers into creators with a 3D modeling mobile experience.

Market: B2B & B2C

Revenue: Post

Value Proposition: Sell things to makers while connecting corporations with new & emerging markets.

Other: Founder is on a mission to connect young women with STEM principles by teaching and training in 3D design, modeling, and printing.

Martell: KiraKira recently raised $175k from NYU  with a cross marketing arrangement and has formed a content partnership with Autodesk. They are also in the midst of a technology relaunch in Q4.


Formed: 2016

Headquartered: Minnesota

Founder: Omid Souresrafil

Category: HealthTech & IoT

Purpose: The treatment of chronic spine pain.

Market: B2B

Revenue: Pre

Value Proposition: 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain at some point in their lives resulting in greater than $500 billion in pain management treatment, with an additional $250 billion in associated healthcare costs. Spine implants would provide both consistent monitoring and pain relief solutions via radiofrequency technology, lowering readmission and overall cost of care for patients. 

Other: Founder has previous and profitable success.

Martell: I can’t say too specifically but their fundraising process is going well and also in the final stages of a DoD grant process.  Will be pitching at the Mayo Clinic’s venture conference. This is a long/IP play.

Target + Techstars – Wednesday night – 5pm @First Ave

Air Tailor – (post revenue, B2B) New York City, NY – provides expert alteration and repair services for consumers and retailers.

Broshar: The biggest progress they’ve made this summer is using their platform to hammer out a new customer acquisition model by providing retailers with a tailoring network regardless of their location.  They found many retailers either do not offer the service and want to or if they do, they want to outsource that.  While they came in with a B2C model, they will come out with a B2B and have some announcements to make around pilots.


BYBE – (post revenue, B2B) Columbus, OH – simplifies digital alcohol promotions for retailers by embedding digital alcohol rebates inside retail applications and websites.

Broshar: This team has really found a massive opportunity to tap into some of the largest marketing budgets in the country — beer, wine and spirits.  Those producers currently spend a lot of money but are largely unable to spend it on digital coupons/rebates because it’s a very regulated space especially for national retailers to navigate. The industry had largely given up on it, until now, because BYBE has created a B2B rules engine to ensure compliance, which will enable these marketing dollars to start flowing again.  They are seeing validation from large distributors and are in conversations to partner.


Kokko – (post revenue, B2B) San Francisco, CA – is a personalized cosmetic and beauty shopping experience based on color science.

Broshar:  They have worked closely with multiple retailers within their beauty department, which is their first vertical.  There is a huge opportunity for color commerce, in general, as a huge amount of commerce decisions are made around color matching.  Their current pilots will be announced.

Local Crate – (post revenue, B2C) Minneapolis, MN – is the first nationally, local food company by making it easy to cook meals inspired by popular local chefs with seasonal, local ingredients in the comfort of your home.

Broshar: They are experiencing great revenue growth and is now thinking about how to scale nationally at speed since their demand has been proven.


Find Me A Shoe (pre revenue, B2B) – India – offers virtual fitting service for online and offline footwear retailers.

Broshar: They came in, launched during the summer, and has made great traction with their TBA pilots.


Savitude (pre revenue, B2B) – San Francisco, CA – technology provides recommendations on clothes based on a shopper’s body shape.

Broshar: They have really honed in on their value proposition, both for consumers and for retailers to better understand the shapes and sizes of their customers and design around that.  They came in with a prototype and have made a ton of progress, with that announced at demo day.


Shopturn (pre revenue, B2B) – New York City, NY – is an on-demand return service for brick & mortar retailers, enabling consumers to return purchases directly from home.

Broshar: They’ve made great progress since arriving with a prototype and a dream. This summer has gotten them through product validation with announcements of their own.  Not to be vague, but I don’t want to steal their thunder…


Spotcrowd (pre revenue, B2B) – Belgium – stops shoplifting by using the crowd & existing IP-cameras.

Broshar: They’ve had great growth around camera streams and spotters over this summer and are in talks with a good portion of retailers and other industries, with active pilots happening.


StoryXpress – (post revenue, B2B) India – is a cloud based automated video creation platform for businesses tocreate content quickly and easily.

Broshar: They have a huge opportunity to turn static images into quality videos that help increase conversion. Their main breakthrough this summer is demonstartion of their personalized video service based on past purchase history.  They have seen 20x growth in the number of videos created.


Upsie – (post revenue, Both) Minneapolis – is a mobile app that’s disrupting the traditional warranty industry by reinventing and demystifying the warranty experience for customers.

Broshar: I can’t reveal too much on this one, other than to say they have a new way of working with retailers to aquire customers and new warranty plans.

MedCity INVEST – Thursday day – 1pm @ Le Meridian

Carrot Health Founded in 2014 by CEO Kurt Waltenbaugh, the company developed a cloud-based healthcare business and marketing intelligence tool. It provides consumer insights aimed at helping payers and health systems identify growth and population health opportunities. There are three core parts to the business: Consumer data, analytics using validated predictive models that forecast health outcomes based on consumer behavior and healthcare business intelligence.

Flywheel has zeroed in on the collaboration needs of pharma and biotech research and development along with academic research markets. The company notes in its summary that most researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientists’ experiments and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments. So they need a cloud-based research platform to support collaboration, ensure reproducible results, create reusable data sets and algorithms. The Software as a Service business led by serial entrepreneur Troy Kopischke has a subscription-based pricing model targeting research labs and clinical trials. It will initially focus on neuroimaging with plans to expand strategically into other markets on a systematic basis.

MyMeds is a business that is one of many going after the immense challenge of improving poor medication adherence. A fundamental part of MyMeds is its mission — that one reason for poor adherence is a lack of awareness by patients for why they had to take them. One component of the product is to educate patients on their condition and why they need a particular medication. It also seeks to make patients feel more connected to their care teams. Patients are sent reminders when it is time to take their medication. The business partners with health plans and self-insured employers. It also integrates with pharma benefit managers (PBMs) and claims to be the only service in the country that can integrate universally with any PBM. So far it is working with three of the largest PBMs.

Perk Health  The employer wellness business began in a dorm room at the University of Minnesota. Participants can earn weekly monetary rewards for fulfilling manageable goals for exercise and diet. The founders sought to create a business that would help people find rewards in habits that are good for them. By focusing on the individual experiences of its users, Perk Health sees a way to improve the way people manage their health and bring down healthcare costs for employers.

Geneticure uses patented genomic tests, supported by clinical trial data and proprietary treatment algorithms, to end wasted office visits and improve compliance among patients with poorly controlled chronic diseases, starting with hypertension. Its CLIA-certified laboratory performs tests to guide patients’ ideal hypertension drug therapy.

Hitchhealth is about helping patients avoid missed medical appointments through rideshares. It automatically initiates a patient ride offer through SMS texts using a ride-share service such as Lyft when an appointment is scheduled, according to its website. Dr. Chip Truwit, the CEO, is chief innovation officer with the Upstream Healthcare Innovation at Hennepin County Medical Center.


Minnedemo – Thursday night – Riverview Theater (sold out)

26 Letters – Taking action-driven initiatives to facilitate engaging and inclusive cultural environments.

DigiLex Bolex Movie Camera – A Digital Movie Camera from 1959.

HeartSavers – Death is the first symptom of heart disease in 2/3’s of women. HeartSavers provides the earliest detection of cardiovascular disease.

MANGO – Dread networking? MANGO Connects web app shows you, step-by-step, how to turn new contacts into real relationships.

NerdKind – We bring Nerds and Nonprofits together to create amazing things.

Relate – a machine coach that helps people optimize their most important relationships.

Titan Data Group – A next generation, internet-scale contextual conversations service, seamlessly combining digital experiences with human engagement to help enterprises transact business with an unprecedented agility.

Twin Cities Startup Weekend Adult & Youth  – Friday through Sunday – University of Minnesota

Hundreds of people from Minnesota’s tech community gather to make, do and create; startups are TBD.