• Janice Hoskins

    Oh, give me a break. Leadpages has received nearly $40 million in venture funding and they think they need to muscle in to an event that’s normally targeted at up-and-comers and hobby projects so they can get some free advertising. Take your shilling to an investor call. Totally pathetic.

    • Jeff Pesek


      Minnestar selected Leadpages to present. Can you fault a company for taking a stage given the chance?

      (Though yes, Leadpages could have offered-up the spot to someone else traditionally more in line with the ethos of Minnedemo’s format…”up-and-comers” or “hobby projects” as you refer…but there’s no obligation for them to do so.)

      It does make one wonder if, as a sponsor of Minnestar, there was a quid-pro-quo involved or if Leadpages paid in some way shape or form for the opportunity to present on stage as part of a sponsorship benefit?

      If so, was that paid promo aspect disclosed to the audience? When, how, and where? I wasn’t personally there to witness – were you, or was someone else there reading this present at the event?

      It’s worth asking Minnestar about and have sent an email to their ED Maria Ploessl seeking more clarity and transparency about the selection process as it relates to Minnedemo – what, if anything, outside of the tech itself are factors in choosing who does/does not make the cut?

      Edit to add: Leadpages is not currently listed as a Minnestar sponsor on their website, though they we’re have been before FWIW.

      • Maria Ploessl

        Great question! Sponsors are valued as active members of the community and involvement is welcome, including being allowed to apply. But their sponsor status is not a factor in selection. If anyone on the selection committee has a conflict of interest (sponsor or not), they sit out. Also, Minnedemo is open to companies big, small and solo projects -> it’s all about showcasing dynamic MN-made tech.

        • Jeff Pesek

          HI Maria, thanks for clearing that up.

          Could you elaborate more on how Minnestar decides who will present – what are the judgement factors?

          • Maria Ploessl

            Of course! We have a selections committee of 6-8 board members and volunteers who determine the presenters for each round. We’re currently in the midst of finalizing a more formalized process around selection, and once that’s completed, we will communicate more broadly both with the community as a whole and applicants in general about the criteria.