[UPDATED] Pre-Revenue Minnesota Tech Startups To Watch


Forming a business is the easiest part of being in business. Almost anyone can complete the necessary paperwork, pay a fee, and set up a bank account — thus creating the minimum viable company. 


Founding the business entity is the first of many steps in journey of entrepreneurship, defined by TECHdotMN as:

“The process of creating a for­ profit business entity to addresses the inefficiency, explicit problem or implicit need in the market with mutual economic value exchange between owners and customers. It involves sourcing, organizing and allocating the necessary resources, while assuming both the risks and rewards associated with the endeavor. Entrepreneurial success is measured by positive financial Return on Investment (ROI) over time.”

This is not the only definition of entrepreneurship, it’s the one we subscribe to and share with our audience because having an articulated meaning of such an important word is better than none at all.

There is also a key difference between the founder and the entrepreneur. As posited above, anyone can technically form a company by going through the fundamental steps and become a founder by default.  It’s the entrepreneurial conversion — the process of providing mutual economic value exchange between owner and customer — which doesn’t come to all who found, often separating the founder from the entrepreneur.

“A founder is someone one who forms a legally recognized for profit business entity.”

All entrepreneurs are usually founders by default based on these working definitions, though not all founders actually do become entrepreneurs despite best intentions. With that in mind, we are perpetually curious to understand the dynamics between all founders and entrepreneurs within Minnesota’s technology industry based on their success (or lack thereof) with respective pursuits as universally measured in dollars and cents.

Because Minnesota tech founders and entrepreneurs deserve more than just arbitrary popularity contests.

After many years of study, we find this nuanced differentiation to be of growing significance in many aspects and as such are now using a basic pre-or-post revenue marker applied equally towards all companies within TECHdotMN’s database.

The established criteria to qualify for this column is designed to be (a) transparent (the method is clear) (b) consistent (equal application of said method) and (c) inclusive (open to any founder & entrepreneur). To qualify, companies must be Minnesota headquartered, product-focused and pre-revenue with one or more of the following (more may be added, but as a minimum starting point):

  1. A repeat founder/CEO or team with proven prior entrepreneurial success – as in revenue gains and/or exit.
  2. Have received capital investment of greater than $20k as validation from outside the business.

This list is based on companies currently in the database who qualify with one or both of the above criteria, making them “A pre-revenue company to watch” for the sake of this series.

The column will be updated frequently with new additions; email us [email protected] if you fit the mold and would like to be included.