Q&A With Kaleidoscope, The Local Edutech Startup That Just Raised $650k

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Buried in the buzz of GoKart Labs’ Venture arm announcement was the fresh funding of Kaleidoscope Group, which received $650k+ to develop and grow a new scholarship management saas platform.

It is led by Minnesota tech entrepreneur Greg Dehn, who spoke with us about the milestone and his bold future plans for this nascent startup.

When and why Kaleidoscope?

As a first generation college graduate, my education was entirely made possible through scholarship funds and financial support from generous individuals and institutions.

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Gravie Raises $14.1 Million Series C, Tops $44m In VC Funding

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Via News Release

Gravie, provider of a reinvented health benefits marketplace, today announced a $14.1M Series C funding round led by new investor GE Ventures with participation from existing investors, including FirstMark Capital, Aberdare Ventures and Split Rock Partners. This investment brings the total raised by the company to over $44M since 2013.“We’re excited to have GE Ventures as an investor as we continue on our journey of improving health benefits for employers and consumers,” said Abir Sen, co-founder and CEO. “This funding enables us to continue on our path of rapid growth and help employers and consumers get better healthcare.”

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The Q2 2017 Capital Review: 33 Minnesota Tech Ventures Topped $198m of Funding

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dundee research underwriterAt least 33 different Minnesota tech ventures received a combined $198m of investment capital during the second quarter of 2017 according to information collected and analyzed from April 1 – June 30, 2017.

This research underwritten by Dundee Venture Capital provides our readers with unparalleled transparency into the funding facts of Minnesota’s tech industry.

It’s compiled from multiple sources as proxy of local market activity: crowdfunding, incubators/accelerators, angel investments, venture capital, corporate arm and private equity. Consider it a worse case scenario as there are always undisclosed transactions not included; therefore the actual figures are higher, although unknown.

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Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator Announce The 2017 Class Of Startups

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Via News Release

“We are excited to announce the 10 startups that will be joining us in Minneapolis for our 2017 Techstars Retail Accelerator in partnership with Target. We kick things off this week and are looking forward to three months of awesomeness, capped off by Demo Day on October 11.

The focus of these startups ranges widely—from theft to warranties to personalization—and founders come from as near as Minneapolis and as far as Belgium. While in Minneapolis, the startups will have access to a range of mentors who will provide feedback, answer questions and offer advice to foster the startups’ growth and development.”

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What Do These Minnesota Tech VCs Have To Say About Due Diligence?

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Earlier this month, reader Kelly Kuhn-Wallace laid out a thoughtful approach for entrepreneurs to consider when vetting new investors, a topic not often discussed.

While there’s definitely room for more input and conversation there, we were prompted to hear from the other side about how investors view their own due diligence. This is generally known as the process of reducing risk by verifying what is being said by the entrepreneur, and the underlying facts about them and their business opportunity as its positioned.

Hear what four different reputable Minnesota tech VCs have to say about due diligence:

Greg Beaufait  – Dundee Venture Capital; Cathy Connett – Sofia Fund; Ryan Broshar – Matchstick Ventures; Patrick Meenan – Arthur Ventures.

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Minnetonka’s Medica Invests $34m In Mass IT Firm HealthEdge

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By Chris Snowbeck, Star Tribune

“Minnetonka-based Medica has invested about $34 million in a Massachusetts IT company that the local health plan hired four years ago to build a new administrative platform.

The IT platform from a company called HealthEdge integrates information from a variety of software systems including those for billing premiums, paying claims and managing care, said Mary Quist, vice president for finance at Medica.”

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AT&T Investing Up To $200m Into Minneapolis VC Coral Group

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Via News Release

“DALLAS, July 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — AT&T* has committed to investing up to $200 million in a venture capital fund [Coral Group] as part of its ongoing effort to develop solutions to the toughest technology challenges. AT&T will work with Coral’s Communications Industry Platform (CIP) team to identify and invest in start-up companies focused on connected services and platforms. “

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Welfare Watch: June 2017

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Screen-Shot-2017-02-04-at-9.19.04-AM-300x239Welfare Watch is a monthly column for the individuals, nonprofit and private companies in Minnesota’s tech industry that receive government (read: taxpayer) financial support—whether directly or indirectly.

This corporate welfare includes: tax incentives/abatement, grants/loans, reimbursements, subsidy, sponsorship, special favors, etc.

In June there were two big welfare developments:

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