Proto Labs Buys RAPID For $120m

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Via News Release

“MAPLE PLAIN, MINN.—November 21, 2017—Proto Labs (NYSE: PRLB), a global leader in technology-enabled manufacturing, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held company Rapid Manufacturing Group, LLC (“RAPID”).

RAPID is a New Hampshire-based custom parts supplier specializing in quick-turn sheet metal fabrication and CNC machining. With the acquisition, Proto Labs will be able to offer its customers another quick-turn manufacturing service while expanding its CNC machining capabilities.”

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Seagate Alum Becomes LiquidCool’s New CEO

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By Sebastian Moss, DataCenter Dynamics

“Liquid cooled server designer LiquidCool Solutions has appointed Darwin Kauffman as its new CEO, effective immediately. Kauffman, who spent years at Seagate’s enterprise storage division, replaces former CEO Herb Zien, who will become a co-chairman of the board.”

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Minnesota Drone Startup QFO Labs Is Suing Best Buy, Target, and Amazon

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Via News Release

QFO Labs, a drone technology licensing firm, announced today it is seeking an injunction in Federal Court (Minnesota District) to protect its patents for handheld “tilt-to-fly” control technology it began developing in Minnesota more than 15 years ago. It seeks to stop the sale of consumer drone products manufactured by France-based Parrot SA at three major retailers that have a presence in Minnesota: Best Buy, Target, and Amazon.”

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Pohlad Acquires Shoreview Robotic Automation Firm PaR Systems

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Pohlad family has acquired Shoreview-based PaR Systems, Inc., a leading provider of integrated robotic automation and specialized material handling solutions, from MML Capital Partners, an international private equity firm. Terms were not disclosed.”

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Tech Dump Crosses 20 Million Pounds Of Processed E-waste

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By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

Tech Dump, the nonprofit electronics recycler that also provides employment for people with criminal-and-substance abuse backgrounds, said it has processed 20 million pounds of e-waste since the enterprise was founded in 2011 by a couple online retail-business partners who wanted to start a jobs program and help reduce the backlog of material that is dangerous when landfilled or incinerated.”

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Minnesota Makers Gear Up For IoTHackDay This Weekend

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screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-9-43-49-amIoTHackday, the fourth annual hardware hackathon hosted by IoTFuse, is descending on Minnetronix next Satruday, October 28th, from 8am-9pm. 

Over one hundred makers from across the state — and beyond — will gather once again to conceive and create new internet of things products, perhaps even start a new company like HabitAware (winner 2014) or Termi (2015 participant).

Over 100 hackers joined in last years event and formed on some 20 teams to bring their ideas to life, with nearly 200 participants there all in for final demos.  At the end, it’s all about rolling up the sleeves and getting hands on with a bunch of like minded individuals. Learning is inevitable.

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[Updated] Astro HQ Closes on $645k Kickstarter Campaign

Update 10/20 11:00am CST: 7,766 backers pledged $645,393 to help bring this project to life.

Updated 10/5 10:00am CST: Astro HQ has crossed the $500k/half million mark today from over 6,000 backers, making them the most successful tech kickstarter of 2017 with 2 weeks left in the campaign.

Updated 8/24 11:30am CST: Astro HQ is flying high as they breeze by a quarter million in crowdfunding capital in under 72 hours of the mission. This trajectory is faster than two previous big MN hardware wins Spark & SmartThings — both of which have sailed to great heights (and moved HQ from Minnesota to California).

Astro HQ, known for their signature design iOS app Astropad (and winning the 2015 Minnesota Cup Grand Prize), has launched a new hardware product via Kickstarter called Luna Display:

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Mayo Testing Kardia Mobile To Detect Irregular Heartbeats Using SmartPhones

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By Joe Carlson, Star Tribune

“Bob Hauser is fun at dinner parties. He entertains, he tells old stories, and occasionally the retired cardiologist will diagnose a friend’s atrial fibrillation right there at the dinner table. It’s happened more than once.

Hauser, who is retired from regular practice at the Minneapolis Heart Institute, has been using a wireless, consumer-oriented device called the Kardia Mobile [by AliveCor] to test his friends when they complain about unsettling sensations in their chest like a racing heart beat or palpitations. He has used the smartphone-enabled device to detect quivering or potentially dangerous fibrillation in several acquaintances who went on to get care from their regular doctors.”

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Minneapolis 3D Printing Startup Captures $225k NSF Grant

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Chromatic 3D Materials is poised to change the world of 3D printing by inventing the next generation of printing materials that will deliver the durability required for finished manufactured goods. The startup was recently awarded a Phase I National Science Foundation (NSF) grant at the highest level, and advanced to the Minnesota Cup finals, the largest statewide startup competition in the country.”

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