Digi-Key Electronics Is Planning a 1 Million Square Foot Expansion

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logo_dk“THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn., March 6, 2017 — Digi-Key Electronics, the Thief River Falls-headquartered global distributor of electronic components, announces that it is reviewing several potential options for a one million square foot fulfillment, value-added manufacturing and warehouse center with an investment value of between $200-$300 million. While multiple options are under review, Thief River Falls would be its preferred location, contingent on both local approvals and legislative changes required.”

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Proto Labs Founder and Board Chairman Larry Lukis To Retire

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Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 9.13.52 AMVia News Release

“MAPLE PLAIN, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Custom prototyping and low-volume production company Proto Labs, Inc. (NYSE: PRLB) announced today that its founder and chairman of the board of directors, Larry Lukis, has chosen to retire and will not stand for re-election at the company’s annual meeting in May.”

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Land O’ Lakes Launches $150k Drones For Ag Contest

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Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 8.35.12 AMBy Nick Williams, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal

Land O’Lakes Inc. is challenging the tech industry to come up with new ways that drones can be used to benefit agriculture. Through Aug. 1, the company will run a crowdsourcing competition seeking innovations that will help farmers use data and images to better manage their farms.

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Hundreds Of Oculus VR Demos Pulled From Best Buy Stores

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By Alex Heath, Business Insider

“Facebook is closing around 200 of its 500 Oculus virtual reality demo stations at Best Buy locations across the US, Business Insider has learned.

The scaling back of Facebook’s first big retail push for VR comes after workers from multiple Best Buy pop-ups told BI that it was common for them to go days without giving a single demonstration. An internal memo seen by BI and sent to affected employees by a third-party contractor said the closings were because of “store performance.”

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[UPDATED] NUU Mobile Raises $50k Kickstarter For 4G LTE Global Wi-Fi Device

fTFKbUt8Nuu Mobile, a lesser known Rochester maker of unlocked Android devices, has taken to Kickstarter for a $50k crowdfunding campaign to launch the Konnect i1:

Updated 4/12/17- The company received $51,217 from 81 backers.

“The NUU Konnect i1 provides worldwide 4G LTE service at an affordable flat rate of USD $10/day for unlimited data. The award winning eSIM technology found in the Konnect i1 allows for up to 5 connected devices.

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Minnesota’s ‘Right To Repair’ Bill Would Upend Tech Giants’ Monopoly

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monopoly-man-eric-garland-lZoh03-clipartBy Taylor Danz, CityPages

“If Amanda LaGrange’s Toyota 4Runner needs service, she can take it down the street to an independent repair shop at a fraction of the cost of going to a dealership.

The same isn’t true for an iPhone. Or a PC. Or an old television. For LaGrange, the CEO of Tech Dump, a nonprofit that repairs and recycles old electronics, this is a problem.”

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3M Launches ‘Smart’ Hearing Protection

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By Dee DePass, Star Tribune

Determined to expand its consumer safety offerings, 3M Co. has introduced a “smart” hearing-protection headset for hunters and shooters that automatically measures and cancels out specific gun noises while simultaneously amplifying voices and phone conversations.

3M’s device, the Peltor Sport Electronic Hearing Protector, was introduced last week with positive reaction at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas.”

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Hidrate Spark Founders Work Through Hiccups

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By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

Screen Shot 2017-01-22 at 9.26.49 AM“Young entrepreneur Nadya Nguyen and her three partners at HidrateMe, have discovered that entrepreneurship is not an easy drink of water.

Nguyen, 24, a University of Minnesota graduate, suffered from headaches during her school days, until a medical-school friend suggested she drink more water. Nguyen, a busy, intense young woman who also had to work during school, tried to hydrate more and get more rest.”

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