Best Buy Fires Back With New Geek Squad Service ‘Assured Living’

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By Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune

“Best Buy Inc. is launching a new “smart home” service this week in the Twin Cities aimed at helping adult children remotely check in on the health and safety of their aging parents.  The service, called Assured Living, offers a free in-home assessment with families to design the most appropriate array of monitors and devices. Geek Squad tech workers install the custom-built systems, and family caregivers can receive information or alerts on their smartphones.”

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Best Buy Just Lost A Billion Dollars On News Of Amazon’s Geek Squad Competitor

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By Jason Del Rey, Recode

“On Monday morning, Recode reported that Amazon was quietly building out its own competitor to Best Buy’s Geek Squad gadget repair and installation service.  Almost immediately, investors reacted by selling out of Best Buy’s stock in a big way — the stock was down more around 7 percent as of 11:30 am ET on Monday. That drop works out to a loss of more than $1 billion in market cap for the brick-and-mortar electronics retailer.”

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Stratasys Ready For Takeoff In Aviation Industry

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By Dee DePass, Star Tribune

“Get ready Jetsons. The armrest on your next airplane ride might have be made by a 3-D printer.

In June, Stratasys Ltd. introduced a new 3-D printer at the Paris Air Show that makes the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency approval process easier for aviation parts makers, said the company with dual headquarters in Eden Prairie and Israel.”

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Best Buy’s New Weapon Against Amazon

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By Jason Del Rey, ReCode

“Over the last few years, the idea of short-term rentals has taken off in industries from lodging to fashion. Now Best Buy is trying to push that same trend into the mainstream for consumer electronics.

Later this month, the big-box retailer will start advertising try-before-you-buy rentals on its website for cameras, audio equipment and fitness trackers, the company recently told Recode. Best Buy is working with a San Francisco-based startup called Lumoid on the partnership.”

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3M Divests From Traffic Tech Unit

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Via News Release

“ST. PAUL, Minn. — 3M announced today that it has entered into agreements to sell its tolling and automated license/number plate recognition business, which is part of 3M’s Traffic Safety and Security Division, to Neology, Inc., a leading provider of integrated solutions for tolling, electronic vehicle registration and public safety applications. Neology is a subsidiary of SMARTRAC, a portfolio company managed by One Equity Partners, a middle-market private equity firm.”

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Target To Expand Ecommerce Capability With ‘Restock’

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By Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

“Target announced this morning it’s now testing a next-day home delivery service called Target Restock. The service, which is currently being trialed with Target employees ahead of a customer-facing pilot this summer, is designed to offer an easy way to shop online for household essentials which will arrive the day after you place your order.”

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Best Buy Adds 4 Teen Tech Centers in Minnesota

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Via News Release

Best Buy is growing its network of after-school tech programs for teens by adding four new locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. That makes for 15 Best Buy Teen Tech Centers across the United States. The free centers are open year-round and give underserved teens hands-on access to the latest technology.”

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Casey Carl Is Leaving Target

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Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 10.45.42 AMBy Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune

Casey Carl, a Target Corp. lifer and currently its chief innovation and strategy officer, is leaving the company amid a narrowing of innovation efforts to those that yield faster results tied to its core business.

He is one of the most senior among a number of digital- or innovation-focused executives who have left the Minneapolis-based retailer in the last year.”

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Stratasys Steps Up Student Outreach

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Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 12.08.31 PMBy Dee DePass, Star Tribune

Stratasys Ltd. employees ran a marathon of sorts this week as they dashed to dozens of Twin Cities schools to introduce 3,500 students to the wonderment of 3-D printing.

The effort was the company’s first large-scale effort to instantly reach out to thousands of students about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). It culminated on Friday with 93 students visiting the company’s Eden Prairie headquarters in a partnership with the national black sorority Delta Sigma Theta.”

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Optum’s New VC Arm Invests $7.5M In HealthTech Startup SHYFT Analytics

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Optum-SHYFT-280By Sam Schaust, Twin Cities Business

“The investment arm of Optum, the fast-growing, technology-focused health services subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, recently participated in a $20 million funding round for medtech startup SHYFT Analytics.

Optum Ventures’ investment of $7.5 million pushed Waltham, Massachusetts-based SHYFT over its funding goal. The startup did not specify what its Series B funding round goal was, but it did state the round was oversubscribed.”

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