Minnesota’s New Economic Developer Wastes No Time With Corporate Welfare Agenda

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Minnesota’s new economic development lead under governor Tim Walz is in a hurry to push the State’s corporate welfare agenda onto the tech sector.

Hours after Steve Grove was named Commissioner at the Department of Economic and Employment Development (DEED) last Friday, the Star Tribune published a coordinated opinion piece authored by him.

In it, he talks about how Minnesota’s technology sector needs an “urgent reboot” even a “miracle” under a broad state-sponsored publicly financed spending plan.

The 1,500+ word appeal begins with some nostalgia from our bygone days of Control Data – the supercomputing firm that was big here post-WW2 yet didn’t have enough “innovation” to make it through the 80’s in one piece.

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Google Is Looking At Becker, Minn. For A $600m+ Wind-Powered Data Center

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Via Star Tribune

“Google is looking at Becker to build a giant data center that would cost at least $600 million and be powered by two dedicated wind farms.

The data center, essentially a big building full of servers, was disclosed Thursday in a regulatory filing by Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy, which is playing a big role in the project. The Google server farm would create about 50 full-time tech jobs and around 2,000 construction jobs over 18 to 24 months.”

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State Pays Wisconsin Tech Co. Alula In HQ Relocation To St. Paul

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS – Alula, the leader in smart security systems for dealers, has leased 68,000 square-feet at CSM Corporation’s Midway Innovation Center I in St. Paul. Alula will move from their current headquarters and production center in Hudson, WI to St. Paul*.”

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[UPDATED] Court Rules In Favor Of DEED & GreaterMSP Over Withholding Of Amazon HQ2 Bid

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Updated 1/4/2018: Court rules that Minnesota’s Amazon proposal to stay under wraps from the public eye; an appeal is possible.

Updated 8/13/2018: PRM has added GreaterMSP to an amended lawsuit on multiple counts while DEED still maintains it “never collected, received, maintained or disseminated the unsuccessful proposal that is the subject of the complaint.”

“Minnesotan’s deserve to know…” Ehling told Minnesota Lawyer in a recent article.

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What Exactly Did Minnesota Bid for Amazon’s HQ2? We May Soon Know

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Via Twin Cities Business

“Minnesota’s bid to lure Amazon’s HQ2 project died in January when the state failed to make the e-commerce giant’s short list of 20 cities. But the battle to find out what was in the state’s bid package drags on. The specifics about Minnesota’s proposal have never been revealed.”

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[UPDATED] Why Is DEED Trying To Put Minnesota’s Tech Entrepreneurs Into Debt?

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[UPDATED 10/30/18 10:30 CST] Two tech companies that have received MILE loans to date include: UR Turn ($50k) & Thrivors ($46k).

Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development aka DEED recently launched a new debt financing program targeting local early stage tech entrepreneurs called Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs (MILE).

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Fond Du Lac Indians Are Creating Their Own Broadband Provider

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Via Star Tribune

“Providing high-speed internet in rural Minnesota today is as vital as providing rural electricity was some 80 years ago, said Jason Hollinday, planning director for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

That’s why the band has taken the unusual step of creating its own broadband company to provide fiber-optic internet service throughout its reservation, about 20 miles west of Duluth.”

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Electronics Recycler Tech Dump Doubles Footprint With New 90k Sq. Ft. Building In St. Paul

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Via News Release

Tech Dump, a Twin Cities based electronics recycler and social enterprise that has been steadily in growth mode since its inception in 2011, has signed a purchase agreement for a 90,000 square foot building at 860 Vandalia Street in St. Paul. This more than doubles their existing square footage and capacity to recycle and refurbish old tech items while providing jobs training.”

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