A New Level for Minnedemo



Having previously featured 9/10 of last night’s Minnedemo presenters, today is less on what our audience already knows about these unique Minnesota startups (videos below) and more on cultural impact of last nights big event on Minnesota’s tech community.

Relatively few were paying attention in the beginning when a small group of enthusiasts would gather somewhere like the (then Franklin Ave) Acadia Cafe or Chiang Mai Thai Restaurant to share their budding projects with peers; based on a historical context of the past three alone, one thing is clear: Minnedemo is now on a whole new level.

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Tired of Playing with Yourself? Time to Evolve


EvolveMinneapolis-based Evolve has developed a discrete social network that may be just what you need: a place for that secret gaming alter-ego.

Co-founded by Adam Sellke, Michael Amundson and Soren Dreijer — Parent company Echobit started in 2006 (when Michael and Soren were still in college) with LAN Bridger, an easy-to-use VPN Client for online gamers to connect and share within a P2P environment.  As the demand for LAN Bridger grew, the trio began to see the big picture, in that hardcore gamers are human and they need to interact just like every other human, but in their own unique ways.

“We make sense in the same way that LinkedIn does in a world that’s dominated by Facebook,” says CEO Sellke, “there are different social graphs for different social contexts and a lot of gamers don’t want their friends, neighbors and bosses to know that they spend 20-30 hours a week playing video games online.”

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Which Minnesota Tech Startups Are Leveraging Angel Tax Credits?


Minnesota Angel Investor Tax CreditThe jobs bill — aka angel investor tax credit — was created earlier this year to stimulate startup growth in Minnesota by financially incentivising angels with a 25% income tax discount on qualifying early-stage business investments.

The measure appears to be ramping up before the close of the year when the clock resets and everyone is forced to re-qualify for 2011.

Passed into law on April 1, 2010, the  bill allocates $60m in deductions over the next 5 years with $11m in available in 2010 & $12m/yr for 2011-2014. Both the investor(s) and the business must be certified through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) prior to credit issuancewhich brings us to the goodstuff.

According to DEED reports through 11/8, nineteen different cross-sector ventures  have seized the opportunity to raise a collective $10m in funding under the legislation,  awarding investors $2.5m in tax credits.  Since the focus of our interests lies within the realm of High Tech/IT/SaaS/etc., here’s what we’ve picked up on:

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