Minnesota Ecommerce Captains: Jimmy Vosika, ShopJimmy

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Thanks to Irish Titan for underwriting our Minnesota Ecommerce Captains series focused on local leadership in the e-commerce industry.

Jimmy Vosika started his TV parts resale business 10+ years ago in the basement by taking apart the discarded broken electronics and reselling all the individual parts on ebay.

ShopJimmy has since scaled to tens of millions in online revenue with operations based in Burnsville, Minnesota.

He’ll be speaking to his experiences next Wednesday at Apruve HQ for the Twin Cities Ecommerce Meetup.

What do you sell online?

Replacement TV parts

When, why and how did you get started?

Whoa, this would be a lot to type out, I’ll save the longer version for meetup.

 
In 2006, while working for a recycler, I started researching if broken plasma TVs had any value. I bought one TV and resold it on ebay, making some nice extra cash. I continued buying and reselling the broken units, then eventually formed a company where we began harvesting circuit boards from the TVs to sell on ebay, and the dot com I was building.

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Multiple Minnesota tech companies are on the 2014 Inc. 500 / 5000

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 1.56.15 PMInc. magazine announced today this years ranking of “the nation’s fastest growing privately held companies,” ubiquitously known as the Inc. 500/5000.

Overall, 94 Minnesota-based companies earned their place on this years list and roughly 39 are considered to be tech companies (17 product and 22  service).  One stands out (again!) as the top Minnesota tech performer: Field Nation, ranked 445 with 1,073% 3yr. growth and $43.3m revenue last year.

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ShopJimmy’s Ness acquisition doesn’t pan out

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By Dirk DeYoung, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal

Ness Electronics, which was bought in early 2013 by ShopJimmy.com, is back under its previous owner.

Mike Ness, who sold his company to ShopJimmy last year and became a ShopJimmy employee, said he took the company back on Jan. 1 this year under circumstances he couldn’t discuss due to a non-disclosure agreement.”

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How ShopJimmy became a $22m e-commerce company

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By Burl Gilyard, Twin Cities Business

Jimmy Vosika drove to Kansas City with a simple plan: He was going to buy four damaged plasma TVs and resell them on eBay. He’d already flipped a set he bought for $200, turning around and selling it for $700. It was 2006, and the St. Louis Park native had found a hobby that was making him a little money on the side.

But the trip did not unfold as planned. The supplier had more TVs than Vosika realized. Vosika decided to go all-in.”

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Which Minnesota tech companies made the 2013 Inc 500/5000?

IInc5005000nc., the magazine “written for the people who run growing companies” recently released it’s annual ranking list of the country’s top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies with an emphasis on the top 10 percent of the list — the ‘Inc. 500.’

We’ve identified 37 Minnesota based tech companies (depending on that definition – this isn’t an exact science). 6 software, 6 e-commerce, 20 IT services, and 5 misc. tech companies are represented are based on self-reported revenue gains over a three year period.

Field Nation is both the highest ranking tech company and overall across all Minnesota industries, coming it at #44 out of the 5,000 nationwide. With 15 employees, the Minneapolis headquartered firm has grown some 6,031% to $27.7m in revenue. Fitness on Request (255) and Magnet 360 (360 – really?!) rank second and third in the tech segment, respectively.

The information below provides a unique glimpse inside some of Minnesota’s fastest growing privately held high tech companies 2013, according to Inc.. For previous years, see: 2010; 2011; 2012.

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E-commerce firm ShopJimmy buys St.Paul electronics company

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Via News Release

“Hey there! We’re excited to officially announce that we’ve joined forces with Ness Electronics! If you are unfamiliar with Ness, they’re a long-time, well-respected electronics parts distributor based in St. Paul, MN. Ness specializes in OEM DLP lamp distribution, components and soldering equipment, outdoor antennas, and other great CE products.

In the coming weeks, we will merge Ness — including all of their St. Paul-based employees and inventory — into our new ShopJimmy headquarters. It’s a big transition for both companies, but we couldn’t be happier with all of the insight and inventory that Ness with bring to ShopJimmy and we, in turn, will pass along to you!”

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Growing e-commerce firm lands 289,000 sq. ft. in Burnsville

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by Burl Gilyard, Dolan Media Newswires

“MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Fast-growing ShopJimmy.com, which sells harvested TV parts and components, has inked the largest industrial lease in a multitenant building of the year in the Twin Cities.

ShopJimmy leased 289,000 square feet of space at the I35 Distribution Center in Burnsville to house the burgeoning company’s operations.

“This is by far the largest warehouse I could find and it was a good location. It was a perfect fit for us, really,” said Jimmy Vosika, founder and CEO of ShopJimmy.com. “We were operating basically about three facilities. … We need to be under one roof.”

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Minnesota’s fastest growing private tech companies from the 2012 Inc. 500 / 5000

2012 Inc 500 5000 Minnesota Technology

Inc., the publication “written for the people who run growing companies” recently released it’s annual ranking list of the country’s top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies with an emphasis on the top 10 percent of the list — the ‘Inc. 500.

“In 1982, Inc. introduced the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States. Since then, this prestigious list of the nation’s most successful private companies has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success and the place where future household names first make their mark.

Today, the list is a distinguished editorial award, a celebration of innovation, a network of entrepreneurial leaders, and an effective public relations showcase. The Inc. 500|5000 ranks companies by overall revenue growth over a three-year period.”

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