Minnesota’s tech ventures raised over $145 million last year

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At least 87 Minnesota tech ventures fundraised in excess of $145 million dollars last year, according to information collected and analyzed from Jan – Dec 2012.

The data includes on the record deals, whereas the actual numbers are estimated to be 25%+ higher according to many active investors who are not inclined to disclose their investment activity publicly.

Nonetheless, it’s a solid proxy of the local funding market activity and trends.  As a comparison — in 2011 63 ventures raised $126m and in 2010 that figure was around 42 / $60m.  There’s less of an “innovation contraction” in Minnesota and more of vibrant market for startups and investors, according to the facts.

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TST Media chalks up 3.3m in round 3

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TST MediaNortheast Minneaplis startup TST Media has recently closed on $3.3m in pursuit of a larger $5m $6m round three equity financing, according to a disclosure recently filed with the SEC.

Formed in 2008 by Justin Kaufenberg, Carson Kipfer and Greg Blasko, TST Media offer both software products (NGIN) and services geared toward amateur sports teams nationwide.

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TST Media snags new VP for next growth phase

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Jeff Liebl has been named Vice President, Sales and Marketing at TST Media, according to CEO and co founder Justin Kaufenberg.

Liebl, who joined last week, will lead the business development and marketing initiatives; ultimately he’s is responsible for developing new growth strategies for the VC backed startup. TST Media has approximately 90 employees and Liebl will be leading a team of around 20.

“What it boils down to is that we’re beginning to take the next step of maximizing revenue from the business.  Jeff is a seasoned and proven leader to help us grow in this area,” said Kaufenberg.  “Finding a high level sales executive was hard, and we were aiming high, but we’re thrilled.”

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TST Media mobilizes 80,000 sports teams

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TST-Media
Northeast Minneapolis startup TST Media completed their first big mobile initiative when SPORT NGIN hit iOS this week.

SPORT NGIN, is an organizational suite of tools for amateur sports team and league management. With over 2,300 unique members and 80,000 different teams, SPORT NGIN powers millions of photos, videos, comments, stats and live scores from around the nation.

SPORT NGIN Mobile“Personal interaction between coaches, players, parents and fans are at the core of every sports organization, league or tournament,” Co founder Carson Kipfer says, “With this initial release, we’ve gone to great lengths to leverage the mobile experience to encourage and enhance team communication and sharing.”

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Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur: Justin Kaufenberg on acquisitions

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Justin-KaufenbergTech entrepreneur Justin Kaufenberg co founded TST Media with Carson Kipfer circa 2008 after the spinning out what is now their flagship product, NGIN, from a service-oriented web business they originally formed in 2005 while attending college.

In 2009, the company raised an initial $1m round of funding from Twin Cities Angels and more recently, landed $3.5m series B led by El Dorado Ventures.

Throughout the fundraising, customer and employee growth — the firm has made two acquisitions, the latest of which was WSN from TDS earlier this month.   We’ve since caught up with him to learn more about these maneuvers and hear what it’s been like from an entrepreneurial point of view.

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TST Media Acquires Wisconsin Sports Network (WSN)

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS, MINN – February 3, 2012 – TST Media today announced that it has acquired Wisconsin Sports Network (WSN) from TDS Telecom. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, WSN is the online media destination of choice for over 85,000 student athletes participating in high school athletics in the state of Wisconsin every year.”

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24 Minnesota Tech Ventures Raised over $34m in Q3 2011

by Zach Robins

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According to TECHdotMN’s quarterly investment review, at least 24 Minnesota technology firms received investment capital during the months of July, August, and September of 2011.

 

 

 

Total funding for the period was approximately $34.5m and was largely impacted by Consumer Agent Portal’s $18m round.  The second largest raise of $5m was received by RedBrick Health, followed by TST Media’s $3.5m Series B led by El Dorado Ventures. The remaining 21 companies raised roughly $8m combined.

The number of transactions increased by 30% over last quarter, while the aggregate funding volume was on par, indicating a decrease in average transaction size.

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TST Media banks $3.5m second round led by El Dorado Ventures

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TST MediaNortheast Minneapolis-based TST Media closed a $3.5m series B funding late last week in a transaction that fills their coffer to over $4m since starting in 2005.  The round was lead by El Dorado Ventures and included original investors as well, according to co founder and CEO Justin Kaufenberg (who signaled last December).

“This fundraising is a transformational event for TST Media as it provides us with the resources needed to execute a calculated and explosive growth plan,” Kaufenberg said regarding the milestone — noting that the firm recently became both  cash flow positive and profitable.

Over time, TST has positioned itself at the convergence of amateur sports and web-based technologies by pioneering the SPORT NGIN & EVENT NGIN (pronounced “Engine”) Platforms — a suite of software tools that meet a variety of industry needs, from statistics/ standings to league management, online registration and e-commerce.

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TST Media Bi-Winning at the Overnight Webchallenge

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Nerdery Overnight Website ChallengeIt’s said that everyone’s a winner at The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, so it’s only fair to decalare TST Media this weekends bi-winner.

Led by Captain Jason Reed, the 10 member crew beat-out 17 others at the 24+ hour charity hackathon held at the U of M Continuing Education and Conference Center 7a Saturday through 10a Sunday.

The finished product is a brand new website with an ongoing 24/7 support commitment for Bloomington United for Youth (BUY) — a 501(c)(3) coordinating agency where organizations serving the needs of Bloomington youth get together to plan, share ideas, find resources, and coordinate activities.

All in all, it’s estimated by The Nerdery’s VP of Marketing Mark Hurlburt that the combined efforts of over 200 individuals (participants, volunteers, and other miscellaneous characters) equates to half a million dollars in donated services for 18 unique nonprofits throughout the entire experience. Phenomenal!

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