Minneapolis-Saint Paul isn’t just the startup capital of the North. Its founders and community builders are working to make it the problem-solving capital of the new economy by collaborating with global leaders in food, health care, technology, and more.
The fourth annual Twin Cities Startup Week provided a window into a robust ecosystem of activity and success that’s stirring year round. Take a tour of #TCSW and get a glimpse into the local startup scene.
Grow North shows off food & ag
Grow North works to showcase Minnesota’s leadership in food and agriculture innovation by connecting amazing assets from startups to global leaders in R&D.
Their “Dynamic Duos” event at the Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis featured food and agriculture heavyweights like General Mills, Land O’Lakes, and Schwan’s and MSP startups they are working with directly like Local Crate and Tru Shrimp.
Beta.MN showcases startups at Target
Beta.MN, a founding partner in Twin Cities Startup Week, is an organization of friends & founders gathering together to support Minnesota’s startup community.
The Beta Showcase event brought more than 600 people to the friendly confines of one of the world’s largest retailers, Target. Local startups made their pitch dozens of times to attendees in a “science fair” format. Student-led startup mXers Audio took home the trophy.
Famous stage for Techstars Demo Day
First Avenue, the famed music venue that served as the setting for Prince’s Purple Rain, filled the house for the Techstars + Target Retail Accelerator. A parade of founders working closely with Fortune 500 executives made major announcements after taking the stage like rock stars while their favorite intro music blasted to more than 1,000 attendees.
Startups SpotCrowd and StoryXpress announced they would be moving their companies to Minneapolis while other MSP firms like Local Crate and Upsie shared major announcements of their own.
First-ever Saint Paul Startup Crawl
Full Stack Saint Paul hosted the Saint Paul Startup Crawl, rolling out the red carpet for anyone interested in learning more about the Saint Paul startup scene.
One of the tour’s highlights? The recently renovated Osborn370. The recently overhauled building, named after the founder of nearby Fortune 500 firm Ecolab, aims to be Saint Paul’s new home to business leaders, influencers, risk-takers, and connectors.
Minnedemo27 brings out the tech community
Minnestar has been connecting the Minnesota tech community since 2006 through events that bring together thousands of local tech professionals.
Startup Week marked the 27th installment of Minnedemo, the premier showcase for working technology products and tech innovation in Minnesota. 735 techies, designers, investors and entrepreneurs descended on the Riverview Theater in South Minneapolis to watch a diverse group of technologists show their stuff.
MN Cup awards $450,000 in seed money
MN Cup, the largest statewide startup competition in the country, connects a wide range of actors throughout Minnesota’s startup ecosystem with a massive business competition that includes eight divisions and hundreds of companies.
The competition draws to a close during Startup Week when the Grand Prize winner is awarded at the University of Minnesota’s McNamara Alumni Center. Life science company MicroOptx took home the prize, joining other companies that will continue to add to the $230 million raised by MN Cup finalists.
Impact Hub MSP hacks for change
A packed series in the week’s Impact Venture track was organized by Impact Hub MSP, which will move across downtown Minneapolis in 2018 to join a state of the art building in partnership with FINNovation Lab.
Impact Hub showed off its ambition to create a world-class community and destination for impact entrepreneurs through events like Hack for Change and featured speakers from companies like Peace Coffee and Software for Good.
Bunker Labs leads military muster
Bunker Labs Minneapolis is built by military veteran entrepreneurs to empower other veterans as leaders in innovation.
As part of its work to help military veterans and their spouses start and grow businesses, Bunker Labs hosted the Muster Across America presented by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. The event connected 200+ leaders with veteran founders and speakers including U.S. Senator Al Franken and Method Soap Co-Founder Eric Ryan.
Healthcare.MN celebrates 5 amazing years
Through five years of meetups and events, Healthcare.MN has been committed to driving healthcare innovation through creating community, building connections, educating, and representing the needs of healthcare startups in Minnesota.
From health care giants like UnitedHealth Group to fast growing startups like Zipnosis, individuals and organizations have been support and celebrate each other through Healthcare.MN. The group led a track of events throughout the week.
Investors explore Minnesota's Medical Alley
Minnesota is known throughout the world as Medical Alley, the top health tech cluster in the world. That ecosystem was on display during startup week at the MedCity INVEST Twin Cities conference.
Attendees learned about the local healthcare ecosystem and network with corporate and start-up executives, investors, and thought leaders. Minneapolis innovation center TreeHouse Health hosted an opening reception ahead of an event that connected startups like Bright Health with the venture arms of global leaders like Mayo Clinic.
From bootstrap to big league
Visionary founders and leaders of some of Minnesota’s top tech companies shared their trials and triumphs of startup branding with the creative locals in this event presented in partnership with the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association.
The panel included founders and leaders companies that have collectively raised hundreds of millions of dollars and employ thousands of people in MSP. Companies featured included LeadPages, JAMF Software, SportsEngine, SPS Commerce, and Flipgrid.
Corporate innovators work with local students
Minnovation Collective connects corporate innovation professionals from global leaders headquartered in Minnesota like 3M, U.S. Bank, Carlson, General Mills, Thrivent Financial, Optum, Securian, Target, and more.
Participants in the collective kicked off the week at Reve Academy, where they traded techniques and then put those skills to work with Reve students participating in an immersive education program preparing them for digital careers.
Startup leaders take home awards
The recently renovated Palace Theater in downtown Saint Paul played host to the Twin Cities Startup Awards to close out the week’s festivities. Hundreds turned out to celebrate at this inaugural party powered by GoKart Labs.
Local startups like Branch Messenger took home awards along with community leaders like outgoing MN Cup director Melissa Kjolsing.
Fly-in participants land startup jobs
Thanks to help from Make It. MSP. and tech startup When I Work dozens of talented people flew in from around the country during Twin Cities Startup Week to attend events and seek out jobs with local startups.
Before the week was even out Saint Paul startup Ilos Videos hired one of these jobseekers. The Lowertown located company makes business software for creating and sharing videos.