There are plenty of places to find a tech job but few places like MSP to develop a tech career. From 16 Fortune 500 companies and the nation’s leading med tech community to a booming enterprise tech scene and more than 200 tech meetups and user groups, there’s something for everyone in MSP. Our diverse economy includes thousands of examples of local tech leaders solving global challenges, collaborating more openly and effectively than other cities, and continuing to build what’s next.
With NBC Sports’ recent acquisition of SportsEngine and the continued success of firms like Sportradar, a growing sports tech community now has a home in Northeast Minneapolis. The 2016 opening of The Pitch is the next step in making the region a sports tech hub. Much of that community was on display at “SportCon,” a MinneAnalytics conference that brought together more than 1,000 people including leaders from top professional sports leagues.
1,000+ tech professionals gather each spring at Best Buy’s corporate HQ for minnebar, an annual BarCamp conference where developers, designers, entrepreneurs, investors, and others converge to learn the latest in the tech world. Rumored to be the largest BarCamp in North America, the event is self-organized by the tech community group minne* and is open to all. Hundreds more meetups and community events are listed each week at TECHdotMN.
More than 500 startups from around the world applied to the first Techstars Retail accelerator program, presented with Target. After months of working with top business leaders and mentors from , founders pitched at “Demo Day” to more than 1,000 people from the stage of Orchestra Hall. Techstars participant Atif Siddiqi, who relocated his company from California, shared his Demo Day experience as part of this video from Twin Cities Startup Week.
As a global leader in health care, MSP is home to projects like OptumLabs. Founded by UnitedHealth Group Inc. and the Mayo Clinic, tech leaders at OptumLabs are aiming to improve medical care and lower the costs of treating patients by working in collaboration with partners like AARP and Harvard Medical School to better understand heath data and issues. That spirit of collaboration is alive hroughout the community in groups like Healthcare.MN.
Food & Ag Tech
Ag giant Land O’Lakes is the latest Fortune 500 MSP company to launch a partnership with Techstars. At Startup Next, food and ag-tech startups are being mentored by top leaders at the Arden Hills company. Along with groups like Grow North, this tech-specific venture is part of a growing cluster of food and ag innovation in MSP, with other Fortune 500 corporations and the world’s largest private company, Cargill.
More than 120 million citizens already connect to their local governments using the technology developed by tech leaders at Granicus in Saint Paul. Now that the company was acquired by one of the world’s largest tech investors, that number, and Granicus’ impact, is likely to grow. Other MSP-based startups like Civic Eagle are emerging in the broader effort to push civic tech forward.
While 3M has long set a gold standard in Minnesota manufacturing, the broader advanced manufacturing sector is also growing stronger in MSP. Eden Prairie-based Stratasys, the world’s leading 3-D printing manufacturer, is partnering with companies like Boeing and Ford. Nearby Proto Labs is helping lead the way on 3-D printed parts.
Hack the Gap
Founded in 2015, Hack the Gap is an organization of women in MSP tech helping an incredible community of technical women connect and collaborate, build their networks and let their talents shine. In January they hosted their third weekend-long hackathon at Target Plaza Commons in Minneapolis. (Target has pledged that at least 50% of entry-level tech hires will be women.) You can learn more about Hack the Gap by visiting the group’s website.
Minnesota’s Medical Alley is the top health technology cluster in the world with more patent applications and grants per capita and record levels of investment happening each year. At the Medtronic Applied Innovation Lab in Fridley, the company is continuing its global leadership in medical technology while working with a broader community that includes major companies like Smiths Medical, St. Jude, Boston Scientific and many more.
Open Twin Cities
Local tech professionals frequently convene in the state’s capital city of Saint Paul and throughout the region to hack public data and solve civic problems. Open Twin Cities is a Code for America Brigade partner that meets twice per month to champion open government and civic technology for positive social impact. The Minnesota State Capitol and state office buildings are located just a short walk, bike ride, or light rail stop away.
Twin Cities Startup Week
Last fall more than 10,000 people attended 90 events celebrating the region’s startup community. Twin Cities Startup Week will enter its fourth year in 2017 and feature growing communities like Beta.MN, a science fair for startups, and Minnesota Cup, the largest statewide business competition in the country. Now entering its fourth year, organizers are expanding a program to fly jobseekers into MSP to see everything that’s on display during the week.
With one of the nation’s leading financial service sectors, many of MSP’s largest tech employers are companies like U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. It’s no wonder there’s also movement among local financial tech startups. One critical location in the region is the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, which is leading ambitious research efforts on the future of the financial system as well as racial and economic disparities.
A member hub of the national Google for Entrepreneurs network, COCO has four bustling co-working locations across MSP where everyone from small business owners and startup founders to independents and corporate innovators meet to share ideas, work on projects and build the tech community. TECHdotMN’s Ultimate Coworking Guide features dozens of other top locations.
While MSP’s Fortune 500 companies are the region’s largest tech employers today, the area is booming with fast-growing companies of all types. In 2016, 41 Minnesota tech firms appeared on the Inc. 5000 list including a number of successful enterprise software firms. Minneapolis-based LeadPages, featured in Inc. the previous year, continues to lead MSP tech companies on the list.