The Big One
A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.
8 Minnesota Startups to Watch in 2018
Yesterday we took a look at some of Minnesota’s biggest tech and startup headlines of 2017. Today, it seems only appropriate to glimpse into the future to talk about some of startups we’ll be keeping an eye on in 2018.
Before we kick things off, let’s talk about what makes companies on this list “watchable.” Are these the only startups we expect to make moves in 2018? Definitely not. Will some small, stealthy company announce an unexpected partnership or round of funding? Sure, I’d put money on that.
The organizations that are on this list made major moves in 2017, and we fully expect to see big things from them in the coming year. Here are a few questions I asked myself while pulling this together: Did the company raise a big round of funding this year? Did it make an interesting investment or acquisition? Did its team grow?
Some of the names on the list will be familiar. Others will be new, but worthy, additions to your startup watchlist. Let’s take a look at two to kick things off:
- Branch Messenger: Branch Messenger has been making waves since the startup moved from California to Minneapolis after participating in the first Target + Techstars accelerator in 2016. During its first full year in Minnesota, Branch Messenger, which makes software for managing hourly workers’ schedules, raised around $10 million in venture capita. After landing $6.8 million of that in August, Branch Messenger CEO Atif Siddiqi said that the company planned to use part of the funding to double its headcount. After an exciting first year in the Twin Cities, we’ll be watching to see how Branch Messenger continues to expand in the local startup scene.
- Great North Labs: Great North Labs is a new incubator started by NativeX co-founders (and twin brothers) Ryan and Rob Weber that aims to train aspiring entrepreneurs and college students. Both brothers are experienced entrepreneurs and angel investors, but what’s interesting about their new venture is its regional focus: Greater Minnesota. The incubator is looking to mentor and invest in startups located in areas like St. Cloud that might not be considered tech hubs. Rob recently told Minne Inno that Great North Labs is in the process of raising its first fund. He added that the incubator aims to invest in around 30 startups in the Great Lakes region over the next several years.
Read more: 8 Minnesota Startups to Watch in 2018
Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.
Gener8tor Finds Permanent MN Home, Appoints Program Director
Just ahead of gener8tor‘s second gBeta cohort next month, the startup accelerator has moved into its first permanent Minneapolis home and appointed a new program director.
Gener8tor recently signed a three-year lease for about 2K square feet of space at 1621 Hennepin Ave., the former digs of digital-marketing agency Spyder Trap, which was acquired by Bright Health earlier this year. Prior to moving into this new space in Loring Park, gener8tor was based out of COCO‘s Uptown office.
In addition to relocating, gener8tor recently hired Adam Choe to serve as its program director. Choe was previously a consultant and fellow at the University of Minnesota’s medical devices center, and will help manage both gBeta and gener8tor’s main accelerator.
Gener8tor is currently accepting applications for its second gBeta accelerator, a program that provides free mentorship for early-stage startups. More on that here.
New Dayton Food Hall Will Feature a ‘Food Business Incubator’
A food hall developed by celebrity chef (and Minnesota resident) Andrew Zimmern is the first occupant of the redeveloped Nicollet Mall Macy’s building, which is being converted into retail and office space.
Zimmern’s Passport Hospitality Co. is teaming up with the developer of Gansevoort Market in New York City to build in the 40K square-foot space between 7th and 8th St. on Nicollet Ave. The food hall will feature a mix of food vendors, concierge services and a “food business incubator.” The food hall is slated to open mid-2019.
More from the Biz Journal here.