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Tuesday, May 29, 2018
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First Things First

Welcome back, Beat readers! The long weekend is over, which means it’s time to get back to business. We could hang out and chat, but there’s lots of tech (and a couple Mall of America stories) to talk about, so let’s get right into it. Time to kick a Beat.

The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Student Startup Keeps Hospitals Powered in Developing Countries

While patients in countries like the U.S. and Canada take successful visits to the hospital for granted, those in developing countries may undergo a surgery by candlelight, or be simply turned away due to lack of technology.

Sourav Patel, a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota studying electrical engineering, has experienced this, and his lab mates have as well. The team aims to tackle the issue through their startup Aelios Technology, which works to reroute electricity in healthcare facilities to extend the lifespan and duration of critical devices. Through this technology, Aelios aims to help hospitals reach and treat more patients.

Patel recently interned with the National Renewable Energy Lab, where he worked to develop interfaces that make devices more flexible, enabling them to detect disturbances and turn things on and off to stabilize the grid. Patel realized, with the help of his lab mates, that this idea could be applied to hospitals to save energy and lives.

Their product, the iPlugD, is an “intelligent plug for devices” that reroutes energy from non-critical to critical devices in events of power outages. The device also extends the duration of services that hospitals provides by way of power backup supplies.

Aelios Technology estimates that its device will allow healthcare facilities to see 160 additional patients after installation, as well as break even with costs in just four months.

Another benefit of the device is that it can operate without a base connection or Wi-Fi. Patel and his team discovered the need for this firsthand when they tested the iPlugD in India in 2017, where the government shut down the internet due to civil unrest. As a result of this incident, healthcare facilities lost all connection.

The team has competed in multiple startup competitions, winning of this year’s Acara Challenge, which comes with a $5K grant. Most recently, Aelios won the Junior Division of Walleye Tank, a competition for healthcare startups hosted by the University of Minnesota. As part of the win, Aelios automatically qualifies for the first round of the Minnesota Cup – the state’s largest startup competition.

Learn more in our latest post.

Making Moves

Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.

Gravy’s New Mobile Game Show Combines HQ Trivia and QVC

After the success of mobile game show HQ Trivia, a group of Midwest serial entrepreneurs launched Gravy, a riff on “Price is Right” and typical QVC shows. In the game, contestants compete for discounts of 30 to 70% off the products advertised, with a portion of the sales going to charity. Participants can also guess when the product will sell out and at what price. Those who guess closest win a cash prize. Gravy was developed by Mark McGuireBrian Wiegand and Craig Adler. The team previously founded, which was acquired by Microsoft around a decade ago. McGuire is also the former director of gener8tor‘s Minnesota accelerator program.The 20-person Gravy team is based in both Minneapolis and Madison, Wisconsin.

Tech Crunch has more.

Best Buy Will Shutter its Mall of America Store

Best Buy will close its store at the Mall of America this summer after a 10-year run at the Bloomington megamall. The Richfield-based retailer told its employees Thursday night that it wouldn’t renew its lease for the 45K-square-foot store, located on the third floor of the mall’s west side. It’s not known if MOA has a new tenant for the space, but Best Buy’s last day in business at the mall will be be August 4.

The Star Tribune has more.

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

In The Community

The events and happenings to know about tonight and this week.

Free HTML/CSS Workshop at Prime Digital Academy
TOMORROW: “Join Prime Digital Academy’s Instructors as they discuss HTML and CSS, the building blocks for what is seen on the Web. In this course, we will introduce the main concepts of the web, how it is seen, and then use that knowledge to build our first website.”Details here.

E-Commerce Meeting With Frank Jackman of Local Crate
TOMORROW:  Join the Twin Cities E-Commerce Meetup as the group discusses strategies for bootstrapping a startup with Local Crate CEO Frank Jackman. Minneapolis-based Local Crate participated in last year’s Techstars + Target retail accelerator, and recently raised a round of funding totaling $1.4M. Event details here.

ALSO I’m gearing up for June Inno Approved. If you have an event you want to see on our calendar, reach out:


Meanwhile in another corner of the internet…

Mall of America No Longer the Largest Mall in America 

Bloomington may soon lose its big claim to fame. A giant $4B megamall won government approval in Miami, Florida earlier this month, and according to the proposal, it would be 1.2M square feet larger than the Mall of America. The project is being rolled out by Triple Five, the same company that developed Mall of America. It’ll feature many of the same amenities like hundreds of retail stores and an amusement park. But because “malls” are so 1992, the new project is being called American Dream Miami.

The Star Tribune has more.

Featured Jobs

Featured startup and tech jobs on Minne Inno’s new Careers Directory.

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Meet The Authors:

Maddy Kennedy

Will Flanagan

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