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Maddy: Those who have been following this week’s random section may have noticed a reoccuring theme of grocers/food. We’re going to #LeanIn to that on this fine Friday with some VERY big news involving Amazon and Whole Foods.

Let’s kick a quick beat…

Maddy: Earlier today, Amazon announced its $13.7B acquisition of Whole Foods, and two of Minnesota two biggest food sellers, Target and Supervalu, aren’t taking it well.

When news first broke this morning, Target’s shares sank 11 percent. That’s a reduction of more than $3B, and the lowest the retailer’s shares have been in five years. General Mills shares dipped about 3 percent. Supervalu, although smaller, also took a hit, with shares declining nearly 14 percent.

I know–It’s big news. Sit down. Cool off. Have an asparagus water. 

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is the e-commerce giant’s largest ever, beating out its purchase of Zappos for $1.2B. Amazon said it plans to keep Whole Foods operating independently under its current name. But an investment of nearly $14B indicates bigger plans, and likely a deeper dive into the grocery industry, where it’s dabbled with AmazonFresh.

While Minnesota’s larger companies are hurting after the initial news, it could represent a huge opportunity for local food and agriculture startups.

Lauren Pradhan, director of Grow North, a resource and connection hub for Minnesota’s food and agriculture entrepreneurs, said that while it’s too early to gauge exact effects, the acquisition represents a likely positive, seismic shift in the food industry.

“It’s a game-changer for the industry,” Pradhan said. “It’s an integration of grocery and e-commerce like we’ve never seen before, and everyone will have to take this into account in their business model.”

She added that the majority of Minnesota’s food and agriculture startups are in the natural/better-for-you space, which pairs well with the Whole Foods brand. Some Twin Cities startups, like WholeMe, are already sold in Whole Foods stores.

“I think this will mean good things for [local startups] as Amazon and Whole Foods grow together,” Pradhan said.

Read more about the effect on Minnesota food companies from the Star Tribune here.

And let’s not forget…

Not to be outdone by its competitor, Walmart also made a big purchase this morning, acquiring popular clothing brand Bonobos for $310M.

A move aptly described by Forbes’ Erin Griffith as one company playing chess, and the other, checkers.

Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation (MECC) arguably hasn’t ‘made a move’ in decades, but it was one of the first organizations in Minnesota to start doing so more than a half-century ago.

One of the state’s tech pioneers, MECC is being honored this weekend with at exhibit at the Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, according to a release.

Founded in 1973, MECC was instrumental in bringing early computers into classrooms. The organization operated the first statewide mainframe timeshare computer for classrooms, and later initiated the first wide-scale school purchase contract for personal computers with Apple.

If you don’t recognize MECC by name, you’ll be familiar with the game it created: Oregon Trail. The educational game, which debuted in 1974, was designed to educate students about the lives of 19th-century pioneers.

Last year, Oregon Trail was inducted into Strong’s video game hall of fame.

Think you have what it takes to be the next Ira Glass? Twin Cities Podcasters is hosting a meetup at Vicinity Coffee at 11:00 a.m. in Minneapolis tomorrow morning. Event is free, and open to all experience levels.

Feed the Beat and tell your colleagues about the newsletter. (It’s more fun with friends).

Beat readers, you’ve heard of Law & Order, but what about Paw & Order?

Six American Labrador puppies have been recruited to serve in Taiwan’s new K-9 unit. Eventually, the pups will serve as detection dogs like their parents, but for now, the team specialize in looking adorable in tiny uniforms.

On Wednesday, we discussed dog mayors. It felt only appropriate to round off the week with a discussion on dog cops.

Have a lovely weekend.

From yesterday’s story about Capita3, a new venture from seasoned entrepreneurs Pam York and Sara Russick that aims to fund and scale women-led startups:

“Women, generally speaking, go about [building companies] a little different than men. We want to create an environment that not only honors that but realizes how incredibly valuable that way of thinking is. When you do this, women’s confidence naturally increases and their boldness naturally increases.”

What do you want to see in this email?

mkennedy@americaninno.com, wflanagan@americaninno.com

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