Comprehensive Guide to the Minneapolis / St. Paul Startup and Tech Scene

Aleckson Nyamwaya
Jan 18, 2017 · 19 min read

So you want to be involved in the Minneapolis/St.Paul Tech & Startup scene but don’t know where or how to start? Maybe you’re an Entrepreneur, Investor, developer or overall enthusiast looking for new ways to get involved! If so, this guide is for you.

After reading Rachel Beisel’s Comprehensive guide to the boulder Denver startup and tech scene. I was inspired to write one on Minneapolis/St.Paul.

I started with my own background knowledge, meetups/events, co-working spaces etc I’ve been to. From there, I did a little bit of googling to find more resources. Finally, I reached out to my colleagues to fill in missing blanks

That being said, I’m sure I missed a couple things here and there. So please feel free to comment in your favorite way of getting involved and I’ll be sure to add it ! So without further ado…*drum roll please*

Newsletters/Job Boards

IoT Weekly: hand picked articles by Justin Grammens on the Internet of Things. Published and delivered to your Inbox every Wednesday. Free Forever.

Startup Digest: StartupDigest provides a weekly email newsletter of the top tech and entrepreneurship events in the Twin Cities.

Minnesota Headhunter Blog: MN IT and recruiter jobs, links to Minnesota business news and promotion of the local tech community.

TECHdotMN: is the one-stop-shop for all things tech/startup in the Minneapolis/St.Paul ecosystem. News, Jobs, company database etc.

Medical Alley Job Listings: Job postings listed by Medical Alley’s member companies.

Minnesota Works: Job site provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Venture Lake: is the online hub for Minnesota’s innovation and startup community. As a regional entrepreneur resource portal, VentureLake supports and promotes the Minnesota startup environment and links entrepreneurs to the resources they need to be successful.

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Events (Separate from Meetup)

Twin Cities Startup Week: In every corner of the Twin Cities Metro Area there is a hacker, maker, artist and entrepreneur whose efforts power the future economic vitality of this great state. During this week, we say thank you in the form of attention, praise and money… if you feel so bold. It’s an entire week of startups on display.

Minnedemo: MinneDemo is a demo day for real, working technology products made in Minnesota. Demos are 7 minutes long and PowerPoint IS NOT ALLOWED. Some have described it as geek show and tell. We like to think that geeks and those interested in what they are doing (i.e., investors, media organizations, etc) will enjoy an event centered on seeing what the local scene is up to and networking before, during, and afterward with food and drinks. It’s an energizing and informative evening.

Twin Cities Startup Weekend Youth: Invites budding entrepreneurs in their sophomore, junior and senior year in high school, as well as freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in college, to take an idea from nothing to something, pitch to prototype, in just three days.

Hack The Gap: is an organization that is hacking the diversity gap, one hackathon at a time. Their mission is to amplify the voices and cultivate talents of underserved people in the community by giving the them a safe space to hack and a stage to show what they have built.

MN Cup: We are a startup competition and hub to connect Minnesota’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We aim to create jobs and grow our state’s innovation footprint.

1 Million Cups: is a dynamic way to engage entrepreneurs in the community. Each week, the 1MC program offers two local entrepreneurs an opportunity to present their startups to a diverse audience of mentors, advisors, and entrepreneurs.

Beta.MN is an organization of friends & founders gathering together to support Minnesota’s startup community. We believe that by throwing meaningful events, in casual settings, for the area’s brightest innovators we’ll ensure that the next big thing happens in our own backyard.

SportCon: we explore the many ways in which data-driven decision making continues to play a major role in sports, with a stellar lineup of speakers from academia, professional teams and the tech industry

COCO Events: is a destination where people not only show up to work, they show up to network. With events of all sorts, people come together at COCO to discuss ideas, collaborate, and meet new friends and business partners.

Minnebar: an annual BarCamp conference where developers, designers, entrepreneurs, investors, and more converge to learn the latest in the tech world.

TECHdotMN Calendar: lists technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship-focused events throughout the Twin Cities.

MHTA Events: hosts more than 40 events a year ranging from all-day conferences like the Spring Conference and Minnesota Venture Conference, to the annual Tekne Awards, member-only networking events and Lunch & Learns.

Twin Cities Business Events: offers a comprehensive list of all upcoming business events in the metro area. These events span many categories and interests such as innovation, women’s leadership, and investment.

Midwest Capital Call: This is an intimate gathering for real conversations about money, fundraising, and the capital markets. It comes from the source: active investors and practicing entrepreneurs who are living it.

Slack Communities

MSP Tech: A Slack instance for the Twin Cities tech community; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

Twin Cities Geekettes: is a community of women dedicated to aspiring and established tech innovators. We offer networking events, training workshops, and an online slack team for women to connect with others in their community. Join thier slack team!

Women Who Code: is global non-profit with a set of programs for engineers to help build the careers we want.

Women Who Startup: community which started in Denver, Colorado is growing globally. To connect a growing, global community means that we have a single platform where every member can plug in, join the conversation, find a mentor, pitch your product, services and ideas for feedback, make new friends, build a strong professional network, find a co-founder, continue your local conversations and networking in between the monthly events, and so much more.

Girl Develop It: is a nonprofit organization that exists to provide affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. We are on Slack!

JavaScript MN: Javascript MN meetup is on slack!

Incubators and Accelerators

gener8tor: is a nationally ranked accelerator that invests in high-growth startups. Twice a year we invest up to $140K in each of five startups who receive a concierge experience during our 12-week accelerator program. gener8tor supports the growth of these startups through our network of experienced mentors, technologists, corporate partners, angel investors and venture capitalists.

TechStars Retail: in partnership with target, is a three-month intensive startup accelerator focused on bringing new technology, experiences, products, and solutions to retail.

gBETA: a free, six-week accelerator for early-stage companies. Each program is capped at five teams, and requires no fees and no equity. gBETA is a program of gener8tor, a nationally ranked startup accelerator.

Red Wing Ignite Accelerator: The business accelerator is for early stage entrepreneurs who need help getting from idea to company. We invest our resources, space, and time in exchange for equity in the business.

Treehouse Health: we help emerging healthcare companies accelerate the growth and development of their business within an innovative and collaborative ecosystem by providing investment and expertise.

University Entreprise Laboratories: We incubate early stage bioscience ventures by providing premier facilities and services that enable innovation, growth and commercial success.

Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator: provides collaborative space for new companies, venture capital firms and entrepreneurs. It also works with existing companies and service providers to support entrepreneurial ventures.

Cleantech Open Midwest: Cleantech Open is a global accelerator for early-stage clean technology startup companies. We run an annual six-month program to connect startups with the incredible people, resources, and visibility to help them succeed.

Accel.MN: is a free program for entrepreneurs to refine their ideas and be prompted into action in a collaborative setting. Think of it as a “pre-accelerator”, or a program that would prepare you for a more traditional accelerator seeking to invest seed funding in exchange for equity in your startup.

Coworking Spaces

Ultimate Guide to coworking in MN 2017: Side by side, in-depth analysis of available coworking spaces in the state of Minnesota.

Arts Hub: Located inside a multidisciplinary art center. Mission driven and supportive of under-represented communities. a safe space for equity and inclusion.

Studio CoWorkUnlike other co-working spaces, we are the first Twin Cities co-working space to focus on content creators and offer both DIY podcast studios as well as greenscreen/photo studio for our members!

WeWork WeWork’s shared office spaces combine practical amenities like conference rooms, coffee, and high speed internet with perks like custom art, vibrant community, and networking events that let you bring your full self to work every day.

Assemble: Beautiful, private, short-term offices ideally situated in
the most sought-after neighborhoods to work in.

CoCo: is a dream accelerator — a destination for building your venture and exploring new ideas in the company of other creators. With multiple locations in Uptown, DownTown, St.Paul, and North East

The Commons: We know what it’s like to go to work each day and we know what it’s like to try to do that work at home. The commons is our best of both world. Small town feel, most people live close by, family oriented. Multiple Locations in Excelsior and Minnesota

Collider: Collider is a hub for entrepreneurs to work, learn, and connect. Collider offers desk and conference room space for local and visiting entrepreneurs and small businesses in a unique historic setting. Collider also offers monthly events and educational opportunities to fuel our growing entrepreneurial community.

Envision Lab: Envision Lab is a unique coworking space that works to fuel creative economy development among underserved and overlooked entrepreneurial populations of Mankato:

Everyday Office: Everyday Office offers full-service coworking and business support services in a friendly, comfortable environment.

Growth Lab: By entrepreneur for entrepreneurs designed to be an affordable solution to help grow your business. Growth lab offers Minneapolis coworking, workshops & networking events to help freelancers and entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.

Impact Hub: is dedicated to supporting change makers, social innovators, purpose driven professionals, and social entrepreneurs who are working towards making a better future for the Twin Cities and beyond. More than a coworking space, we are dedicated to actively convening, connecting, and strengthening the community.

Industrious: a premium, hospitality-focused social office with a contemporary, professional atmosphere. Located in the heart of the Minneapolis business district, Industrious members enjoy the productivity of private offices while being part of a social community of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and local teams of national companies.

Office Outpost: Office Outpost is a coworking facility on the shore of Lake Superior in beautiful Grand Marais, Minnesota that offers short and long term space for remote workers.

The Pitch: The Pitch brings together pioneering sports businesses and entrepreneurs in a unique collaborative coworking environment. Members foster and accelerate innovation through the collision of ideas and the rapid development of the sports tech ecosystem.

Red Wing Ignite: Our space is located by the scenic bluffs of the Mississippi River. We give you access to big companies perks without the big red tape. Whether you’re a team of 1 or a growing team, our mixed-use space can accommodate.

The Reserve: Is a professional atmosphere that offers fully furnished private office space, meeting rooms and open workspaces for coworking. Along with their shared office assistants aimed at increasing your productivity and let you focus on what’s most important. Multiple locations in Edina and Woodbury

Spur: We offer a flexible, functional space for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote employees to congregate and collaborate. Our space boasts story-and-a-half ceilings, hardwood floors, kitchenette, and dedicated conference room.

TC Maker: We have opened a makerspace/hackerspace for members to build projects using various media and technologies, from wood and metal working to electronics to fabrics and beyond. We call our space the Hack Factory.

Flock: an inspiring network of freelance creatives and get more out of your daily routine. Our amenities include internet so fast it’ll melt your face, above par printers, Big Brain weekly brainstorming, and discounts to local restaurants on “Eat Street”.

Work Around: Join a community of entrepreneurs and freelancers who share modern, flexible workspace. We take care of the expensive rent bills. You pay a monthly fee and get flexible working space, fast internet, and access to top talent.

Work Up: We are a coworking community in the heart of Minnesota lakes country founded by a small team of dedicated, innovative people who are passionate about helping others succeed. We believe that collaboration can make good things great, a cool space can inspire creativity, and loving your work can be contagious!


Software Guild: is an immersive 12-week or 10-month boot camp that takes driven beginners, or more experienced students passionate about development, and prepares them to compete for jobs as professional developers

Code Savvy: is a not-for-profit organization inspiring kids and teens to become code-savvy, that is, to understand the kind of creative thinking that goes into coding, and to try out programming computers and devices.

Prime Digital Academy: developed and launched by software development company the Nerdery, Prime Digital Academy seeks to produce homegrown software engineers and web developers.

MIN-Corps: offers a full suite of non-credit seminars on technology commercialization and innovation-based startups. Classes are free to UMN students, staff & faculty, and also open (some for a fee) to non-U participants.

James J. Hill Center: is a non-profit business center, located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The James J. Hill Reference Library opened its doors in 1921 and continues to house a world-class collection of practical business information resources which is considered one of the most comprehensive business libraries in the country.

UST — Small Business Development: we provide confidential business consulting services at no charge to help established businesses and startups develop strategies to attract customers, increase sales and improve profitability.

Score: provides free and confidential business counseling tailored to meet the needs of your small business and your personal objectives. we also offers workshops both online and in person, for a modest fee, for both start-up entrepreneurs and in-business small business owners.

Women Venture: For more than three decades, we have provided women of all ages, cultures, races and income levels with the tools and resources to achieve economic success through small business ownership.

Smart Factory: is a self-proclaimed software school for smart people.


Meda: is a nonprofit that supports Minnesota entrepreneurs with a focus on entrepreneurs of color. Through accomplished and experienced professionals, we offer one-on-one business consulting, training, leadership development, government contracting assistance, access to financing, networking with peers, assistance with minority certifications, strategic planning, and more.

Society of Women Engineers: Stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expanding the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.

WE: was founded in 2015 by a group of dedicated and passionate women entrepreneurs, investors, and community leaders who have come together to support women developing scalable ideas and startups in Minnesota. We have been working to develop unique events and centralize resources available to women entrepreneurs.

Minne*: is the organization behind minnedemo, where live software is demo-ed and everybody in the tech scene comes to network, and minnebar, an annual BarCamp conference where developers, designers, entrepreneurs, investors, and more converge to learn the latest in the tech world.

MinneAnalytics: is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving Minnesota’s data science and analytics community. They facilitate the sharing of knowledge and ideas among analytics professionals across business, technology and decision science through their industry-specific events and conferences.

MHTA: is a non-profit association of more than 300 technology companies and organizations. Together, we fuel Minnesota’s prosperity through innovation and technology.

Neighborhood Development Center: (NDC) is a non-profit, community development financial institution (CDFI) that believes in the power, drive and daring of local entrepreneurs to transform lives and revitalize neighborhoods.

City of Minneapolis — Community Planning & Economic Development: A driving force for innovation, collaboration and sustainability by providing thoughtful design and access to the tools and resources needed for all Minneapolis residents and businesses to prosper.

Acara: is the impact entrepreneurship program of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment in partnership with the College of Science and Engineering and the Carlson School of Management.

UofM — Office for Technology Commercialization: (OTC) takes the ideas and technology that stem from University of Minnesota research, prepares this intellectual property for the market, and in some cases spins it out into new businesses.

MOJO Minnesota: is a co-operative comprised of like-minded business leaders working to fuel entrepreneurship and reignite Minnesota’s culture of innovation. We are business advisors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors and attorneys passionate about creating jobs and economic growth through the power of Minnesota based technology companies.

Entrepreneurship Club: Our mission is to provide entrepreneurial-minded students at the University of Minnesota the ability to connect with practicing entrepreneurs from the area. Through our weekly meetings, members get a chance to meet, listen, and interact with our innovative speakers.

Minnesota Entrepreneur Network: is an informal collaboration of entrepreneur support organizations committed to growing the Minnesota entrepreneurial ecosystem.

AURI: The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) helps develop new uses for agricultural products through science and technology, partnering with businesses and entrepreneurs to bring ideas to reality.

City of St.Paul Planning and Economic Development: our staff facilitates a wealth of business programs and services designed to help businesses develop and succeed. These include:

Podcasts by Locals You Should Listen To

Minnesota Tech Podcast: is about the Minneapolis and St Paul tech scene

Power Moves Twin Cities: is a web series that highlights up and coming entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities in order to uncover their “Power Move”, A defining moment in their life/career the led them to where they are today.

Disrupt Midwestis dedicated to highlighting the most outrageous and illuminating entrepreneurship stories from the midwest, starting with Minnesota! Now! Available on Soundcloud, Stitcher and Itunes!

Beta Byte: is a series underwritten by Bust Out Solutions for that early stage tech founder somewhere between idea and traction.

MSP ON DECK — a podcast devoted Minnesota tech that’s hosted by startup adviser Casey Allen, long-time Twin Cities tech recruiter Paul DeBettignies and Katharine Grayson, who covers startups, venture capital and health care for the Business Journal.

Driving Change: where we go for a drive with technology leaders and dig deep into their beliefs, habits, routines, and influences.

Rochester Rising: amplifies the stories of Rochester entrepreneurs through original, insightful articles and podcasts and displays the unique flavor of Rochester’s innovation and small business community.

Minnov8: founded in February of 2008, is now an archive of Minnesota tech innovation posts and podcasts. To view previous podcast posts complete with show notes, or all of the podcasts as links you can download or listen to,

Makers of Minnesota podcast: features products and services uniquely made in Minnesota — and conversations with makers, entrepreneurs and innovators in Minnesota about how they conceive of their products and bring them to market.

Tech/Startup-focused Service Providers

New Counsel, PLC: Attorneys for Entrepreneurs & Technology

GoKart Labs: is a digital innovation company that helps companies of all sizes invent, make, market, and transform. Based in Minneapolis, MN and Washington DC

Mighteor: We have helped big brands, scrappy startups and new non-profits rack up more than 6 million views and earn international internet attention from the likes of the New York Times, Wired, Forbes, Fast Company, National Public Radio and other cool kids.

New Lion Labs -

612 Software Foundry: helps startups and established companies with technical strategy and implementation — everything from whether to hire, outsource, or buy, guiding technology choices, building web and mobile apps, and preparing your team to succeed.

Abdo Eick & Meyers LLP: We’re accountants, auditors, and consultants who ask the right questions to empower the growth of your organization. As one of the fastest growing CPA firms in the Midwest, we’re ready to deliver the solutions you need.

Adams Grumbles LLP: is a law firm focusing on the IP, business and finance needs of startups and entrepreneurs.

Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory: (MESA) is a non-profit mentoring organization comprised of C-level software and information technology veterans with strong local business roots. We have come together to help spark a movement to help make Minnesota’s software economy rank among the most vibrant and respected in the nation.

Winthrop & Weinstine: A full service law firm of 120 attorneys, Winthrop specializes in assisting young and growing companies with legal resources for organization and entity structuring, private capital raising and crowdfunding, and trademark and patents, amongst other areas.

Software for Good: a team of Minneapolis software engineers, strategists, and designers who bring people and tech together to solve complex world problems.

Executive Public Accountants, INC: we offer you the prompt, affordable, personalized attention you deserve paired with the integrity & confidentiality you expect. It would be our pleasure to help you get a great return this tax season.

Collectivity: is a technology provider cooperative that helps nonprofits and their funders build capacity to optimize mission delivery and outcome performance….building better teams, and collaboration with community partners to create Collective Impact.

Grow North MN: Supporting Minnesota’s food and agriculture entrepreneurs
grow and scale their businesses faster

EntrePartner Law Firm: Our crew of former big-firm lawyers partners with entrepreneurs, startups, franchises, and small businesses by advising, consulting, negotiating, litigating, and enforcing your big issues and your tiny ones.

Good Food BOOM: Are you a food entrepreneur? we are your source for free information and affordable tools to help you confidently handle your business — legal and otherwise.

Carlson Advisors: With offices in Minneapolis and St. Cloud, Minnesota, we’re ready to serve you. Our team offers proven industry experience and the capacity to respond quickly. It’s a difference you’ll see from our first meeting.

Gish: helps nonprofits & small businesses better use their internal resources, tell stories, and get things done. The gish&co. network includes seasoned designers, developers & digital strategists, as well as experienced professionals in the communications, PR, advertising & marketing industries.

Angel groups

The Network Connect: is a network of angel investors, groups and funds; including mentors and advisors. The Network Connect is an initiative to connect investors with companies seeking to raise capital and provide resources for businesses.

Gopher Angels: is a Minnesota-based network of over 60 accredited investors seeking to invest capital and expertise in early-stage MN businesses. Since its founding in 2012, Gopher Angels member investors have invested over $6.5 million in 23 early-stage companies

Twin Cities Angels: Twin Cities Angels provides a formal organization for our entrepreneurially-minded angel-investor.

3C Capital: 3C Capital is an angel investment group headquartered in Northfield, Minnesota. As part of RAIN Source Capital’s RAIN Fund Network, we are able to share prospective deals with the entire network to collectively raise a good portion or all of the capital that a growing company needs.

Sofia Angel Fund II: understands the exceptional innovation and value that women entrepreneurs bring to technology ventures. The Fund seeks early stage, growth oriented, gender diverse entrepreneurial companies that have women leaders on the management team and who own equity in the business.

Venture Groups

Come up Capital: is a fresh $50 million dollar venture fund based in Minneapolis formed to invest and profit with early stage technology startups between the coasts.

MatchStick Ventures: We invest where innovative ideas, huge markets and, most importantly, amazing entrepreneurs strike. We are honored to support creative folks who will stop at nothing to succeed. Matchstick exists to act as a catalyst for our founders, our startups, and our startup community.

Arthur ventures: Arthur Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in ambitious, mission-driven software companies. Their team works in partnership with exceptional entrepreneurs on their journey to market leadership.

Sustainable Investors: is a Midwest-based company involved in the acquisition and management of leasehold and easement agreements. Our primary area of focus is the renewable energy sector including utility-scale wind and solar projects.

Startec Investments, LLC: is a private venture capital firm founded in 1998. They invest $50,000 to $500,000 in early stage technology companies based in Minnesota. StarTec looks to invest in experienced, passionate entrepreneurs with innovative technology and a strong value proposition solving the needs of large, growing market.

Brightstone Venture Capital: has a long history of building successful companies. Since 1985, Brightstone has managed ten venture partnerships and currently manages a $50 million venture fund focused on early-growth stage investment opportunities.

First Green Partners: is an early-stage investment firm focused on building companies that leverage advances in science and technology applied to agriculture.

CAIRN VENTURES: Cairn Ventures invests predominantly in early stage, high-growth potential companies in the Midwest.

Thomas, McNerney & Partners: is a healthcare venture firm that invests in life science and medical technology companies at all stages of development. Our team has significant experience in helping entrepreneurs start companies, in providing growth capital to emerging companies and in undertaking restructuring transactions such as spin-outs, roll-ups and recapitalizations.

Stone Arch Capital: is a private equity fund based in Minneapolis, MN. Our fund was founded with a commitment to identifying and building value based on patience, discipline and years of experience operating in our core Midwest market.

MacroVentures: has started, grown, purchased, and sold both product and service oriented companies in a wide range of industries and has also spent time on the Fortune 1000 company side of the table looking at growth opportunities, acquisitions, and their financial implications.

Capital Midwest Fund: Capital Midwest Fund is a venture capital firm that invests in advanced manufacturing, B2B, and healthcare technology companies based in the Midwest.

Minnesota Venture Capital Association: is a not-for-profit group comprising members whose primary activity is the management of venture capital funds and investments.

The Minnesota Venture Capital Association: is a not-for-profit group comprising members whose primary activity is the management of venture capital funds and investments.

Split Rock Partners: is focused on supporting entrepreneurs who are building leading software and cloud-based services companies.

AVVN: is a private equity firm based in the heart of the Midwest. Steeped in a culture of hard work and integrity, we pursue sustainable growth models that deliver results over the lifetime of our investments.

Loup Ventures: is a research-driven, early stage venture capital firm based in Minneapolis and New York. We’re pursuing The Future Perfect — an absolutely fantastic future created by the combination of virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and robotics.

Dundee Venture Capital: invests $50,000-$750,000 in high-growth, early-stage technology companies. We will invest across industries in founding teams we believe in, but shy away from life sciences and hardware. We like to invest in what we know. For that reason, most of our investments are in e-commerce, B2B SaaS, or consumer networks.

Capita3: is investing in extraordinary companies that happen to be led by extraordinary women.

Other Finance:

Angel Tax Credit: provides a 25-percent credit to investors or investment funds that put money into startup companies focused on high technology, new proprietary technology, or a new proprietary product, process or service in specified fields.

Minnesota R&D Tax Credit Program: Companies that engage in certain research and development (R&D) activities in Minnesota may qualify for the Credit for Increasing Research Activities.

MNvest: is Minnesota law permitting investment crowdfunding, a new way to fund Minnesota’s growing businesses. Similar to rewards-based crowdfunding sites (like Kickstarter), MNvest will enable Minnesota businesses to legally advertise investment opportunities to all Minnesota residents, providing for wider, cheaper, and faster access to seed funding for entrepreneurs via registered funding portals.

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