No, this is not Silicon Valley. But Minnesota/the Twin Cities have long been a hub for tech innovation. Oregon Trail was developed here, after all. Cray, Inc., the supercomputer company established in the 1970’s, recently moved into new digs at the Mall of America.
And now we look to the future. And, as great minds often think alike, meetups are often one of the best ways to push ideas forward.
Women Who Code TC is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: A community of professional women in tech “dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers by creating a global, connected community of women in technology.” It’s one of the largest communities for women engineers in the world, offering study groups, hack events, career development and more.
Hack The Gap is dedicated to “hacking” the diversity gap, giving underprivileged and underrepresented people a platform to test their skills, show off what they’ve built, and further social progress “one hackathon at a time.”
Because tech doesn’t discriminate (and, thus, neither will the future. Optimism. It got us to the moon.)
And enthusiasts of certain schools don’t have to be subjected to broad strokes: PyMNtos is a Twin Cities group of Python enthusiasts (Python the high-level programming language, not the slithering reptile), TwinCities iPhone Developers is a group for everything iOS. Groovy Users of Mn is a group interested in, you guessed it, “learning more about Groovy and related topics.”
For more tech-based meetups and to find your specific niche, visit www.meetup.com/tech.
Twin Cities Startup Week (October 9-15, 2017) will put this all on full display. Like fashion week except for, well, tech showing off the very best of Twin Cities startups looking to disrupt any and every industry in Minnesota.
The ultimate goal? To reward worth companies with “…attention, praise and money.”
A quick look at the 2016 Startup Week:
Minnesota has to live up to its reputation as the tech capitol of the North.
But less tangible, more abstract notions of support don’t always cut it. To get ideas supported, to put Minnesota innovation on the national and international map, the support needs to be real; the checks have to be signed.
Like Gener8tor, a nationally ranked accelerator that invests up to $140,000 twice a year into startups. Those selected also receive “concierge experience” during our 12-week accelerator program.
Or, for perhaps the most-important (and fastest-growing) tech field, Treehouse Health helps emerging healthcare companies accelerate the growth and development of their business within an innovative and collaborative ecosystem by providing investment and expertise.
But raising money doesn’t seem to be an issue lately: Minnesota’s startups had a booming 2016, raising hundreds of millions of dollars in capital ($90 million from March to May alone). Total Expert, a marketing and CRM firm, for example, raised $3 million. Gila Therapeutics, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, raised $2.6 million mark on their own.
And Minnesota’s strong Fortune 500 presence means that, not only is there a need to invest in young, hungry tech companies such as these, but there are also the funds to do so.
State-of-the art spaces in which to work are becoming more readily available as well. Dozens of co-working spaces are popping up in and around the Twin Cities (one of the foremost is CoCo, one of the sponsors of Startup Week mentioned earlier.)
For a full listing, go here: What coworking spaces exist in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis or St. Paul, Minnesota?
On a larger scale, the former Ecolab Tower, soon to be renamed Osborn 370 when it reopens as a “tech hub” (pictured above), will be remodeled to incorporate open floor plans and other modern amenities aimed at fostering young tech companies, and growth in various tech-based industries.
And if an entire tower dedicated to science and tech innovation in the center of St. Paul isn’t a sign that things are moving quickly in the Twin Cities, we’re not sure what is.