Who can turn the world on with a smile? – September 11, 2019
Dig if you will the picture
Today's itinerary: Wheels Down in Minneapolis; More tech news from the Silicon Prairie; six startups in Michigan to study mobility and transportation; AgTech in Memphis; and more!
September 11, 2019
WHEELS DOWN: MINNEAPOLIS
Minneapolis: Leading city for new businesses
Photo courtesy Julia via Flickr
Yes, it's the city from which the late, great Prince hailed. And at the corner of 7th street and Nicollet Mall is where Mary Tyler Moore threw her beret in the air in one of the most iconic sitcom openings ever.
Then there’s the Minneapolis Foundation, which administers grants to nonprofits and other organizations looking to improve the city and foster civic engagement. If your startup dreams are tied to social justice and making an impact, you may be able to find funding here.
Life shouldn’t be all work, and if you’re considering a move to Minneapolis you’ll find there’s no shortage of culture in the Twin Cities.
Minneapolis by the numbers
City population: 425,403
A few more fun facts about the Twin Cities
Photo by Beverly & Pack via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
We couldn't get enough of Minneapolis-St. Paul this morning and decided to keep the party going with a few more fun facts about this unique and wonderful flyover city!
Omaha tech ventures shine as the Silicon Prairie grows
Omaha has definitely earned its stripes as a flourishing part of the Silicon Prairie. Right now, it has three accelerators and nine “co-labs”—and it gains more companies and startups every year.
But what is drawing so many companies and workers to the area?
For one thing, there are the perks.
Dan Houghton, co-founder of construction management system Buildertrend, said, “We follow all of the cliched tech startups. I tell people we have ping pong, we have pool, we have beer on tap.”
All great, right? But there’s more to an appealing work culture than those enticements.
Sammi Kaiser, director of the Academic and Career Development Center at the University of Nebraska Omaha, thinks the pace is a factor.
“Things move fast and that's attractive to students," she said. “They want to be a part of something that started as nothing.”
And then there’s the opportunity to have an impact, to collaborate and be creative.
“There's no ten-year playbook” said Michael Struthers, director of people operations at WordPress startup Flywheel. “There's a lot of being able to build and figuring it out along the way.”
Six Michigan startups get grants to study transportation challenges
And now some news from the future of driving. And where better to push the envelope on mobility tech than the state of Michigan, which brought us the Model T, the Mustang and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, who sang, “I’m just a love machine and I won’t work for nobody but you"?
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s mobility program, PlanetM, has awarded $450,000 in grant funding to six mobility and transportation startups. The startups are trying to tackle the biggest challenges in transportation, including traffic congestion and car and pedestrian safety.
The six startups, most of which sound like they named their companies by running over a stack of childrens’ blocks, are:
Agtech innovator Indigo has major plans for Memphis
Photo courtesy Pete Linforth
Iowa State University Research Park president Rick Sanders is only three months into his position but he is looking at the next phase of development for the 400+ acre research park.
Sanders succeeded long-time resident Steve Carter, who grew employment at the park from 930 jobs to nearly 3,000.
“If you compare us to any other research park, we’ve got some strengths that others don’t have. And for many research parks, we’re kind of the model they’d like to follow, and that’s all a credit and attributable to Steve Carter,” said Sanders. “He left this place with a great foundation and our opportunities based on that foundation I think are almost limitless.”
Sanders expects to focus on two key areas in the next stage of development: agtech and biorenewsables.
“I think when we get a decade down the road, we’re going to be able to look back and some place is going to have solidified their position in those two spaces. And as lofty as it sounds, I want us to be that spot,” Sanders said.
In three months, Sanders has opened up multiple facilities, including the John Deere Technology Center and the Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor.
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