When people think of Minnesota businesses, big names tend to come to mind: Target, Best Buy, Mayo Clinic, and numerous others. These Fortune 500s are a large source of Minnesota pride, but now a myriad of local startups are also representing the Twin Cities on the global stage.
The following are the top 7 reasons why the Twin Cities area might be the next Silicon Valley.
7. A rapidly growing network of tech startups is drawing investment opportunities to the region.
Since 2010, the number of tech startups in Minnesota has doubled: more than 500 tech startups have made the state their home since 2015; additionally, venture capitalists invested almost $203 million in the region in 2014. In fact, Minnesota was recently ranked 20th in the nation for venture funding.
6. A myriad of tech startup events provide fertile ground for budding Twin Cities entrepreneurs.
Events like the annual Twin Cities Startup Week offers resources to startup founders such as presentation sessions, mentorship opportunities, workshops, guest speakers, and more.
5. The region is home to innovative collectives and spaces dedicated to startup work and development.
Spaces like the “dream accelerator” COCO—short for Co-working and Collaborative—offer workspace, technical support, and other services to emerging, bootstrapped startups.
4. From March to May of 2016, Minnesota startups received over $90 million in funding.
Most tech startups eventually seek out funding and Minnesota startups aren’t lacking in this regard. Several local ventures have recently raised over a million dollars on their own, including Total Expert ($3 million) and Gila Therapeutics ($2.6 million).
3. The Twin Cities ranked 27th in the Kaufmann Foundation Index for startup growth.
Minneapolis/St. Paul ranks favorably on the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship, a system that measures the growth of entrepreneurship in 40 of the U.S.’ largest metropolitan areas.
2. The Twin Cities is home to global brands that partner with promising tech startups.
Minnesota’s globally-recognized known brands such as General Mills, Target, and Best Buy often help to promote local tech startups with various co-marketing events and sponsorship activities. These enterprises foster partnerships with local entrepreneurs to give their startups an extra push.
1. The Twin Cities culture of “Minnesota nice” cultivates a heightened sense of collaboration and community.
Unlike Silicon Valley’s hypercompetitive culture, Minnesota’s relaxed, friendly Midwestern atmosphere provides a unique community for startups to grow. Silicon Valley ideas of technology and innovation are never far from sight, however, resulting in a prime mix for startups.
Minnesota may be a long ways from Silicon Valley, but the Twin Cities area is fast becoming a hub of tech innovation in its own right. Be sure to check out 13 Tech Startups from Minneapolis/St. Paul You Need to Know About to learn more about the tech upstarts in this region.