All About the New Sofia Fund – and Now Its First Investment


The news about a new angel fund in Minnesota appeared in the StarTribune in late January: “Sofia Fund receives nearly $4 million for angel fund”.  Just over two months later, the fund has announced its first investment — in Minneapolis-based Kidizen, a “kid resale marketplace to buy, sell, and swap your kid’s clothing, gear, toys, decor and more.” Here’s…  [Read More…]

Minnesota Serial-Entrepreneur Rockstar Phil Soran Is Now a VC


News broke today about the founding of a new venture capital firm composed mainly of Minnesota names, including partners from a VC firm with a name familiar to many here in Minnesota that is now being retired. Four Minnesotans, plus a transplanted one, form the core of the new firm, Icon Venture Partners (no web…  [Read More…]

A Minnesota Startup Returns from Silicon Valley, Wiser and Richer


Well, let’s say nicely funded, anyway — a fully subscribed seed round that fulfills their near-term capital needs. I wanted to write a post to report the latest update on this amazing Minnesota tech startup: Kidblog. You’ve seen me write about these guys before:  earlier this summer … and almost a year ago when I…  [Read More…]

Minnebar 2012: Tech Geek-Out!


Minnesota’s annual barcamp un-conference, aka Minnebar, returned for a seventh consecutive year on Saturday, April 7, and it was a blockbuster! Held again at Best Buy’s corporate headquarters in Richfield, the event attracted some 1300, the most in its history. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger — and better!  A pre-party the night before…  [Read More…]

More Fuel for NGIN

Space Shuttle

TST Media, the creators of the NGIN software platform has scored a round of financing led by El Dorado Ventures. When the ink dried on the agreement last week TST had secured $3.5 million to “grow existing business partnerships, drive software innovations and expand their talent base.” TST Media CEO and co-founder, Justin Kaufenberg noted…  [Read More…]

Workface Lands $900k in Venture Capital


We were delighted to see that friend of Minnov8, Lief Larson and crew, have landed $900k to accelerate their vision of delivering a platform to maximize sales force and customer service engagement for organizations. The Gang has used Workface’ profiles since the beginning and have watched this startup closely as they’ve continued to execute on…  [Read More…]

Apply for the Minnesota Angel Tax Credit for 2011

If you are raising capital for your tech startup, get certified for the Minnesota Angel Tax Credit as early as possible this year. The Angel Tax Credit is a huge incentive for investors. It helps them manage the risk associated with new ventures, and it may also indicate that your company is a safer bet…  [Read More…]

Minnov8 Gang 101 – Is Tech a Bubble?


We discuss a range of topics but the “Gang Mentality” segment covers what some are viewing as a “tech bubble” that is bound to burst. Listen and see if you agree or disagree. Hosts: Steve Borsch, Tim Elliott and Graeme Thickins (Phil Wilson is off this week) Music: Nony Zero & their song “Surfin’ the Blast Wave”…  [Read More…]

In Its 24th Year, Venture Conference Asks If Minnesota Has ‘Lost It’


We’ll find out Thursday, because I’ll be there to live-blog it all: the proceedings of the annual Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center, co-hosted as always by the Minnesota Venture Capital Association and The Collaborative. The blue-suit crowd will turn out once more to hash over where, oh, where is venture…  [Read More…]