Gettin' geeky! Twin Cities Startup Week highlights MN's tech prowess


It's been a busy – but likely rewarding – week for many of Minnesota's emerging techies.

Since Tuesday, tech-obsessed entrepreneurs have been treated to a flurry of seminars, panels, discussions and hands-on events as part of the 2015 Twin Cities Startup Week.

It all culminates in Startup Weekend Twin Cities, a 54-hour "Hackathon" where tech entrepreneurs get hands-on experience and advice. People pitched ideas Friday night, then teams formed around some of the more interesting ones – the next 54 hours are product development, business planning, marketing and strategy.

A working prototype needs to be ready by Sunday afternoon; and at 6 p.m. that night, the products and ideas that came from the Hackathon are put on display for a live crowd of fans, peers, judges, and tech supporters.

'Silicon Prairie'

And apparently, the North Star State is a pretty awesome place for tech startups right now – at least according to CNET.

The site says Minnesota is thriving because, unlike the "cutthroat" Silicon Valley, there are fewer competitors trying to get funding, meaning a better chance to score some financial support. Plus., the culture in Minnesota (which the site dubbed "Silicon Prairie") is a bit friendlier.

Writes CNET:

"Silicon Valley ideas get meshed with Midwestern values, resulting in a low-key and collaborative community of startups in Minnesota that stands in sharp contrast to the in-your-face, cutthroat lifestyle in California."

Though it is just one site's opinion. Recent lists by Investopedia, Bloomberg and smartasset don't have a Minnesota city in their top tech startup rankings.

This post by ListHunt picks one "best new-ish" startup from each state, and in Minnesota gives the nod to Reemo. It's a watch that allows you to control other systems, such as a computer or thermostat, with simple gestures.

Other events from Startup Week

Beta.MN, which on Tuesday showcased 15 startups. The Pioneer Press called it a "madhouse," with 15 companies – including Visual and its virtual reality software creator, Woodchuck's wood-centric accessories, and Astro-HQ's tablet graphics software – all on display.

MinneDemo, which the Star Tribune wrote about, a one-night event where emerging technology developers can show off what they're working on. On Thursday, for the 21st MinneDemo, a south Minneapolis theater was packed with nearly 700 attendees who heard pitches and watched presentations, the paper says.

Last iteration's presentations are available on YouTube, but the ones from this year's event aren't up.

– For a full look at the events (and there were many), check out the schedule page.

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