How Does Minneapolis Fit In The Startup Ecosystem?


The managing partner of Bread & Butter Ventures, Mary Grove, and the managing director of Rally Ventures, Justin Kaufenberg recently discussed their investment strategies with City Spotlight Minneapolis. These two  executives who have invested in some of Minneapolis  promising businesses  are using  their city  as the vantage point to evaluate what is happening across the U.S federation.

When the conversation about the best cities to invest is brought up, the usual suspects are New York, Boston, the Bay Area and such. Cities like Minneapolis would hardly ever come up in such conversations. But according to Grove and Kaufenberg although the focal point for investments were clustered around certain areas in the past, the last decade and half has ushered in some transformational changes to the Minneapolis ecosystem.

Investors are growing an obsession with the massive opportunities that exist in abundance in Minnesota, and the Midwest in general. Chief among these opportunities is the distinctive diversity of the economy. Minnesota has at least 57 companies grossing over a billion dollars in annual revenue. Grove refers to Minnesota as the “headquarters economy” as it houses the big players such as Mayo Clinic, General Mills, Target, Cargill, Ecolab, United Healthcare, US Bank, Securian just to name a few. The list is huge even though the bulk of the companies active in this region are mostly into digital health, food tech, and enterprise SaaS.

When Minneapolis comes up in conversations with investors from all over the country, it mostly bother on leveraging on the blossoming local Minneapolis labour market by creating a sales hub or new office in the area.

According to Kaufenberg,  when it comes to sales talent, Minneapolis has no known match. This perhaps is the reason why it has been relatively easy to convince companies from both coasts to establish their whole sales organization in Minneapolis. Minneapolis offers an unexplainable attention, even a level of press visibility for those looking for work opportunities.

As originally  reported in (