Great North Labs Newsletter – December 2017

  • Great North Ventures

    Dec 13 2017

Great North Labs Newsletter December 2017
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you and your families.
We are excited to report that we are now ready to begin making investments out of our fund into regional high growth startups!
We will share updates on our new portfolio companies in future newsletters.
Upcoming Startup School Events

  • -Lean Startup Bootcamp
    • -Date: Monday (1/8) and Tuesday (1/9) from 8:30am to 4:00pm
    • -Instructor: Ryan Weber (Founding Partner of Great North Labs)
    • -Location: UMN Carlson School in Minneapolis
    • -Description: Learn, and begin applying, the lean startup practice so that you can eliminate waste in planning and growing your startup.
    • -Open to students and small business professionals of any type, profit or non-profit, high-tech or no-tech, for free or mid-to-large business professionals for a low cost. Find more information and apply to participate at our website.


  • -Agile Scrum Crash Course
    • -Date: January 15th, 9am – 5pm
    • -Instructor: James DonFrancesco (President, Great North Labs Startup School)
    • -Location: CoCo Minneapolis
    • -Description: Learn, and begin applying, foundational concepts of Agile Scrum like improved work transparency, a more organized daily work routine, and smoother collaboration amongst you and your teams.
    • -Free for Students and Founders
    • -Training Fee for Professionals / Corporate Teams

New to Our Blog
“Letter to My Younger Self” by Rob Weber.
37 year old Rob shares founder advice to his 20 year old self.
KPIs/Key Milestones:

  • We hired our first Analyst Intern, Hieu Nguyen. Hieu joins us after spending time at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Shoreline Growth Partners, and Cargill Feed & Nutrition. Hieu will be working primarily with Ryan to review potential investments.
  • We have added several new advisors to our fund, including Jared Oasheim (Controller at CVRx and formerly of Sports Engine, Compellent Technologies), Kevin Raheja (Director of Strategy Partnerships at HubSpot, formerly Groupon and LeadPages), Ben Edwards (Recently joined Sphero spin-off Misty Robotics,  formerly Co-Founder of SmartThings & Minnestar)
  • In November, Rob participated in the Early Stage Symposium in Madison put on by the Wisconsin Technology Council.
  • Our first Blockchain Trends Meetup was a success in late October attracting over 25 participants from beginners to some of our region’s top blockchain startup founders and blockchain enthusiasts discussing the latest crypto currency and blockchain technology trends.  We plan to continue to host this and other meetups as part of our focus on disruptive technologies, including another Bitcoin Trends Meetup Event Thursday, 12/14 at Excelsior Brewing Co in Excelsior, MN.


  • 16 participants joined us for our recent St. Cloud Lean Startups Bootcamp.  However, the participation from students was lower than we hoped.
  • We’ve received limited applications for our Digital Marketing Specialist Intern and still have the position open.

Help Wanted/Asks:

  • Help us get the word out about our upcoming bootcamps and now active fund.
  • Join the December 14th fireside chat with Rob Weber at Startup Grind St. Paul.
  • Follow @GreatNorthLabs on Twitter for the latest information on startup activity at Great North Labs and in our region.

We wish you the very best in the new year and thank you for your ongoing support!
The Great North Labs  Team



Lean Startup Bootcamp
January 8th & 9th / 8:30am – 4pm
Agile Scrum Crash Course
January 15th / 9am – 5pm


SGX Fireside Chat w/ Great North Labs Venture Fund General Partner, Rob Weber
Saint Paul
December 14, 2017 / 5:30pm
Bitcoin Trends Meetup
Excelsior Brewing Co, Excelsior MN
December 14, 2017 / 5:30pm