Welcome back to the Great North Ventures newsletter! We have some great funding news, insights for founders and investors from our partners, and a former Yahoo and Disney exec on our podcast, Una Fox!

FactoryFix has raised a $10M Series A. The company has grown it’s revenue by over 400% in the past year, and expanded its talent network to more than 300,000. Grotech Ventures led the round which included Great North Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Capital Midwest, and JFF Labs.

“The manufacturing industry in the US is buzzing right now. Every company we talk to has turned down business at some point because they didn’t have enough qualified people to fulfill the order,” said CEO Patrick O’Rahilly. 

If you’re interested in a humorous take on the state of American manufacturing, check out FactoryFix’s off-beat, “The Office” style YouTube comedy series

In Episode 9 of “Execution is King” we feature Una Fox, a Chief Global Data & Analytics Officer and former Yahoo and Disney exec. Una provides great guidance for founders on what it means to really be data-driven, and how to build that into your venture from the beginning. 

“You know, startup a founder might be thinking, ‘Well, there’s only two of us here. What does that mean?’ It means that you have to bring the data to any discussion and stand up, any meeting when you’re getting together.” 

Who does Una see executing? A VR wellness company called Tripp.

Visit the Great North Ventures website for some fresh insights from our Managing Partners.

Pradip Madan talks about the outlook for Rapid Consumer Detection Technologies in 2022. Spoiler alert: The outlook is good. 

Rob Weber talks through whether founders should start with a native mobile app or a web app. Spoiler alert: the title gives it away. “Start With a Mobile App, Not a Website”.

Portfolio Updates


FactoryFix, a Recruiting Platform for Manufacturers to Hire Workers, Raises $10M Series A

Allergy Amulet Secures NSF Funding for Lactose Detection

NextGem’s waitlist is open for early users. If you’re interested in trading cards or testing the app, check it out.

TeamGenius has released Hockey Labs, a new youth hockey training app

131 Open Positions

See all open positions on the Great North Ventures careers page

Dispatch is hiring for 74 positions

Structural is hiring for 3 positions

FactoryFix is hiring for 4 positions

TeamGenius is hiring for 1 position

Pitchly is hiring for 4 positions

PrintWithMe is hiring for 8 positions

Parallax is hiring for 5 positions

Branch is hiring for 17 positions

Inhabitr is hiring for 2 positions

Clinician Nexus is hiring for 1 position

NoiseAware is hiring for 1 position

PartySlate is hiring for 6 positions

Flywheel is hiring for 2 positions

NextGem is hiring for 2 positions

Backhouse Brands is hiring for 1 position

Welcome back to the Great North Ventures newsletter! (Sign up here!) We are excited for the launch of our new podcast and Fund II investing!

Our new podcast is live! Check out “Execution is King” on SpotifyGoogle PodcastsApple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts!

Join me, Josef Siebert, and either Ryan or Rob Weber as we interview founders, investors, and ecosystem builders to uncover insights and best practices for the next generation of global startup founders. 

As mentioned in our last newsletter, Fund II is now open for business! We have officially made our first investment outside of our own venture studio projects. Early-stage founders, check out our Founders page for criteria and to get in touch.

Portfolio Updates

Skillit is new to the portfolio! Skillit is a jobs and recruitment platform that matches skills-tested carpenters with great construction firms.

Flywheel has raised a $22M Series C round from 8VC, Great North Ventures, and others. Flywheel will use raised capital to acquired St. Louis-based Radiologics.

TeamGenius raises $1.1 million to expand its athlete development platform

Airbnb partner Migo taps NoiseAware for noise-monitoring solution

PrintWithMe Announces New Platform for Expansion, WithMe, Inc.

FactoryFix Successful Series “Factory Made” Offers Viewers Peak into American Manufacturing

Hotels open the door to the next evolution in room service [2ndKitchen]
 

Open Positions

See all open positions on the Great North Ventures careers page

Great North Venturesis hiring 6 interns for Summer 2022

Dispatch is hiring for 41 positions

FactoryFixis hiring for 7 positions

TeamGeniusis hiring for 1 position

2ndKitchenis hiring for 5 positions

PrintWithMe ishiring for 13 positions

Parallaxis hiring for 9 positions

Branch is hiring for 14 positions

Inhabitr is hiring for 3 positions

Clinician Nexusis hiring for 1 position

PartySlateis hiring for 1 position

Flywheelis hiring for 2 positions

Welcome to Silicon Lakes!

The legacy of cornfields and flyover states taints the national perception of the modern Midwest. It’s led the area to be overlooked and under-capitalized by investors who paper the coasts with venture dollars.

While the name “Silicon Prairie” attempts to characterize the tech innovation occurring in America’s heartland, it’s a broad swath including an 8-state region (the name can also refer to two other regions, one in Texas, and one in Illinois).

The upper Midwest, near the Great Lakes, has a more dense collection of innovation hubs built around legacy industrial centers including Chicago, Minneapolis, Grand Forks, Des Moines, and Madison.

As investors like Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund are turning towards the interior, bringing much-needed capital to the area, our own Pradip Madan breaks down the common characteristics of innovation hubs the world over and evaluates the upper Midwest’s potential to become “Silicon Lakes”.

Events

July 25th, Minneapolis. Ryan Weber has been instrumental in organizing the Digital Transformation Summit for Digerati. This is an exclusive, small-crowd event for local leaders to learn and network. Speakers include Weber, Managing Partner of Great North Labs; Mark Ritchie, former MN Secretary of State; and Gene Munster, formerly of Piper Jaffray and head of Loup Ventures. Keep an eye on the site as more speakers are added, and visit the link to request an invitation!

August 16th-23rd, Madison. Forward Fest is an 8-day tech and entrepreneurship festival, the largest such event in Wisconsin. Ryan Weber will be there, so reach out if you’re in Madison and want to meet up!

August 20-22nd, Grand Forks. UAS Summit & Expo. What is UAS? Unmanned Aerial Systems: drones, their controllers and operators. This summit is in its twelfth year!

Portfolio action

FactoryFix is a new addition to the GNL portfolioIt is a labor marketplace for manufacturing businesses to find and contract skilled talent. The team is based out of Chicago and includes founder Patrick O’Rahilly, co-founder of Compass Automation.

New advisors

Great North Labs welcomed four new advisors in the past month:

Alex Ryan- Founder of Bitmatter; Co-Founder/CTO of Starting 11
Julie Novack-CEO/Co-Founder PartySlate
Jackie Schneider-CRO, Field Nation; Formerly Global Vice President of Sales at Proto Labs
Shannon Wiger-VP, Spring Hill Capital; Director of Business Development at Moss and Barnett

Job Board

FactoryFix is hiring a Business Development/Sales intern
Dispatch is hiring for sales, business development, driving and software engineering
Structural is hiring a back-end software engineer, and a customer success specialist

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