The world is in the grip of a pandemic that is testing our health systems, our governments, and our economies. COVID-19, known simply as the coronavirus, has hit 700,000 cases worldwide, with the U.S. now topping the list of countries affected. 

While a cure continues to elude us, there are practical steps being taken to limit the spread including social distancing, closing certain businesses, and encouraging/requiring people to stay at home. The resultant challenges for businesses, founders, and workers are great, and have driven immediate policy action including the recent passage of the CARES Act. 

To help you cut through the noise, we have curated helpful links below for those in the tech startup ecosystem. 

Resources for Startups

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act includes relief for founders, and small- and medium-sized businesses, including emergency funds, forgivable loans, and tax credits. Here is a complete overview of the CARES Act by The Center for American Entrepreneurship. They also have a section-by-section guide available, and provide other links including to the New Business Preservation Act that they hope will become part of the “Phase 4” response. 

The National Law Review published this summary of the CARES Act legislation. It’s written by a law firm and focused on employers, so it gets more detailed with taxes, credits, deductions, and etc.

The NVCA (National Venture Capital Association) has a COVID-19 page that includes Legislative Action Important to VC-backed Companies, Federal Agency Resources and Action, and other Resources for VCs and Startups. If you’re a startup looking to apply for SBA money, check out their guidance for navigating the SBA lending process.

International Government's Stimulus COVID-19
Governments around the world have started creating stimulus measures and loan programs. For more information on this, and on macro-economic impact, check out this presentation. (Source: “The economics of a pandemic: the case of Covid-19” by Paolo Surico and Andrea Galeotti, Professors of Economics at London Business School.)

General COVID-19 Resources

To keep people up-to-date on new developments during the pandemic, Axios runs a frequently-updated, concise dashboard here with only the latest developments. 

The New York Times is providing free access to stories on the coronavirus outbreak. 

Singularity University has uploaded recordings of it’s recent, three-day COVID-19 summit to YouTube. The summit featured global experts talking about the current state of the pandemic, future implications, and “Business Impact, Leadership, and Strategies for Today”, and attracted 23,000+. 

And of course, the CDC and WHO have special pages full of guidance and information regarding health concerns, questions, and research on the coronavirus. 

Events

Many events mentioned in previous newsletters have been rescheduled or cancelled, including gener8tor’s OnRamp Insurance Conference, Minnestar’s Minnebar 15, Medical Alley’s Annual Dinner, and MHTA’s annual Spring Conference. 

While we are sure to see a lot of autumn events, some are shifting to virtual delivery. 

Portfolio News

In non-pandemic news, Dispatch was named #5 on Forbes’s list of America’s Best Startup Employers! The list includes the top 500 to work for in the country, and was whittled down from over 2500 startups. 

2ndKitchen launched a new service to offer delivery for bars and breweries, which is a lifeline for these businesses when they have to be closed. 2go allows bars and breweries to sell beer, food, and merchandise for pickup or delivery- for free.

PrintWithMe is holding a Face Mask Drive. They are collecting unused N95 masks as well as simple surgical masks for Chicago hospitals.

Clinician Nexuspartnered with COVIDsitters to connect volunteer medical students with healthcare workers to provide free childcare.

Advisor News

Casey Allen has offered free help to recently unemployed tech people in Minnesota. The response has been large enough that he’s starting a newsletter that showcases MN tech startup people that are laid off.

Job Board

Dispatch is hiring a Business Development Rep in the Twin Cities; a Director of Sales, Senior Manager of Enterprise Sales, and Interns for Accounting, Business Development, Content Marketing, Customer Success, Human Resources, and Software Engineering in Bloomington, MN.

FactoryFixis hiring a Full Stack Developer, Infrastructure Developer- DevOps, and Team Lead- Full Stack Developer in Madison, WI; a Recruiter, and Business Development Rep in Chicago.

TeamGenius is hiring a Customer Success Associate. 

Misty Roboticsis hiring a Lead Qualification & Inside Sales Specialist, and an Inside Sales Specialist (contract) in Boulder, CO. 

2ndKitchenis hiring a Production and Inventory Associate,  Business Development Rep, and Account Executive in Chicago. 

PrintWithMe ishiring a Web Developer (Python) in Chicago; and Super User Technicians in Portland and Houston.

Parallax is hiring a Customer Success Specialist, Quality Assurance Engineer, Senior Software Engineer, and  Growth/Customer Acquisition in Minneapolis. 

NoiseAwareis hiring a COO, VP of Global Sales & Account Management, Product Marketing Manager, UI/UX Designer, Account Manager, and Customer Advocate in Dallas.

Exponential Tech with SingularityU Minneapolis-St. Paul

Great North Labs Managing Partner Ryan Weber is now co-ambassador for Singularity University’s chapter here in the Twin Cities! SingularityU Minneapolis-St.Paul is one of 126 SU chapters in 63 countries. 

Singularity University is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. Through their Grand Challenges, SU provokes moonshot thinking with global impact. Headquartered at NASA in Silicon Valley, SingularityUniversity empowers individuals andorganizations across the globe to learn, connect, and innovate breakthrough solutions using accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, anddigital biology. 

“In venture capital, we are looking at the next ten years- Singularity is looking beyond that at the next hundred.” – Ryan Weber

Great North Labs is excited to be part of this accomplished global community of innovators, and we think Singularity University is an important addition to the local techand venture ecosystem. Like Ryan and Rob Weber’s (and our advisors’) involvement in local incubator/accelerator mentorship programs, this venture will help develop and support the tech andstartup ecosystem in Minnesota andacross the Midwest. 

Technology is changing at an exponential pace, and bringing exponential changes with it (think cell phones, or the internet). There are people on the coasts at thebleeding edge of this new tech, generating patents and research, and many of these advances can be used here to create value with new products and startups.  

“The Midwest is in a unique position because of the large incumbent industry players, so that even if most of the research and patents are being created on the coasts, we are in the best position to create applications to harness these technologies.” -Ryan Weber

For example, while it may have been a Stanford team that led the charge to create the first self-driving vehicles, guess where they are building self-driving tractors? In Fargo, the Grand Farms initiative has applied for a grant to build thefirst fully-autonomous farm by 2025. One of the leaders of this moonshot initiative is Greg Tehven, executive director of Emerging Prairie and a Great North Labs advisor

Tomorrow, Nov. 9, Ryan Weber is partnering with Tehven to bring Great North Labs and SingularityU Minneapolis-St. Paul to Fargo with an Intro to Exponential Technology & LeadershipThe talk is from 3-4 p.m. at Prairie Den. If you’re in Fargo andwant to meet with Ryan one-on-one, sign up for a meeting time

Events

Nov. 27th-28th, IoT Summit Chicago, Chicago. In its sixth year, IoT Summit Chicago is a convergence of IoT thought leadership and innovation from across the region.

Nov. 29th2018 Tekne Awards, Minneapolis. “Each year the Tekne Awards shine a spotlight on Minnesota’s science and technology community by honoring innovation across numerous industries.”

Dec. 4th, December “State of Innovation” Meetup, Minneapolis. MinneInno’s periodic exploration of Twin Cities startup and innovation scene features food, drink, and networking in addition to a speaker, panel, or showcase. 

TBD, Anderson Center Governance Forum, 2019 dates and locations are forthcoming for this St. Cloud-based, 3-day forum aimed at improving theperformance and effectiveness of directors and board members. Visit thewebsite for inquiries.


Portfolio action

Dispatch is enjoying some remarkable growth, including mulit-city expansion, which has also led to increased investor interest.   

Great North Labs is considering multiple investments for Q4, as well as follow-on investments with existing investees. More exciting announcements are to come!


New advisors

Great North Labs recently welcomed four new advisors:

Ann Rupnow is the Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Coordinator at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Greg Tehven is the co-founder and director of Emerging Prairie, an adjunct professor at North Dakota State University’s College of Business, curator ofTEDxFargo, and host of 1 Million Cups Fargo.

John Sheehan is the VP of Product Management at CA Technologies. He formerly was the co-founder Runscope, and headed Developer Evangelism at Twilio.

Daren Cotter is the founder & CEO of InboxDollars. 

Welcome to the team!


Job Board

Dispatch is hiring Drivers in Cincinnati, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Orlando (and Ft. Mary), Fort Worth, and Minneapolis (and St. Paul and Golden Valley).
Structural is hiring an Account Executive and an Office Administrator.
FactoryFix is hiring a Vue.js Developer, and a Business Development Rep.
Team Genius  – watch for postings on the Team Genius website.
Pitchly – watch for postings on the Pitchly website
ZAPinfo – watch for postings on the ZAPinfo website.

SingularityU Minneapolis-St. Paul to explore and foster the use of Exponential Technologies for Good with local Fargo-area businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs

 

Fargo, North Dakota – November 9, 2018 – SingularityU Minneapolis-St.Paul will present an introduction to the exponential technologies that are rapidly shaping the future of humanity. These technologies are poised for quick growth and adoption, and have the potential to disrupt our lives in the next 20 years as much as the internet and mobile phones have in the past 20.

While business and technology leaders may wish to familiarize themselves solely to remain competitive and plan for the future, it is the mission of the SingularityU Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter to connect, energize, and enable leaders in the region to create solutions to global problems using these transformational technologies.

“As our regional leadership teams build local communities in support of the development of exponential technologies, the ability for meaningful global and local impact grows,” said Dharmishta Rood, Senior Director of Community Leadership at Singularity University.

Intro to Exponential Technology & Leadership will take place from 3-4 p.m. at Prairie Den, 122 1/2 N Broadway Dr., in Fargo. Tickets are required and registration is available free. Greg Tehven, Fargo local and Emerging Prairie founder, is co-hosting the event. Ryan Weber, SingularityU Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter co-ambassador, will present.

In addition to being co-ambassador of the SingularityU Chapter, Ryan Weber is a managing partner of St. Cloud-based Great North Labs, an early-stage venture fund and startup school. Weber often speaks on Lean Startup, exponential tech, and Midwest venture capital, and has presented at some of the largest games conferences around the world on mobile ad-tech as Chief Product Officer at NativeX, the company he co-founded with his twin brother, Rob Weber.

Singularity University (SU) is a global community with a mission to educate, inspire, and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges. SingularityU Chapters are created in partnership with local program participants and SU alumni, and are located in some of the most innovative and upcoming global technology centers in the world. To date, there are 126 SingularityU Chapters in 63 countries.

 

ABOUT SINGULARITY UNIVERSITY

Singularity University (SU) is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build a better future for all. SU’s collaborative platform empowers individuals and organizations across the globe to learn, connect, and innovate breakthrough solutions using accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, and digital biology. A certified benefit corporation headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, SU was founded in 2008 by renowned innovators Ray Kurzweil and Peter H. Diamandis with program funding from leading organizations including Google, Deloitte, and UNICEF. To learn more, visit SU.org, read the SU Blog, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @SingularityU, and download the SU App.

 

WANT TO GET INVOLVED?

  1. Visit Singularity’s website to sign up to the global community here
  2. Request to join the SingularityU Minneapolis-St.Paul Chapter here
  3. You will be notified by email of our next chapter meeting! Until then, you can get up to speed on Singularity University at SU.org, the SU Blog, or on the SU App. Follow the SingularityU Minneapolis-St.Paul Chapter on Facebook.

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