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Continued: Schafer: Advice is great, but start-up companies also need cash

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 29, 2013 - 4:11 PM

The co-founders of a Twin Cities e-commerce start-up called Cympel just moved to Omaha to join the first class of an accelerator that’s getting underway there after July 4th.

Cympel may never generate a dime of payroll taxes in any jurisdiction, and co-founder and CEO Jesse Hultgren said they plan to spend the summer in Omaha and then move back home. But it’s still not great news for Minnesota innovation that anyone leaves for greener grass in Omaha.

Ernest Grumbles, a co-founder of the advocacy and innovation collaborative called MOJO Minnesota, noted that there are several incubators and other programs in Minnesota that serve some of the function that Project Skyway did, and more are in the works. But he called a technology accelerator “an essential tool for the community, both generally and in this time and place.”

So you’d think he’d be sorry to see Project Skyway go away. He would be, too — were it not for Allen’s and Erdem’s new investment focus.

“That in itself is a positive development,” Grumbles said. “We did not have a tech seed fund, and now we do.”


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