CEO Mike Crest of Eden Prairie-based Arcserve was a veteran executive of New York-based CA Technologies last year in charge of data management. Arcserve was the former data protection-and-recovery unit within the much-larger CA.

In the second quarter of 2014, CA Technologies sold the data-protection solutions business, the predecessor to Arcserve, for $170 million, according to SEC filings, to lead investor Marlin Equity Partners and Crest and his management team.

"This was my dream for years," said Crest, 47, an Alexandria native. "Data protection and backup was almost a nonstrategic business within CA Technologies, but it was a very nice business."

Since the "carve-out" from CA Technologies a year ago, the Minnesota-reconstituted Arcserve has added 170 technology and other jobs for a total of 518 employees.

Crest won't divulge revenue of the now-private firm. However, year-over-year growth of core products such as Arcserve UDP Appliance and Unified Data Protection is up well over 100 percent. The company serves 45,000 customers in 150 countries.

We've seen this before. Languishing pieces of a larger company get refocused and turbocharged as a new, independent concern.

"Minnesota is a phenomenal place to build our company," said Crest, also ticking off several recent national industry awards for storage and backup software. "There is talent, a good work ethic, and integrity of the workforce here. As a result of our people, we've moved mountains. We have created brand awareness and we have executed.

"We can always improve. But I'm happy with where we are headed. And we are looking for more talented people."

Primp scored thanks partly to nonprofit

Michele Henry and Wesley Uthus, apparel designers and founders, started what is now six-store Primp in 2010 with $16,000 and a desire to build a Minneapolis-based fashion retailer that would be known as a "cheap chic boutique."

And the 30-something entrepreneurs, who employ 50 people, give great credit to Mort Harris, a retired businessman who has been their longtime business adviser. Harris is a longtime volunteer with Minneapolis SCORE, the oldest of 364 nonprofit chapters who, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, since 1964 has provided volunteer retirees to help small-business people plan, start and grow a business.

"Our mentor Mort … motivates us and reminds us that the end game is to grow the business," Henry said last week. "He has such solid business advice and has really helped us steer the ship. SCORE has such an amazing arsenal of wise business professionals that cater to specific departments, if there is ever something that our mentor Mort couldn't help us with, he always directs us to the correct individual."

The Primp duo will be presenting Tuesday at a SCORE-sponsored morning seminar and luncheon at the Minneapolis Golf Club called "Recipe for Success — A Woman's Perspective."

Jean Ketcham, co-founder of Aging but Dangerous, an organization of women over 50 that helps members overcome their fears to pursue new goals and enterprises, also will present, as will Jessica Altmann, an employment-law attorney who started her own practice this year. Reservations for the $35 seminar, including lunch, can be made at

New Minnesota-made biofuel sold at marina

A new biofuel made in Minnesota is now being sold as an alternative to ethanol-blended fuel for boats, but not yet in its home state.

The first marina to sell isobutanol produced in Luverne, Minn., by Gevo Inc., is on Lake Pomme de Terre in Missouri, the company said.

Isobutanol, an alcohol fermented from corn, doesn't have the water-absorption and corrosion issues of ethanol. The National Marine Manufacturers Association has endorsed isobutanol-blended gas as a "suitable and safe alternative" to ethanol blends for boat engines.

Gevo said it hopes to sell the fuel at other marinas in the Springfield, Mo., area, is in discussions with marinas in Texas, Wisconsin and Tennessee, and views all Great Lakes states as potential markets.


Schleicher honored at Minnesota Cup awards

Joel Schleicher, executive chairman of Cyber Risk Management, was named Minnesota's 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year last week at the 2015 Minnesota Cup business plan competition at the University of Minnesota.

Schleicher, a U of M-minted accountant, was chief operating officer of Nextel Communications, before starting Presidio Networked Solutions in 2003 and growing it to $1.4 billion in revenue before selling in 2011.

Cyber Risk Management, a 200-employee firm, is a growing firm focused on cyber-related IT governance, risk and compliance services.

John Stavig, professional director of the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship at the Carlson School of Management called Schleicher "a pioneer" who continues to build new ventures that create jobs and opportunities.

Brian Lassiter says …

"People are overworked. Maybe it's because the postrecession 'New Normal' is forcing all of us to do more with less. Maybe it's because 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day, forcing [the rest] of us to do more with less. Maybe it's because wages [for working stiffs] haven't kept up with inflation the last 30 to 40 years. Maybe it's because technology, with all of its positive impact on accessibility and productivity, has an ugly side effect in our collective inability to shut it off, disconnect, and recharge.''

And that's the good news. Lassiter, president of the Performance Excellence Network, goes on to cite a number of studies pointing out the implications of all this, most not pretty, in a recent blog at