Staff Directory 7663002

Nick Williams

Reporter | Business
Recent content from Nick Williams
“Skippy,” Carbon Origins’ delivery robot, during a lunch run in St. Paul’s skyway last week.

St. Paul company's robot delivers to-go orders and groceries

Carbon Origins has already deployed "Skippy" for deliveries in St. Paul and is looking to expand deliveries on the University of Minnesota campus and in the North Loop.
Dipankar Mukherjee, Meena Natarajan (both of Pangea World Theater), Ruhel Islam (owner of Gandhi Mahal) and Riz Prakasim (business manager of Gandhi M

Gandhi Mahal owner hopes to help heal Lake Street community while rebuilding restaurant

Along with Pangea Theater, he hopes to open the Center for Peace and Social Justice, a near-14,000-square-foot development that would include the Indian restaurant, a theater for Pangea, and co-working and incubation space for businesses owned by people of color.
Lifespark founder and CEO Joel Theisen

St. Louis Park senior care company raises $20M, adds UCare as investor

The fresh capital will be allocated to expanding services and investing in Lifespark's intelligence engine.
Andrea Burns and her brother Joseph Wallace own Independent Packing Services in Crystal. “It’s cool to know we played a part” in the global supp

Crystal packing business plays key supply chain role during pandemic

Company uses 3-D modeling to design and manufacture custom wood and corrugated crates for shipping large equipment.
Steele Smiley is in the middle of Lake Street in Wayzata with his restaurants Crisp & Green and Stalk & Spade in the background.

Why Crisp & Green founder sees business magic on Wayzata's Lake Street

Steele Smiley will launch Paco & Lime, a Mexican fast-casual restaurant, on Lake Street in January 2022.
Twin Ignition Ventures partners Scott Aubitz, Ben Rasmussen and Seth Peter at the Twin Ignition Startup Garage, an incubator and coworking space that

Twin Ignition founders energized by mentoring next generation of Minnesota entrepreneurs

Their goal is to invest and mentor companies that would collectively create 100,000 jobs across the Twin Cities in the next 20 years.
Kirk Nielsen is a Minneapolis-based managing partner at Vensana Capital.

Edina's Vensana Capital nets $325 million for second venture fund

The firm has made 10 investments since its creation in 2019.
Stop N Shop Store, destroyed by fire during the rioting following the killing of George Floyd in 2020, has been rebuilt and reopened on Tuesday.

'Welcome back': Last original tenant reopens in strip mall off Lake Street

The Stop N Shop convenience store and gas station reopened after it sustained more than $1 million in damage during riots after the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020.
Elias Baker, left, Allisa Song and Mackenzie Andrews of Nanodropper.

Rochester startup Nanodropper wins MN Cup top prize

Led by a Mayo Clinic medical student, Nanodropper Inc. won the $50,000 grand prize, in addition to $25,000 for winning its division.
Neela Mollgaard, executive director of Launch Minnesota

State taps startup to help connect Minnesota entrepreneurs with mentors

Nearly 150 people have registered for Minnesota Exchange, which automatically makes weekly introductions based on a user's availability.
What's happening during Twin Cities Startup Week

What's happening during Twin Cities Startup Week

Organizers have implemented COVID-19 protocols. All guests are required to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 results within the last 72 hours before entering any event.
Groove Capital founder Reed Robinson and head of platform Mickayla Rosard at Twin Ignition Startup Garage.

Next step for Twin Cities startups: Finding more wealthy Minnesotans to be angel investors

Groove Capital is building a network of investors that would act as the first to invest in startups across Minnesota.
The first annual MN Music Fest during Twin Cities Startup week will take place at the First Avenue concert venue.

Music festival, arts and pop-up stores added to this year's Twin Cities Startup Week

Twin Cities Startup Week is the second largest startup week series in the U.S. behind Denver. Its success has much to do with the backing of local Fortune 500 companies.
Francis Medical developed this water vapor ablation therapy used for treating prostate cancer.

Minn. medtech firms Francis Medical and Flywheel attract new investors

Flywheel will use its $22 million in fresh capital to acquire St. Louis-based Radiologics.
Ryan Broshar, left, and Natty Zola of Matchstick Ventures

Matchstick Ventures raises $55M for latest fund

The fund is the firm's third and largest to date. Matchstick's partners aim to make up to 35 deals from the fund over the next several years.
Designer Mizrrain Lias with Edicion Especial, left, showed his work to a shopper during the first day of the Latino Business Week pop-up shopping show

Groups, including Target, shed light on Latino businesses with downtown pop-up event

Target, Chameleon Shoppes, Latino Economic Development Center team up for pop-up event on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.
The JB Hudson Jewelers Building on Nicollet Mall Friday in Minneapolis.

After 136 years in downtown Mpls., JB Hudson Jewelers to close

A new store in Wayzata will open under the name of Gunderson's Jewelers, the Iowa retailer that bought JB Hudson.
Zoe Levin is the CEO of Bim Bam Boo.

Minneapolis toilet paper brand sees sales skyrocket during pandemic

Bim Bam Boo brand of bamboo-based toilet paper is now carried in Cub Foods and Whole Foods.
Food delivery drivers waited behind a designated low-contact window at Quang Restaurant in Minneapolis on Aug. 28.

Worker shortages, higher food prices rattle Minn. restaurants

While the creativity has driven what could be permanent changes in the industry, it has not saved many. More than half believe they could be in financial collapse or insolvency in the next six months to a year.
Pluralytics’ software has analyzed millions of words and phrases which helps the platform scan for patterns and predict how language appeals to a pe

Mpls. startup helps companies like Best Buy, Great Clips choose the right words

Pluralytics AI company launched in March 2020 and is the brainchild of former Public Radio International executives Alisa Miller and Rick Byrne and technologist Morteza Nia.
Sezzle CEO and executive chairman Charlie Youakim, left, and Paul Paradis, executive director and president, both founders of Sezzle.

Sezzle accelerates growth with $30M investment from Discover credit services

Sezzle also recently filed a preliminary registration statement with the SEC regarding its IPO in the U.S.
IWCO Direct is closing its Little Falls plant.

Over 300 workers will lose jobs with Little Falls plant closure

IWCO direct-mailing company is closing its facility around Jan. 1.
After scoring a contract with Kowalski’s earlier this month, Belen Rodriguez’s Quebracho empanadas can now be found in 50 stores in Minnesota, Wis

St. Paul entrepreneur now has her empanadas in 50 stores, including Kowalski's

Quebracho started as a side hustle. Now it's a growing frozen food business.
RV and boat maker Winnebago has 6,500 employees, with approximately 100 based out of its Eden Prairie office.

Winnebago officially says headquarters are in Eden Prairie

In a news release, the company stated it will remain "strongly rooted" in northern Iowa and added there is no planned job loss as a result of the transition.
Branch CEO Atif Siddiqi

Fast-rising Mpls. fintech Branch raises $48M to build pay-by-the-day systems

The company also secured a $500 million credit facility that will allow it to work with far more employers and employees.
Apple tapped Minneapolis-based Inspectorio as one of 15 companies nationally to receive investment and other guidance in an accelerator program it ope

Apple picks Inspectorio of Mpls. for accelerator, shot at vendor relationship

Apple's Impact Accelerator was created to support equity and opportunity in the environmental solutions sector.
CEO Grady Hannah wears the NightWare software-equipped Apple watch.

NightWare raises $1M to further develop technology to help PTSD sufferers

The funds will be applied to commercial development and completing randomized clinical trials of the product, said CEO Grady Hannah.
Shari Ballard, a former top executive at Richfield-based retailer Best Buy Co., has been named the new chief executive of the Minnesota United FC majo

Former Best Buy exec named new CEO of Minnesota United

Shari Ballard will take over for Chris Wright, who is stepping down at the conclusion of the season.
Arctic Wolf President Nick Schneider

Eden Prairie cyber firm Arctic Wolf names new CEO

Nick Schneider, previously the company's president and chief revenue officer, succeeds Brian NeSmith, who will serve as executive chairman.
Natalie Standridge, founder of Casa de Corazón, said her company is fielding franchising opportunities in Texas, Florida and more.

Casa de Corazon expanding Spanish-immersion childcare centers to other U.S. markets

In addition to more locations around Minnesota and Wisconsin, owner Natalie Standridge is actively marketing franchising opportunities in Texas, Colorado, Washington and Florida.
A guest watches a livestreamed gaming event at Version1’s new headquarters at the Vikings headquarters in Eagan.

Twin Cities e-sports companies riding video gaming surge

Juniper Research expects there will be more than 1 billion e-sports and gaming viewers by 2025.
Melvin Tennant, president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis

Tourism industry starts to return in Minneapolis: 'We were devastated'

Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant spoke with the Star Tribune about challenges and encouraging signs.
Pro team sponsors pay to have their brands displayed in stadiums. During the pandemic, teams like Minnesota United had to get creative in fulfilling t

Minnesota pro sports teams switched playbook on sponsorships because of pandemic

The teams had to become creative and find more ways to connect their sponsor to fans through digital means, and some of those ideas will stick even as stadiums fill with fans again.
In June, True North Collaborative held a preview event inside Seven Points in Uptown, where people toured the cafe and studio spaces and sampled items

True North Collaborative in Uptown offers pop-up space for small businesses, cafe

The space is inside the Seven Points in Uptown, and it hopes small businesses will grow enough to rent their own space.
Niron Magnetics is developing an advanced manufacturing process for the mass production of permanent magnets.

University of Minnesota spinout Niron Magnetics raises $21.3M to build new facility

Niron Magnetics produces permanent magnets for use in industrial motors, audio speakers, magnetic sensors, consumer appliances and wind turbines.
Minneapolis plant-based food brand Wicked Kitchen is launching in the U.S. through Kroger and Sprouts Farmers Market locations.

Minneapolis plant-based food startup Wicked Kitchen scores Kroger deal

The company — whose headquarters is located in Finnovation Lab, the office space atop the Finnegans House building downtown — also received $14 million in venture capital.
Kathryn Nelson and helper Sue Ann Elenbaas on Monday pour finished granola into bins for packaging the Coco, Bee & Nut granola. They work out of a com

Entrepreneur turns favor for friend into gluten- and grain-free granola business

Kathryn Nelson's granola variations are being sold at nearly 50 stores across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Jay Johnson, president of Revol Greens, the Owatonna company that raised $200 million from venture capitalists in the second half of last year.

Minnesota firms pull in $500 million of venture capital in first half of year

But it will be tough to beat the 2020 total because Minnesota companies raised so much capital in the second half of last year.
Ruby the goldendoodle was pampered by groomer Nikki Kilbo at the Maple Grove Bubbly Paws location.

Bubbly Paws dog grooming expanding beyond Twin Cities

During the pandemic, owners saw increase in people wanting to use self-serve and full-service dog grooming salons.
Anna Vogt, program manager at Joyce Uptown Foodshelf in the Uptown area, said heightened police presence may be discouraging regular clients from visi

Uptown in flux: Residents express concerns about safety

Residents and business owners rattled by a wave of vandalism, stunt driving and gunfire in Uptown Minneapolis hope the area quiets down now that crews have cleared a makeshift memorial garden that some saw as a magnet for criminal activity.
Arctic Wolf is a multimillion dollar cybersecurity company that moved to Eden Prairie from California in 2020.

Eden Prairie cybersecurity firm Arctic Wolf raises another $150 million

The fresh capital gives the company a total valuation of $4.3 billion.
Laura Meemken, CEO and co-founder of All Clean Food

Minnetonka therapist turns clean food lifestyle into growing business venture

Their pastas, which are gluten-free, can be found in local food cooperatives like Lakewinds and Harvest Moon. In the fall, Lunds & Byerlys, Hy-Vee and Meijer stores will start carrying them, the company said.
Parallax CEO Tom O’Neil, right, with company leaders Amanda Anderson and Dave Annis.

Edina tech firm — which helps other firms predict business — closes on funding round

Parallax was formed by former leaders at the Nerdery and now has 30 employees.
Lead operator Adam Schill works on the mostly alcohol-free beer, which is being put in kegs from a machine that separates alcohol from a brewed beer a

Expanding St. Paul company's machines remove alcohol from beer, then make hard seltzer

ABV Technology's expansion gave it four times as much space and will allow the company to increase its markets.
AmVentureX’s KetoCoach blood ketone meter is a device for anyone looking to track their progress while participating in the keto diet.

Minneapolis device company moves into diabetic testing market

AmVentureX is developing a glucose biometer that aims to show how foods and fasting affect a person's blood sugar levels.
J.L. Buchanan is a retail consulting firm for brands and suppliers to Target stores. It’s also a “results-only work environment,” or ROWE, where

How small Top Workplaces adapted to working remotely during the pandemic

Flexibility, opportunity for upward mobility are among the elements that help small businesses thrive.
Maazah is in growth mode, recently getting a spot at food hall Keg and Case. From left are Nasreen Sajady, Fatima Sajady, Yasameen Sajady, Sheilla Saj

St. Paul chutney maker Maazah eyes growth, lands Keg and Case spot

Recent acceptance into a Minneapolis-based food accelerator and upcoming presence in the St. Paul food hall will fuel growth.
Annie Qaiser sells her Silk Road Wellness products at Mall of America’s Community Commons.

Halal-certified wellness brand is growing in Minnesota, thanks in part to the Mall of America

The products can also be found at food co-ops and other boutique stores in the Twin Cities.
Brightstone Venture Capital general partners David Dalvey, left, and Patrick O’Shaughnessy.

Brightstone targets $50M for third venture capital fund

The firm has raised an initial $24.5 million for the latest fund, which includes backing from its largest existing limited partner investors.
Target has signed a three-year contract to use Sezzle’s financial platform.

Target to use Minneapolis startup's buy now, pay later platform

Sezzle's product will be used in Target stores and across the retailer's digital platforms
The Nanodropper, from the Rochester-based company of the same name, is an attachment to regular eyedrop bottles that makes droplets smaller to reduce

Minnesota startup's device helps make more accurate eye drops

Researchers developed a device that reduces size of eye droplets by 60%, which could save some patients hundreds of dollars a year.
Soona founders Hayley Anderson, left, and Liz Giorgi secured $10.2 million in funding.Provided by Soona.

Photo service firm Soona's expansion includes adding 60 workers in Minneapolis

Soona recently secured $10.2 million in funding.
A look at Lake Street one year after hundreds of buildings were damaged in the unrest following the murder of George Floyd.

Damaged Twin Cities businesses face a long road back after riots

More than 1,500 businesses were damaged along Lake Street and in other business districts in Minneapolis and St. Paul in last summer's riots. Rebuilding goes on, and could take years.
Tameka Jones, owner of Lip Esteem, worked Sunday at her booth at the Farmers Market Annex, Sunday.

After being furloughed, makeup artist launches beauty brand, is on reality series

The majority of sales are through the company's website, but Lip Esteem also has a brick and mortar partner and placement at two local farmer's markets.
ProsperStack co-founders Graham Floyd, left, and Tony Sternberg in their co-working space at Twin Ignition Startup Garage.

Minneapolis firm creates software — for other software companies — that prevents customer churn

Minneapolis software company ProsperStack just closed on a round of private equity funding.
Tony Lesicka, founder and CEO of Coverlease.

Stillwater startup delivers 'leasing intelligence' to real estate industry

After a $1 million funding boost, the Coverlease app is now on the market.
At the former Ford Plant in St. Paul, MN on May 10, 2021, L to R: TurnSignl CFO Andre Creighton, CEO Jazz Hampton, and CRO(Chief Revenue Officer) Mych

Minneapolis friends create video app that connects drivers with lawyers during traffic stops

Following the police killing of George Floyd in 2020, three Black men from the Twin Cities left their full-time jobs to develop an app they hope will mend relations between people and the police.
CEO Aaron Kardell of Minneapolis-based HomeSpotter.

Minneapolis app maker HomeSpotter acquired by Ontario tech firm

Lone Wolf Technologies can provide data to bring new services to market.
A-Rod's partner in buying Wolves, Lynx, Marc Lore knows a thing or two about deals

A-Rod's partner in buying Wolves, Lynx, Marc Lore knows a thing or two about deals

Marc Lore's next target: the Lynx and Wolves.
Quyen Balter meditates in her home office using the service she created, Peach Mindfulness.

Twin Cities woman, with Buddhist monk's help, creates tech to help people destress

Unsatisfied with options on the market, entrepreneur creates her own virtual assistant to help with meditation.
Veteran biotech executive takes reins at Eagan health care AI company

Veteran biotech executive takes reins at Eagan health care AI company

Engle plans to invest in R&D pipeline aimed at data-driven cancer treatments.
“When people are in pain and they need help, you cannot give yourself the luxury of closing for an extended period of time,” said Josey Perez of h

Health services providers remain committed to Lake Street

Wellness operations rebuild using mix of grants, loans and crowdfunding.
Twins officials Derek Falvey, back row, and, in the front, Joe Pohlad, left, and Jim Pohlad watched a Twins scrimmage at Target Field last July.

Twins, Techstars launching new business accelerator in Minneapolis

The program will be the first of its kind in Minnesota sports, and just the second to be operated and funded by an MLB team
Compute North raised $25 million in the first quarter. The company uses modular buildings, such as this one with cooling vents, to house computers eng

Minnesota firms raised $287M in venture capital so far this year

If the pattern of higher deals continues, Minnesota companies could surpass last year's record of $1.86 billion in total capital investments
SiteKick's team is developing software to monitor construction sites from afar. From left to right, Ram Tallapaka, Jordan Hagel, Justin Youngbluth

Minneapolis software startup gets $2.3M in funding, signs Ryan Cos. as client

It allows construction site monitoring from afar.
George Demou, CEO of Avtex. (Provided photo)

Bloomington tech company Avtex acquired in $490M deal

Avtex CEO to become president of TTEC Digital business segment
Mike Mikan is president and CEO of Bright Health.

Bright Health snaps up local telehealth company Zipnosis

Health insurer Bright Health acquires local telehealth business Zipnosis
Target's corporate headquarters in downtown Minneapolis.  (David Joles/Star Tribune)

Target partners with group founded by Van Jones to diversify tech job candidates

The Target Cohort Partnership is a nontraditional way for people to get a foot in the door at the retailer.