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MESA Announces New Premier Partner – Wise IT Consulting

Minneapolis, MN – September 27, 2023  Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory (MESA), a non-profit, pro bono mentoring organization inspired to make Minnesota’s software economy rank among the most vibrant and respected in the nation, is announcing its sixth foundation partner – Wise IT Consulting. Wise IT Consulting is a Minnesota based company focused on delivering IT talent the way their clients want it. Whether a client is looking for contract, contract to hire or direct hire; Wise IT has proven to deliver highly qualified consultants that often exceed clients’ expectations. Unique in the industry – Wise IT provides complete rate transparency, and matches not only [...]

September 27, 2023|

MESA Mentees Raise $740 Million in Capital

  MESA’s mission is to make Minnesota’s software economy rank among the largest and most vibrant in the nation. Our 47 C-level mentors freely give their time with no compensation to help speed learning and reduce risk for the software companies in our MESA program. Over 12 years, MESA has served 76 startup and emerging-growth software companies. MESA is pleased to announce that to date those companies have raised $740 million in capital to fuel their growth and continued success. We're proud that our efforts have helped them achieve that growth. MESA’s reward is simple – it’s the success of [...]

August 14, 2023|

Fulcrum’s Purpose-Driven Vision to Support the Craft of Manufacturing

Yu Sunny Han is on a mission. He and his company, Fulcrum, celebrate the craft of manufacturing and its ability to unleash innovation, power progress and grow the economy. In the face of consolidation overseas, Sunny wants to preserve the artisan craft of manufacturing, so high-quality products and new ideas continue to flourish here in the United States. Fulcrum is a cloud-based software system that includes everything from demand planning and scheduling to quality control and inventory for small to mid-size manufacturing creators. With elegant, easy-to-use software, Fulcrum takes complex business problems and decision-making in today’s manufacturing environment and applies [...]

August 4, 2023|

Jim Moar Shares Key Learnings Critical to Entrepreneurial Success at Minnebar 17

At Minnebar 17, Jim Moar, a MESA co-founder and current president, spoke in a well-attended session on MESA learnings from over 12 years of mentoring 76 startups. MESA’s five critical startup business needs have shown to repeat themselves, and Jim shared these to help emerging businesses understand what it takes to be successful. Highlights from Jim’s session are edited and condensed. We know that founders and CEOs of startups have fantastic domain knowledge, but leading a business is typically not a founder’s experience. We know they’re smart people and they can learn on their own, and they will, [...]

June 7, 2023|

John Moroney, MESA Mentor since 2017

Tell us a bit about your background, John. I often say that I’ve had two careers. I have an electrical engineering degree and worked as a process engineer for Texas Instruments when I first got out of college. I did spend quite a bit of time in manufacturing and was ultimately a plant manager for Lifeline Systems. While working there I went to graduate school in Boston to get my MBA and realized there was this new opportunity with PCs and networks, and ultimately found myself in software. I started a VAR selling and implementing an ERP for manufacturing from [...]

May 30, 2023|

Angel Fest 2023: MESA Mentor John Tedesco’s Breakout Session on the Importance of Mentoring

On May 4, John Tedesco led breakout sessions at Groove Capital’s Angel Fest 2023 in Minneapolis on Why Founders Need Mentors. John has been a MESA Mentor since 2010 and serves as a member of the MESA Executive Committee. In these well-attended sessions, John covered: Why have a mentor? Mentors provide context, advice and accountability for founders and CEOs of startups. Entrepreneurs are deep in the trenches of their business, so much so that they lose sight of the forest through the trees. Mentors bring an important external perspective to the table, both to put challenges in their proper context and help entrepreneurs see [...]

May 22, 2023|

Mentoring Helped Billiyo Health Build a Foundation of Business Knowledge to Grow

Billiyo Health empowers today’s post-acute care providers with the management and operational support they need to help people thrive. As an all-in-one home health software solution, Billiyo ties together medical billing, business operations, clinical documentation, real-time communication, and automation in a secure, compliant, and affordable cloud-based system. Feeding an entrepreneurial spirit Hassan Abdullahi, CEO and founder of Billiyo Health, is an entrepreneur at heart. With a degree in electrical engineering, he worked for both 3M and General Motors in that capacity. In 2012 he moved to the Twin Cities to work for a smaller company and gain more direct customer [...]

April 18, 2023|

MESA Announces New Elite Partner – Cherry Tree & Associates

Minneapolis, MN – April 4, 2023  Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory (MESA), a non-profit, pro bono mentoring organization inspired to make Minnesota’s software economy rank among the most vibrant and respected in the nation, is announcing its fifth foundation partner – Cherry Tree & Associates. Cherry Tree & Associates is a Minneapolis-based private investment bank with more than four decades of transaction experience. The firm was founded in 1980 as a private equity/venture capital firm. After successfully managing four investment funds during the 1980s and 1990s, the firm expanded into investment banking in 1996, which has become its primary business line. [...]

April 4, 2023|

Partner Spotlight: TriNet

TriNet has been a valued MESA partner since 2019. Justin Balfany, HR Tech Consultant, and Abigail Johnson, HR Sales Consultant were introduced to MESA by Kevin Spanbauer, a MESA co-founder. Because TriNet takes a community-based approach, they were excited about the prospect of a partnership and to MESA’s mission of pro bono mentoring focused solely on the startup’s well-being. TriNet, a professional employer organization, or PEO, provides small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with full-service HR solutions tailored by industry. To free SMBs from HR complexities, TriNet offers access to human capital expertise, benefits, risk mitigation and compliance, payroll, and real-time technology. From [...]

March 22, 2023|

Jason Tober, MESA Mentor Since 2015

Tell us a bit about your background, Jason. Early in my career I wrote software, and while software is in my blood, I found that coding was not. I started my first business when I was 24 – a consulting firm doing software development, and then another software business focused on the medical device field. In the early 2000s, I joined established software firms to lead their sales and marketing efforts. I was at Shavlik Technologies for 7-8 years leading worldwide sales. Shavlik was a great local success story and was acquired by VMware in 2011. After VMware, I joined [...]

February 22, 2023|

MESA Graduate Dispatch Lands a $50M Series C Investment, Grows to 75 Major Markets.

With a growing need for rapid last-mile delivery, Dispatch is solving a critical business need through a combination of delivery management software and its on-demand last-mile delivery marketplace. Dispatch founders Andrew Leone and Ryan Hanson’s nascent idea in 2016 is now transforming the traditional courier space for B2B industrial and wholesale businesses, making the final-mile delivery process efficient, transparent, and reliable. A smart idea to simplify final-mile delivery. Dispatch, a B2B delivery platform, simplifies last-mile delivery, making it affordable and scalable for industrial and wholesale businesses. Customers use the Dispatch web application to schedule deliveries, tapping into the Dispatch network [...]

January 25, 2023|

Partner Spotlight: RSM U.S. LLP

There’s an old saying that great minds think alike, and at MESA, we’re fortunate to have such a like-minded advocate in RSM US LLP. RSM has a long tradition of supporting the communities in which they live and work. One of the ways they do this is by staying close to the Minnesota startup community and supporting MESA’s mission to grow the size and vibrancy of Minnesota’s software startup community. Our long-term foundation partner, RSM US LLP, has been with MESA since our beginnings. Mark Roepke, Director of Business Development at RSM met with some of the founders almost 12 [...]

January 10, 2023|

George Hadjiyanis, MESA Mentor Since 2018

Tell us a bit about your background George. I’ve been in software and the cloud for about 25 years, back when it was all starting, working with small emerging companies as the head of sales and marketing. One of my most interesting experiences was with Enstratius where I was one of the founding management team members. We grew that business to be the leader in cloud management and were acquired by Dell. More recently, I’ve been an independent consultant. Conservis, a platform for operational and financial management for corporate and large family farms, was one of my clients and they [...]

January 3, 2023|

MESA Graduate When I Work Sets Its Sights on Category Dominance

A smart idea from the early 2000s takes flight in 2010. Today, When I Work serves over 200,000 workplaces in 80 countries, and is focusing its plans for continued growth. Chad Halvorson’s very first job was bagging groceries and stocking shelves in a grocery store. As an hourly employee, he dealt firsthand with the difficulties of finding out his schedule for the upcoming weeks, which was usually posted a day or two before it went into effect. That first job set Chad on a path to figure out a better solution to a time-consuming and frustrating problem for small and [...]

December 5, 2022|

Mentoring Helped Pivot Interactives Evaluate Options to Scale and Forge a Path to Success

Founded in 2012 with support from the National Science Foundation, Pivot Interactives develops cloud-based science activities and lab experiments that allow students to explore scientific phenomena without costly lab equipment. In late August 2022, the company was acquired by Discovery Education and its parent Clearlake Capital Group. The acquisition brings complementary education products together while giving Pivot Interactives greater market access. Their story follows. A quest for a better learning experience and outcomes. Peter Bohacek, CEO, and his co-founder, Matt Vonk, Chief Science Officer are both teachers. Like most teachers, they were struggling with the constraints of classroom learning in [...]

October 27, 2022|

HelloIgnite Acquired by Forsta for Their Game-Changing Innovation Platform

HelloIgnite, an idea generation and implementation software platform, empowers companies to collect, share and manage innovation ideas from employees to improve experiences for customers. Working with global organizations and Fortune 100 clients, HelloIgnite helps foster innovation and help identify opportunities for company growth, organized through a centralized technology platform that works across hybrid workplaces and time zones. In early 2022, MESA mentors Scott Brown, CEO of Transfur and Jason Marx, President and CEO of Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting worked with HelloIgnite CEO Joel Morris, offering him an experienced and impartial sounding board to help him grow the business. Helping [...]

October 24, 2022|

MESA Mentee Omnia Fishing Raised $4 Million and Sets $10 Million Annual Growth Trajectory

Omnia Fishing has seen rapid growth since their founding in 2018. In 2019, founder and CEO Matt Johnson realized there were significant opportunities and milestones ahead to achieve the kind of success he was looking for. In 2019, he began a mentoring relationship with two MESA mentors, Dan Kinsella, former CFO of SportsEngine and Scott Brown, CEO of Transfur. Building a better mousetrap. Matt Johnson, CEO of Omnia Fishing was no stranger to startups or fishing. Through his previous business and relationships in the fishing industry, he understood that brands in this space were looking to create a better relationship [...]

October 17, 2022|

MESA Panel on Mentoring at Twin Cities Startup Week 2022

Carving out an entrepreneurial path is not for the faint of heart. Founders and CEOs need to demonstrate conviction to their teams and investors. But no founder or CEO has all the answers, and that’s where mentoring comes in.   On September 21, MESA mentors and mentees came together to share their experiences in the “entrepreneurial trenches” to a capacity crowd. They offered their insights on the issues facing founders and CEOs as they look to grow, and best practices on how to get the most from a mentorship experience.  Panelists:Angie Franks, ABOUT Healthcare CEO and MESA MentorChad Halvorson, When I [...]

October 6, 2022|

Star Tribune column highlights MESA pro bono mentoring that helps build Minnesota’s next-generation software companies.

Achieving Real Impact In his column in the Star Tribune Business section, Isaac Cheifetz captured MESA’s contributions and its continuing goal of helping CEOs of emerging Minnesota software companies get to the next stage of growth and success. More than 70 emerging software companies in Minnesota have been mentored.Thirty-five companies are MESA graduates and 20 are in current mentoring relationships.Over half of MESA graduates have had major capital events, one-third have been acquired, and thousands of jobs have been created. Looking back on these last 11 years, this enviable track record has only come about due to one critical factor: [...]

September 8, 2022|

VidGrid, a MESA Group Graduate, Acquired by Paylocity

Paylocity (NASDAQ: PCTY), a leading provider of cloud-based HR and payroll software solutions, announces the acquisition of VidGrid, a leading video platform provider and MESA mentee company. VidGrid enables peer-to-peer video learning courses, transforming video into two-way communication. With the deal, Paylocity expands its product functionality around workplace video communication and reaffirms its commitment to stronger employee collaboration, engagement and retention while helping clients prepare for the workplaces of the future. Paylocity has worked with VidGrid for several years to deliver a video-enabled learning management system (LMS) to clients. The collaboration enables Paylocity's clients to source knowledge from subject matter [...]

June 8, 2020|
2023-06-14T10:10:54-05:00June 14, 2023|