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A Heads-Up Approach to Motorcycle Safety

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter John Henry. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on March 25th, 2017.

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, there were 4,586 motorcyclists killed in collisions in 2014. Though this number is down from a peak in 2008, it is still high.

After witnessing a motorcycle crash firsthand, John Henry decided to find a solution. He learned that many car and motorcycle crashes happen because of ineffective brake lights which only light up when the brake is applied and not when a car is decelerating for other reasons. Because of this, drivers may not know that the vehicle in front of them is slowing down, leading to increased risk of collisions.

Henry created the Heads Up Braking System, attachable brake lights that respond to deceleration, not just the application of the brake pedal.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name of company: Innervision by Henry Inc.
Website: www.innervisionbyhenry.com; www.headsupbraking.com
Business Start Date: Started in 2000. Conducted a soft launch of its first product in 2016.

ENTREPRENEUR  PROFILE

City you live in: Minnetonka
City of birth: Cocoa Beach, Fla.
High school attended: Boca Ciega High School, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Colleges attended: University of Minnesota, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?

A. I started Innervision by Henry in 2000. I received my first patent for safety devices for recreational and sports vehicles and their drivers in March 2003. A second patent was granted in 2005 that expands on the first.

Prior to founding Innervision, I served in the U.S. Army. I am very proud of my military experience and very committed to contributing in this area.  My inventions will enhance U.S. military capability to provide increased safety in a variety of ways.

After completing my bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota, I joined Best Buy, where I held a sales management position and was responsible for developing many of the earlier sales management procedures for the company. I went on to work at the University of Minnesota Medical School as associate administrator, responsible for operations and grants. While working full time at the university, I earned a Master’s degree in education and management. I held leadership positions in a number of university organizations and was promoted to director of minority affairs in the College of Human Ecology.  One of my major accomplishments while at the university was the development and implementation of minority student retention programs and mentoring programs at the university and within the Twin Cities community.

As a top pharmaceutical sales person for Bristol Meyers Squibb, I sold over $18 million for the neural science division, honing my sales skills. I left Bristol Meyers Squibb to devote myself full time to Innervision, the development of its product line, and my patent ventures.

Q. What is your business?

A. Innervision is the result of my creative application of technology to address critical safety issues beyond just vehicles, their drivers and riders. The first of 10 new products, the Heads Up Braking system (HUB system) is one of most advanced wireless braking light systems for motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles. Vehicles often decelerate through dynamic engine braking or down shifting…READ FULL ARTICLE

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.

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Small start up with a BIG dream

Amanda Carlson is the Founder and CEO of Rookiework.  In celebration of Women’s History Month we had the opportunity to ask Amanda about her success so far.   

What is your business and how did your entrepreneurial journey begin?
Rookiework is unique as our entrepreneurial journey began with the dream and idea of a way to help other small business owners make their dreams a reality and a success.

Rookiework is a small start-up business, based in Minneapolis, MN, with a big dream: making small businesses competitive against large corporations. We believe in entrepreneurship and innovation, and we love small businesses and start-ups. Our contribution to the success of small businesses is to create a mutually beneficial relationship between them and talented students with complementing skills, and to give them the tools they need to succeed. We might just help some students pay for their education along the way.

What do you want people to know about you and your business and what sets it apart?
Rookiework is a very unique business where our success comes when we are able to help other small business owners affordably achieve their goals while helping college students.

Small businesses cannot afford the same luxuries as large corporations, and are often forced to perform non-core functions, such as web design or advertising, on their own. At the same time, talented students with these skills are struggling to pay for school and are forced to work in minimum-wage jobs. We believe talented students and small businesses can help each other. A student can provide services at a much lower cost that a consulting agency, and they would love to work with their talent and passion. Rookiework exists to create this partnership and help it succeed.

What or who has made the biggest impact on your entrepreneurial career so far?
To this point I would say the willingness of other small business owners that have overcome obstacles sharing their experiences and suggestions has made the biggest impact thus far. I believe networking in the small business community is the key to entrepreneurial success.

How does your entrepreneurial spirit contribute to the Twin Cities business ecosystem and community?
I believe our entrepreneurial spirit within Rookiework has and will continue to help grow the business community within the Twin Cities as we are here to help other businesses have access to an affordable tool to complete projects. We also help students within our community gain skills, experience, and funds. These are both beneficial to our local economy.

What has been the largest hurdle and/or success you have experienced as an entrepreneur?
The largest hurdle we have faced and we are actually working on still overcoming is getting our mission and name out into the community affordably. We are continuously brainstorming affordable ways to get our business known but as an entrepreneur it is a unique problem we face; to grow our business in an attainable manner. We continue to take leaps and strides to this hurdle and getting our name out there through perseverance.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs just getting out of gate?
I would say follow your dreams and work hard. Take all the advice you get and apply it in your own way to what you want to achieve. Being an entrepreneur is not easy and will take a lot of work no doubt, but every drop of sweat sleepless night is worth it.

What is it about Minnesota and how has it managed to keep you here?
We are very fortunate to be here. The Twin Cities in Minnesota is an extremely unique and successful economy with a vast array of opportunity. That is what drew Thomas to this market when he had the concept originally. I personally am a Northern Minnesota native and believe we have an endless list of benefits available to us here. We are Minnesota nice and helping others as a business and will continue to grow here to create more of these stories.

Amanda presented Rookiework at 1 Million Cups in 2016.  For more information on 1 Million Cups or to present your start up at the James J. Hill Center please visit jjhill.org or apply now.

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A Voice at the Table

In celebration of Women’s History Month we have asked groundbreaking female leaders in our community to share a piece of their story.  Rebecca Noecker is a community builder, an advocate for social justice, a wife and mother, and a proud resident of Saint Paul’s West Side.
In 2015, Rebecca was elected to represent Ward 2 on the Saint Paul City Council.  She is the youngest member of the Council and the first woman to represent Ward 2. 

For most of my life, I’ve been lucky enough not to think about gender.

Growing up, I took for granted the fact that my mother and father were both physicians, that they split the housework evenly, that no one would be there when my brothers and I got home from school. My mother’s mother also worked full-time, as an economist and a high school history teacher, while raising three children. In my young worldview, being a woman was no disadvantage at all.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize what an unusual environment I was raised in, and how the self-confidence that was baked into me by all the male and female role models around me helped me make my way in a world that still rewards traits that are typically male.

This has become especially evident to me in the world of politics and in a city like St. Paul where “old boys’ clubs”, like landmines, are all over and often invisible – until you’ve stepped on one.

At work, I’m surrounded by thoughtful, eloquent, socially aware women, many of whom occupy leadership positions. But even in the relatively progressive climate of City Hall, I sit through many meetings in which men do 95% of the talking – and not because of the quality of their ideas. At a recent meeting, after the two men in the room had left early, I looked around at the half-dozen smart women at the table – none of whom had yet said a word. “Okay,” I said. “Now that the men are gone, let’s hear from everyone else.” The best ideas of the meeting were generated in the next 30 minutes.

These experiences are making me more aware as a leader—and as a mom. I’m raising my two young boys not to take gender equality for granted, to recognize their responsibility to fight for it every day.

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A Budding Business in Replaceable Earbuds

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter Bharat Pulgam. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on March 11th, 2017.

In October 2016, the Consumer Technology Association found that 40 percent of people it surveyed planned to give headphones as a gift — making it the most popular technology gift of last year.

Headphones vary widely in quality, size, and price, and earbuds remain popular. Though often cheaper than larger sets of headphones, earbuds are also often noticeably flimsier, with many consumers buying, breaking, and ultimately discarding several pairs a year.

Bharat Pulgam noticed this problem and realized that when earbuds break, it is usually because only one component has broken, and the rest of the product still functions. He created mXers Audio in response to this problem. mXers Audio creates affordable, customizable earbuds that are easy and inexpensive to repair, making earbuds less of a disposable product.

 

Entrepreneur profile

Name: Bharat Pulgam
Age: 18
City of birth: Hyderabad, India
City you live in: Maple Grove
High school attended: Wayzata High School
Colleges attended: Will be attending the University of Minnesota in the class of 2021

Company profile

Name of company: mXers Audio
Website: https://mxersaudio.com
Business start date: January 2015
Number of employees: 8
Number of customers: 20+

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?

A: My team and I are a group of students committed to solving the problems that we and our peers face every day. Our company started with a simple problem we refused to ignore: Why do we pay for a whole new set of earbuds when just one part breaks? After breaking earbuds of our own, we finally found a solution: fully modular earbuds. Modular earbuds are earbuds that you can put together and take apart piece by piece. With modularity, you are only a snap, twist, and bam away from earbuds that look and feel as good as new.

We took this concept to the Catapult Incubator Program in Chicago, a four-month intensive business development program, which empowers young entrepreneurs to start a company from nothing more than a good idea. The company went from concept to reality within four months. We ended our first incubator with a successful pitch to a panel of investors, who provided valuable support and advice.

After returning to Minneapolis we began working with a new team and began the process of product development. The incredible support that our team has received paved the way for our successes. We’ve been able to leverage an incredible network of friends and family, raise money, and have been able to achieve support from business professionals. From patenting to incorporation, mXers has a significant network of investors and industry practitioners in the Twin Cities area.

Q. What is your business?

A. mXers Audio is an LLC that is solution-oriented and is dedicated to giving back to the community, encouraging youth innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area…READ FULL ARTICLE

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.

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She Saw a Rural Need for Natural Food

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter  Kendra Rasmusson. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on February 28th, 2017.

A 2014 poll by Harris Interactive ranked consumers’ preferences in choosing food and beverages to purchase. According to that poll, 30 percent of U.S. adults prefer to buy natural foods, and 17 percent prefer to buy organic food.

For rural consumers, however, local, natural and organic food is more difficult to come by. With limited access to specialty grocery stores, these consumers often do not have the option to purchase natural or organic food. Kendra Rasmussen’s family ran into this issue when they relocated to her hometown of New Prague. Lacking access to any nearby natural food stores, she started her own: Farmhouse Market.

Company profile

Farmhouse Market
Website: www.farmhousemarketnp.com
Business start date: Oct. 31, 2015
Number of employees: 1
Number of customers: Approximately 500 customers; more than 200 members

Entrepreneur profile

Kendra Rasmusson
Age: 33
City you live in: New Prague
City of birth: Born in Shakopee but grew up in New Prague
High school attended: New Prague High School
Colleges attended: B.S. in marketing communications from University of Wisconsin, River Falls; master’s in business communication from the University of St. Thomas

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?

A. My husband and I lived in Minneapolis after we got married. We had our first child and decided to move back to my hometown of New Prague. Shortly before her second birthday, our daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy. We decided to try some alterations to her diet as a means of seizure control. Now living in a more rural environment, we only had one grocery store option and it lacked some of the grocery options we were looking for. The closest natural foods store was at least 20 miles away. So we started looking into opening our open store, but our biggest obstacle was how to staff it to keep it open conveniently but yet keep operating costs low. So, we got creative….

Q. What is your business?

A. Farmhouse Market is a local, natural and organic foods market in New Prague. It is best suited for small, rural communities because of the way it operates. Farmhouse Market is primarily unstaffed yet open 24/7 to its members thanks to technology like a keycard entry system, self-checkout and remote video surveillance. It is open to the public for limited hours, as well…READ FULL ARTICLE

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.

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Showbiz Guy Wants to Move Bikes — Fast

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter  Rich Kronfeld . As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on January 28th, 2017.
According to a 2016 study by the Outdoor Foundation, biking is the fourth most popular outdoor activity among adults, with 12.3 percent of American adults classifying themselves as regular bike riders. Some 26 million American adults ride bikes every year, for a number of different purposes.

Bikers ride for fun, both on city streets and on trails. And many bikers also use their bikes to commute to work. Of course, this is only feasible for bikers who live near enough to their workplaces, and for those who have access to relatively safe streets to bike on.
Rich Kronfeld started Kronfeld Motors in a desire to make biking faster and safer for these commuters. The result is a bike that, when pedaled, can move as fast as a car, while also including important safety features.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name of company: Rahtmobile, changing name to Kronfeld Motors
Website: www.rahtmobile.com
Business Start Date: 2012
Number of Employees: 1
Number of Customers: None — yet

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE


Richard Kronfeld

Name: Rich Kronfeld
Age: 53
City you live in: Golden Valley
City of birth: Huntington, Long Island, N.Y.
High school attended: St. Louis Park High School
College attended: Bennington College, Bennington, Vt.

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?

A. I have been an entrepreneur and bike lover all my life. I sold tickets to watch movies in my parents’ garage as a kid, wrote and sold screenplays in Hollywood, appeared in the Paramount film “Trekkies” and produced and starred in a series I co-created and shot in Minnesota called “Lets Bowl” on Comedy Central. I’m also an Emmy Award-winning producer of the children’s series, “The Choo Choo Bob Show” on the Qubo/ION networks, which is also shot in Minnesota. I even entered and won a demolition derby in Anoka. I have volunteered for many organizations and currently serve on the board of Nechama Jewish Disaster Response. Now I have started an alternative-vehicle company, and my background in the entertainment industry taught me the importance of showmanship and new ideas. All my life, I have wanted to do something innovative and unique, and I intend to accomplish this with Kronfeld Motors.

Q. What is your business?

A. My company is Kronfeld Motors, formerly Rahtmobile. It’s the manufacturer of the world’s only highway-speed cycling vehicle. My industries are manufacturing and engineering. READ FULL ARTICLE…

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit jjhill.org/1-million cups

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How to Have a Productive 2017

At the beginning of every year it’s important to think back and check off all you’ve achieved. Give yourself a pat on the back, be proud of all you’ve accomplished, and then, look ahead. What do you want to achieve in the coming year? What are the priorities to move you and your business forward? And most important, HOW are you going to do all of this? We’ve thought back to our year here at the Hill and came up with a list of tips and actions to help have the most productive year yet!

Create short-term AND long-term goals

When setting goals for yourself and your business, it’s important to cover all bases from overall organization goals and day-to-day priorities. The short term goals help create a feeling of productivity – plus it’s satisfying to cross items off the list. These goals keep you and your employees moving throughout the day and week and ensure the small, but important tasks are done. The long-term goals push the business in the right direction and dictate the clear action plan for the organization. They tie all the small decisions together and at the end of the year – or the time frame set – it is clear whether the goal is hit and the business is moving in the desired direction.

Multi-task, but only when necessary

Decide whether you want quality over quantity for each major project and enforce it. When an employee or employer is being pulled in too many directions, work suffers. Now, this isn’t to say you can’t have a to-do list with 4 top priority items all in the works at the same time. But when you’re working on one of those items, focus. For example, don’t send emails while you’re on a conference call, keep the amount of tabs low on your browser so you’re not tempted by other projects, don’t text while you’re in a meeting. Work on one thing at a time, and do it well.

Minimize digital distractions

In the office it can be especially hard to minimize digital distractions. Most people work on a computer for the majority of the day, and it’s easy to end up on social media or reading articles when you should be checking items off of that daunting to-do list. It is ok to take mental breaks, but don’t allow them every 10 minutes. If social media is vital to your work or professional life, pick a time to check and hold yourself to that time. This feels nearly impossible, but I promise it’s not. It just takes some self-control. If you have a busy week, take social media apps off your phone. It’s an easy way to minimize this time waster.

Write everything down

It may seem simple and obvious, but keep track of everything.  Write it down, make a note on your phone, send yourself an email, use post-it notes, whatever works for you. It’s easy to have a casual conversation and a great idea to come of it, and then forget because you get pulled into a scheduled meeting or an email distracts. Along the same idea, physically writing down what needs to get down will help organize and prioritize.  It’s also important to write out goals and track the progress. You’ll be able to see the actual progress being made in a tangible way, and hopefully this encourages you and your employees.

Productivity looks different to everyone, but setting goals and minimizing distractions are easy ways to keep you and your business on track for the best year yet.  In December Forbes published a list of actual tools to help with productivity in the workplace. Goals are not achieved alone; use the people around you and all tools at your disposal.

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The Vision to Help Everyone See the Big Picture

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenters Henry Amoloja of Murol. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on January 14, 2016.

Have you ever taken a group selfie, shared it on Instagram, and found that some of the people got cut out of the frame? That’s what happens when you take a photo in landscape orientation and share it on sites like Instagram, where the photos are displayed in portrait orientation. Instead of seeing the entire photo, you only see the part of the photo that fits into a square, and anything (or anyone) appearing outside of that square is lost.

Having experienced this problem, Henry Amoloja set out to create a solution. That solution: MUROL, a landscape orientation photo-sharing app.

COMPANY PROFILE 

  • Name of company: MUROL
  • Website: www.murolapp.com
  • Business Start Date: April 2016
  • Number of Employees: 4 team members: Marketing Director Tamir Hussein, CTO Ben Fossen, Business Development Specialist Jeremiah Osopko, and Creative Director Elly Olson.
  • Number of Customers: Approaching 2,000 users

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE

  • Name: Henry Amoloja
  • Age: 24
  • City you live in: Maplewood
  • Country of birth: Desenzano Del Garda, Italy
  • High School attended: Roseville Area High School
  • College attended: University of Minnesota Duluth

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?
A. I was raised in Nigeria. My family immigrated to Minnesota in 2003 and I have lived here ever since. I took up football and track in high school. Playing sports taught me the value of hard work and the reward of the seeing the results. While at college at UMD, I took an interest in business courses like Intro to Marketing and Corporate Finance. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I just had no idea what I was good at and what products or services I would selling.

I began cutting my own hair in college because I did not trust any barbers in Duluth to do a good job with my hair. I bought a clipper set and began experimenting with different hair styles on myself. Friends took notice and became coming to me for a free haircut. I eventually got good enough to start charging $5 and I saved up to buy professional clippers and started charging $10. This was a rewarding experience for me to monetize on a self-taught skill.

I had a short stint of selling custom sunglasses in college, as well. I knew I had an entrepreneurial bone in my body but I struggled to harness it to its full potential. I began reading business articles outside of school and becoming really fascinated by branding, marketing strategies, financial statements and other components of corporations.

A co-worker named Luida recommended a book to me called “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill that completely changed my life. I feel like it was exactly what I needed to fully maximize my entrepreneurial potential. I read other self-development and business books and planned to start a company when I graduated.

After college, I decided to attend a nine-month barbering program while working to support myself. When the program concluded I accepted a job at Ferguson Enterprises and was sent to North Carolina for a five-month training program. While in North Carolina, the concept behind MUROL was conceived. When I returned to Minnesota in January 2016, I worked hard on the branding and the first public announcement of what I had been working on. I added four people to the team to help with the overwhelming tasks. We launched in the app store on June 21, 2016. Held a beautiful launch event in August which brought us to 1,000 users about eight weeks later. In December of 2016, I decided to quit my sales job at Ferguson to focus on MUROL.

Q. What is your business?
A. MUROL is the first photo sharing app that allows users to capture, display and share photos on a strict landscape-oriented interface as opposed to a portrait-oriented interface.

READ FULL ARTICLE

 

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit jjhill.org/1-million cups

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Two Friends Create Buzz Around Cold-Brew Coffee

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenters, Alex French and Andrew Healey of Get Bizzy. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on December 31, 2016

For a variety of reasons, ranging from a lack of sleep to being overscheduled and overworked, Americans are increasingly tired. A recent poll by YouGov shows that only 1 in 7 Americans report feeling well-rested every day. For the rest of us, there’s caffeine.

Whether from coffee, tea, energy drinks or pop, caffeine can provide us with the much-needed jolt of energy we need to get through the day. At the same time, many of the pre-packaged beverages on the market include added ingredients like sugar that add unnecessary calories to the jolt.

Due to hectic schedules and a need for increased energy, Alex French and Andrew Healey turned to cold-brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is increasingly trendy, but it’s time-consuming to make at home. They started Get Bizzy in response to this demand. Unlike many other pre-packaged beverages, Bizzy Coffee is sugar- and calorie-free, and because it’s pre-packaged, it doesn’t take hours for consumers to prepare.

COMPANY PROFILE 

  • Name of company: Get Bizzy, Inc.
  • Website: www.bizzycoffee.com
  • Business Start Date: May 2015
  • Number of Employees: 4 full-time
  • Number of Customers: Thousands

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE

  • Name: Alex French
  • Age: 27
  • City you live in: New Brighton
  • Country of birth: St. Paul
  • High School attended: Irondale High School
  • College attended: University of St. Thomas
  • Name: Andrew Healey
  • Age: 28
  • City you live in: New Brighton
  • Country of birth: St. Paul
  • High School attended: Irondale High School
  • College attended: University of Minnesota

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?
A. We are childhood friends who met while going to middle school in New Brighton. We stayed friends throughout high school and college. Alex went to the University of St. Thomas and Andrew went to the University of Minnesota. Alex majored in business and Andrew in mechanical engineering. After graduating, we were both hired at large corporations and felt unfulfilled with our jobs. Bizzy Coffee was founded while we were working our corporate jobs, training for World’s Toughest Mudder — a 24-hour obstacle race, and running a group fitness company that we had started several years previously. Juggling those three things was a challenge, and we needed a way to get more energy and stamina without resorting to unhealthy energy drinks. We discovered cold brew coffee at this time, and started working on a way to make it more convenient. In 2015, Bizzy Coffee was born.

Q. What is your business?
A. Bizzy Coffee is the No. 1-selling cold brew coffee on the internet. We manufacture a Certified Organic cold brew coffee concentrate that is sold in all 50 states and Canada…READ FULL ARTICLE

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit jjhill.org/1-million cups

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Company Takes Data Security to the Next Level

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews Entrepreneur and 1 Million Cup presenter, Daren Klum with company Secured2 Corporation. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on December 17, 2016

Data security is a growing issue in our society. Some of the organizations hacked in the past 5 years include the IRS, LinkedIn, Yahoo! and Target. These breaches cost companies millions of dollars to rectify and can be very harmful to consumers if their personal information ends up in the wrong hands.

Even though hackers seem to be able to breach a variety of encryption methods, encryption remains one of the most popular methods of data security. According to the 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study by the Ponemon Institute and IBM Security, there are two main data security methods applied by organizations in the United States: 52 percent of corporations use training and awareness programs to educate employees about data security, and 49 percent have expanded their use of encryption software.

Clearly, encryption alone is not enough, and yet most corporations don’t seem to be aware of other options. Daren Klum has extensive experience in information technology and software development, and he has seen evidence of the failures of encryption over the years. He started Secured2 Corp. as a better way to safely store and transmit data, by “shredding” the data so it is impossible for hackers to read.

COMPANY PROFILE 

  • Name of company: Secured2 Corp.
  • Website: www.secured2.com
  • Business Start Date: June 18, 2013
  • Number of Employees: 6
  • Number of Customers: Unlisted (note: as a security company, they want to keep that information private)

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE

  • Name: Daren Klum
  • Age: 47
  • City you live in: Shoreview
  • Country of birth: Englewood, CA
  • College attended: Mankato State University and the University of Minnesota

 

Q. What led to this point?
A. I’m a technology executive, inventor and futurist who thrives on solving global challenges, developing exciting new technology and bringing the total solution to market. With a growing list of patents and patents-pending, I continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with technology. My background includes information technology, hardware development, software development, technical marketing and corporate finance. I had the good fortune to work with Gartner, Digital River in the early days, Sprint, TW Telecom, and I founded venture-backed LiquidCool Solutions. Currently, I’m the CEO of Secured2, a data security company in Minneapolis.My abilities include idea creation, patent development, software development (coding), technology integration, technology sales and marketing, technology funding and technology investing.

Q. What is your business?
A. We are a data security software company. Through our proprietary process, we are able to shrink, shred, secure and restore data. This process makes your data unhackable…READ FULL ARTICLE

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit jjhill.org/1-million cups

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IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Patrons with accessibility needs please access our ground floor elevator entrance via Kellogg Ave at the back of the building. Please ring the doorbell on the right hand side of door and a Hill staff member will assist you. If you have questions or concerns please call 651.265.5500. We look forward to having you visit.

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