Why Minneapolis is one of the fastest growing U.S. tech markets

The city’s largest employers are helping foster technological innovation through non-traditional IT verticals

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Jan 27, 2017, 11:56 AM

The Twin Cities offer tech a strong foundation for success.

A highly educated workforce, large talent pool and diverse industry innovation have cemented tech’s place in the Twin Cities.

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED), by 2022, 16,000 tech sector jobs are projected market wide—a 15% increase from current levels. Forbes even called Minnesota the fastest-growing state for tech jobs.

What makes the Minneapolis/St. Paul area unique?

Its largest tech employers are Fortune 500 firms specializing in health insurance, biotech, retail and food. These companies are helping foster local tech entrepreneurship across the region through a variety of non-traditional IT verticals. For example, General Mills is starting its own VC unit for food startups and Target is establishing a tech-based retail startup accelerator.

The Twin Cities is also home to a fast-growing list of IT firms like The Nerdery, a software developer; logistics and supply chain technology companies including SPS Commerce; and medical device manufacturers like Medtronic, St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific. In Q3 2016, Minnesota ranked second nationally in medical device VC investment at $79.5 million, all of which was allocated for later stage or expansion purposes.


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Where tech lives

The North Loop and Warehouse District are the two most in-demand submarkets right now for Minneapolis’ tech and creative communities. Both feature a plethora of brick and timber buildings and converted warehouses that offer open floorplans and the stylish feel young companies want. Demand is so great that former hardware and adult stores in North Loop are being converted into office space.

As of Q3 2016, at least five developers had plans or proposals to create new office developments across the neighborhood.


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Researcher and author: Carolyn Bates | Editor: Michael Cronin