Here Are Minne Inno’s 2018 Coolest Companies

Reposted Article by MinneInno

By Maddy Kennedy

What exactly makes a company cool? Sure, office happy hours and video game tournaments are

always fun, but what draws top talent to local companies then makes them want to stick


As Minne Inno sourced nominations for our inaugural Coolest Companies Fest, we discovered

that a company is cool as long as its employees love showing up to work every day. And in the

Twin Cities’ tech and startup scene, there’s no shortage of really cool companies.

Almost two months ago, we asked our readers to tell us about the most interesting, innovative

startups in Minnesota. We received dozens upon dozens of nominations, and ultimately ended

up with a finalist pool of nearly 90 companies.

At our official celebration in the North Loop on Thursday evening, Minne Inno handed out 11

awards. Five winners were selected through readers’ choice voting, and six others were awarded

superlatives by the Minne Inno editorial team.

Here are Minne Inno’s 2018 Coolest Companies winners:


9/18/2018 Here Are Minne Inno’s 2018 Coolest Company Winners

Since Tech Dump was founded in 2011, the organization has dedicated itself to finding

responsible ways to recycle electronics. In 2016 alone, Tech Dump processed more than five

million pounds of electronic waste. The organization also has a retail extension called Tech

Discounts, which sells refurbished phones, computers and other items.


Minnestar has been a pillar in the Minnesota startup scene for more than a decade. The

nonprofit gives local entrepreneurs a platform to shine through events like Minnedemo, its “geek

show and tell” where local founders demonstrate their creations to an audience that often

consists of hundreds of people.


Less than a year after Runerra was founded by a group of University of Minnesota students, the

fledgling startup was accepted to the highly-selective local Target + Techstars retail accelerator.

Runerra is building a platform that encourages neighbors to run errands for each other.

ALL-AROUND COOLEST (in alphabetical order) | 75F

There are a lot of cool things about 75F, and Minne Inno is far from the first to recognize this

fact. The Burnsville-based smartenergy startup won the Minnesota Cup, the state’s largest

startup competition, in 2014. Not long after, 75F received funding from Rise of the Rest. Today

the company, which uses wireless sensors and other tech to regulate temperatures throughout

commercial buildings, is growing quickly both in Minnesota and around the country.

VidGrid (formerly ilos Videos)

VidGrid makes business software for creating and sharing videos. Employees spoke passionately

about the company’s mission, culture and its benefits, such as flexible hours, St. Paul Saints

outings and daily video game sessions.

When I Work

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9/18/2018 Here Are Minne Inno’s 2018 Coolest Company Winners

When I Work was founded nearly a decade ago, and today is one of Minnesota’s most well-

established tech startups. Despite its age and size, When I Work remains nimble and employee-

focused, workers told Minne Inno. The company offers training on company, manager,

department and individual levels. It prides itself in offering non-traditional company events like

improv lessons at Brave New Workshop.

AUDIENCE CHOICE WINNERS (in order of most votes)



UnderRecruited Preps

GoKart Labs



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