The Bold North: Technology’s Past & Present in Minneapolis

Steven Larsen
October 8, 2020

Minneapolis, City of Lakes and “twin city” to the neighboring state capital of St. Paul, has meaning in its name.  Titled after the Dakota word for water, Minneapolis boasts 13 inner-city lakes and has the largest river in North America running through downtown.  Water was also at the center of the city’s founding and initial economic growth, as it was once the flour-milling capital of the world. General Mills occupied the west bank of the Mississippi River, while Pillsbury stood on the east side, both harnessing energy from the river to support their competing operations. 

Today, Minneapolis is consistently featured in US News, World Report, and rankings as a top city to live. It is listed as the #8 Best City for Young Professionals in America with 12 public and 18 private colleges and universities, lending technology and healthcare industries a rich talent pool to draw from. Anecdotally, Minneapolis is the city where Mary Richards, of 70’s TV hit The Mary Tyler Moore Show, came to “make it after all” and has not disappointed people of all backgrounds, remaining known as a city of inclusion. 

Often referred to as the “mini apple” to New York’s “big apple”, Minneapolis is home to several Fortune 500 companies and is the fifth largest hub of major corporate headquarters in the U.S. It has frequently been named a top high-tech city and a top ten U.S. city for entrepreneurs and startups, including a 2019 designation by SmartAsset as the best place for women entrepreneurs. Minneapolis contributions to various technologies is vast: 3M introduced magnetic tape, Scotch tape and the Post-it note. The airplane black box, the snowblower, the oxygen mask, and even the Nerf football were developed here. Medtronic, now the world’s largest medical technology company and inventor of the cardiac pacemaker, was started in a Minneapolis garage in 1949.

Founded in 1987, Datatrend Technologies is proud to call Minneapolis home. With vast resources in talent, technology, and industry at our fingertips, Datatrend continues our 30+ year journey of providing customers in Minnesota and the U.S. technology solutions to help businesses optimize IT environments and advance in their digital transformation journey. However, as one of the coldest cities in America continues to grow and change, so does Datatrend. Joining Converge Technology Solutions in 2019, Datatrend has advanced our capabilities in delivering advanced analytics, cloud, cybersecurity, managed services and talent solutions.

As we glance back at Minneapolis’ storied past, we look forward to a strong future, as we continue serving our customers and clients both here in the “great white north” and across all of North America.

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