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Tech Cities Welcomes Pandora, LinkedIn, and More Than 300 Attendees


Tech Cities Welcomes Pandora, LinkedIn, and More Than 300 Attendees

A diverse audience of students, faculty, and industry professionals discussed Minnesota tech talent and innovation at the first-ever Tech Cities event.

The Carlson School of Management hosted Tech Cities 2015 on March 27 at the University of Minnesota. The event brought more than 300 students, faculty, and industry professionals together for a series of conversations about tech talent and innovation in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.

Organizers at the Carlson School created the event to help highlight Minnesota's growing number of tech businesses, innovations, and professional opportunities. Tech-focused firms occupy half the spots on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Fast 50 list, offering an array of IT solutions, business analytics, and e-commerce services. Yet despite local resources, some companies have left the Twin Cities in search of tech talent and community. Tech Cities demonstrated the exciting array of tech talent and leadership in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Presenters shared research findings, business breakthroughs, and diverse perspectives on the state of Minnesota tech, including wins, opportunities, and challenges. Many of the sessions were interactive, encouraging audience members to voice their ideas for making the region a tech capital of the north. The Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative sponsored and curated the programming. David Reiley, data scientist at Pandora, gave a keynote presentation that emphasized the importance of data quality and the need for analytics that go beyond mere correlation. Breakout sessions addressed the following topics:

  • The growing role of data analytics at local marketing agencies
  • Workplace cultures that encourage women to pursue tech careers
  • Degree programs in data science, business analytics, and other technical fields at the U of M
  • How the successful Cartwheel app emerged at Target
  • The practice of innovation, including tools and techniques to spark creative thinking
  • Intellectual property and patents in the tech space
  • Talent trends in Minnesota: which tech skills are coming and going
  • Practical advice for hiring international talent
  • Start-up culture and entrepreneurship in the region
  • Non-traditional workforce development programs teaching tech skills

Photos of the event follow. Discussions about planning future Tech Cities events are underway.

Many thanks to all the attendees, organizers, and student volunteers. Special thanks to the event sponsors, especially Gold Sponsors Target, Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner, Minnesota High Tech Association, and IBM. Additional sponsors:


Tech Cities is a learning and networking event hosted by the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, with the support of many generous sponsors.

Related Media

From David Reiley's keynote presentation at Tech Cities, March 27, 2015.

Watch video from David Reiley's keynote presentation at Tech Cities 2015


Get notified about future Tech Cities events. If you attended, sponsored, or presented at Tech Cities 2015, you're on the list. Otherwise, please sign up here to be added.