For those of you who are passionate about tech and seek a career in the high-tech industry, I highly recommend you view Minneapolis-Saint Paul with a keener eye.

The full-time MBA classes of 2017 and 2018 at the Carlson School of Management (CSOM) closed their Spring semester with an engaging local tech trek. We visited five companies that solve a variety of business challenges for consumers across different industries leveraging technology. They however share a common thread; an entrepreneurial spirit, a fast-paced agile culture, an innovative mindset, and the passion to innovate and create positive impact.

Bright and early at Digital River

The day unfolded with our visit to Digital River, where we learned how the company has made huge strides in the commerce-as-a-service space, keeping in step with the constant technology changes in the e-commerce industry. It was interesting to see how a leading global provider used technology to empower small to large businesses by creating digital commerce solutions in a highly competitive ecosystem. As soon to be MBA’s, we were given a preview into the diverse roles an MBA could consider and the preferred skills to make the most of a career at Digital River.

The next stop, Techstars

Calling all entrepreneurs! At the heart of downtown Minneapolis, located in Target Headquarters, Techstars exudes an entrepreneurial mindset. If you are interested in launching your own venture or are excited about enabling new innovative businesses take-off while supporting their entrepreneurial journey, this is the place to be! The opportunity to be a part of a global ecosystem and the accessibility to learn from highly reputed mentors from the Tech and Ventures community is invaluable.

You can find the signatures of senior leaders who have been a part of the Mentorship Program on the feature wall including that of Brian Cornell, the CEO of Target. Attracting entrepreneurs from across the country and beyond, through their Start-Up and Accelerator programs, Techstars would be a great place to learn about evaluating start-ups, accelerating your business, being ready to pitch to a VC and build strong connections.

Our mid-day visit to When I Work

When I Work, growing exponentially as a leader in scheduling employee time and engagement, has an atmosphere charged with the passion to deliver the best technological solution to their customers at an accelerated rate. We were received in an open collaborative space by representatives from the tech engineering, product management, marketing, sales, recruiting and business growth teams. I was amazed by how incredibly fast-paced their business model is in creating a compelling product driven by customer needs and addressing their pain-points. The highly innovative, agile, and collaborative work culture, encouraging open discussion and exchange of ideas makes When I Work an exciting company. Seated on the couch in green, is the mascot, a mood-booster in case you’ve had a hard day!

Interested in Sport Analytics? SportsEngine is the place

Our visit in the late afternoon to SportsEngine gave us an insight into how the SportsEngine platform has simplified the organization of sport registrations, tournaments and leagues benefiting families and coaches.

With sports analytics, a hot topic in the technology world and its tremendous scope, this company is an attractive option for MBA candidates who would like to build a career in this booming industry.

Ending on a high-note at LeadPages

What better way to conclude our local career trek than with a visit to LeadPages’ eclectic office space. The office is designed to be part whimsical with rope swings and part industrial with movable dividers to provide flexibility.  Re-inventing and customizing landing pages to suit hundreds of customer needs, requires individuals who can build strong customer relationships, thrive in a fast-paced work environment, be a quick learner and think big. LeadPages laid emphasis on how adhering to their core values has enabled them to be successful and that they see tremendous growth in their future as customers seek highly customizable solutions.

As MBA students exploring careers in technology, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Tech industry is an attractive place. This tech trek organized by the Graduate Business Career Center at Carlson, helped to change the conversation about technology in the Midwest and steer it away from the focus on the Bay area. From incredible office spaces and innovative, collaborative environments to extremely passionate, intelligent, and driven people, the MSP Tech scene has it all.

I would encourage you to keep an open mind and engage in the numerous local tech events to learn more about what’s cooking in Minnesota.

Milinda Jhunjhunwala is a full-time MBA student at the Carlson School of Management and a former Senior Software Engineer at Thomson Reuters.

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