Establishing a University-connected business incubator has become one of the more prominent proposals for reinvigorating Minnesota's high-tech economy. Incubators typically offer early-stage businesses low-cost space and a variety of services to help them become viable. They're not a new idea, but they've gained new visibility nationally with the success of a few Internet-related efforts. Incubators can help individual firms, but they're not necessarily the key to a building a high-tech economy.
Minnesota has been the launching pad for many leading technology businesses in the past. But some entrepreneurs say the state is no longer a good place for high tech start-ups, and the state's share of the U.S. venture capital pie has gone down. Recently several local investors have formed new funds to target Minnesota and the Midwest. But many observers say the state needs to do more to promote high technology, including starting its own venture capital fund.
High technology has become a major focus of economic development efforts around the country. Governors and lawmakers across the country are unveiling plans to prevent their states from losing out on the job growth and high wages that characterize successful technology industries. In Pittsburgh, the state's efforts are helping the region emerge from the ashes of the steel industry as a technology powerhouse.
Northwest Airlines and its flight attendants union today resumed negotiations aimed at ending a more than three-and-a-half-year old contract dispute. Meanwhile, the company suspended the bulk of its ongoing effort to search the home computers of flight attendants. A federal judge in St. Paul authorized the searches in connection with a company lawsuit accusing flight attendants of conducting an illegal sickout. The judge has put that lawsuit on hold. But critics say the airline's effort intrudes on First Amendment rights and invades employee privacy.
Minnesota House Republicans are proposing a Privacy Bill of Rights for Minnesotans. Republicans want to stop state government agencies from selling mailing lists, and force telemarketers to register with the state.
In the workplace, the exploding use of computer networks, e-mail and the Internet, and other digital technologies have made it easy for companies to monitor their employees. And a growing number of employers are starting to keep tabs on workers. But the results can lead to serious problems for management and labor.
The men heading up the partnership to buy the twins are no strangers to professional sports. Glen Taylor owns the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Robert Naegele is managing partner of the Minnesota Wild hockey team. Why are they buying a losing baseball franchise?
The wave of consolidation in banking has slowed since last year, when a flurry of mega-mergers, including the pairing of Norwest and Wells Fargo, reshaped the industry landscape. At the time, many observers wondered whether U.S. Bancorp, the Twin Cities' other major bank, would find a partner. The company has been snapping up smaller California banks, but hasn't made a big move. Banking industry analysts are pondering the possibility that U.S. Bancorp would join up with Firstar of Milwaukee, a merger that would bring together the brothers Grundhofer.
In a wide-ranging interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Honeywell CEO Michael Bonsignore explains the circumstances that led to the merger of the company with AlliedSignal, and the decision to close the Minneapolis headquarters.
With the number of corporate headquarters moving out of Minnesota on the upswing, the business community waits for another shoe to drop.
Though not completely happy, business leaders are generally upbeat about legislative session.
MPR's Bill Catlin looks at how Ventura's policies affect business in Minnesota.
Minnesota's film industry is in a downward spiral. Ventura tries to help.
The cost of "free flights" continues to rise along with airlines' profits.
Rock-bottom prices may seem ideal for consumers, but many businesses - and their employees - are struggling.