Friday, August 19, 2022

Minneapolis/St. Paul Ranked High for Startups:

As a lawyer who works with startups for a living, I wasn’t surprised to see that M25, an early-stage venture firm based in Chicago that invests in tech startups headquartered in the Midwest, has (again) ranked the Twin Cities #2 among its Best of the Midwest Startup Cities Rankings. I’ve known for a couple of decades that the Twin Cities is a pretty great place to start a business and this report just validates that.

The rankings are rooted in three general areas: the amount of startup activity, how supportive the area’s ecosystem is for startups, and the general business climate. The top two (Chicago at #1) have been consistent among the 59 metropolitan areas ranked since these rankings started in 2017. Pittsburgh, which had consistently been ranked third fell to fourth behind a rising Indianapolis, which really benefitted from aggressive funding availability through programs (direct investment, angel tax credit, etc.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Dog Days of Summer

The “Dog Days” of summer are from July 3 to August 11 each year. They’re usually the hottest and most unbearable days of the season. We often hear about the "Dog Days" of Summer, but few know the meaning of the expression.

The phrase can be traced back to ancient Greece and has its roots in astrology. It is a reference to the heliacal rising of the star system Sirius (known colloquially as the "Dog Star"), which Hellenistic astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. The term “the dog days of summer” is now taken to describe the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Domain Names and Branding – What’s in a (Domain) Name?

In the internet age, a good domain name is a crucial part of any business’s branding strategy.

In a previous post on this blog directed at domain name owners, I covered the importance of domain names and identified some common domain scams. But what about new businesses that are just starting their branding? Ideal “.com” domain names can be in short supply these days. What is an entrepreneur to do?

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Twin Cities Summer Music Opportunities: Get Out and Enjoy!

Since moving to the Twin Cities, my wife and I have always loved and appreciated the community’s strong commitment to the arts. From catching a musical at the Orpheum, to attending concerts at the Minnesota Orchestra, to impromptu open mic nights at our local brewery, we are constantly surrounded by a talented and passionate group of musicians that makes us feel at home.

This year, the Minnesota Orchestra said goodbye to its music director, Osmo Vänskä, who led the orchestra for nearly two decades and has been a pillar in our arts community. During his farewell tour, many fans have shared stories of Vänskä performing throughout the cities and prioritizing our community, reminding me of how lucky we are to have this flourishing community.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Is that the Real McCoy?

Counterfeit products are fake goods designed, packaged, and branded to look like the real thing. They were historically of a lesser quality. For many years, the counterfeit market was considered a problem primarily for manufacturers of well-known luxury or high-end consumer goods such as name-brand clothing, shoes, purses, shoes, watches, jewelry, and electronics.

The fake items were sold by street vendors to persons who might not be likely customers for the genuine products, so actual “lost sales” to the brand owner were questionable. In most of these situations, purchasers would have (or should have) a fairly good idea that they were not purchasing a genuine product, so lack of quality would not be a surprise or blamed on the brand owner.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Digital Assets: Lathrop GPM Takes on Consensus

Author: Julian Sansano 

I recently attended the largest cryptocurrency, non-fungible token (“NFT”), and digital asset conference in the world. Consensus by Coindesk attracts tens of thousands of people from around the world, in a variety of fields and sectors, who either participate in the world of digital assets or are looking to build their knowledge and network in the digital asset world. Incredible buzz and excitement—think trade show meets rock concert, but the rockstars were the largest players and influencers in the digital asset game. For example, the founder of Cardano, a cryptocurrency, presented in jeans and a tee-shirt about his optimistic views on the future of cryptocurrency and their utility in the modern world, while the Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission presented in a suit about incoming crypto regulation.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A Hawaiian Sojourn

Author: Dara Alvarado

As we are getting into warmer weather here in Kansas City, and, finding myself hard at work inside, it’s hard not to reminisce about my time in Hawaii last October. I was lucky enough to visit Maui in October. My husband and I went for about a week.

It was our first time traveling to Hawaii and we had a connecting flight through LAX. We went through security, got to our gate, checked our tickets (awesome, a two-hour flight), engaged in some people-watching, and had some snacks while waiting for the plane. Fast forward—we are onboard and flying. One hour passes. Two hours pass. At three hours, I begin to wonder. I turn to my husband and ask, “Why are we still in the air?!” Yes, you’re right—the flight was actually six hours instead of two. We did indeed land in Hawaii two hours after our departure from Los Angles, but we forgot about the time difference.

We were exhausted from our supposed two-hour flight, but seeing this scenery definitely made the six-hour plane ride worth it. We drove to our first stop where we had an Airbnb for a few days. We stayed on the north side of the island – more remote and more scenic than the west side. Below is the view from our window.