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 Response Page - Carr  Interview -      

These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Dan Carr Interview of

The Questions:

On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, please indicate how strongly you share a view. 

1.    7.3 average response    Minnesota Advantage:  An advantage of the Minnesota economy is its attractiveness to venture capital firms, who favor start-up, entrepreneurial, companies. 

2.    9.5 average response    Strategy:  Minnesota should support entrepreneurs by assuring the state has good roads, schools and cultural institutions and no unnecessary hurdles for business.

3.    7.5 average response    Taxes:  While important, the level of taxes is not the most factor when it comes to encouraging venture capital and start-up firms.

4.    6.5 average response    Medical Technology:  Venture capital in Minnesota seems to favor start-ups in medical technology over other business areas.

John Milton  (10)  (10+)  (10)  (2.5)

Excellent forum on critically important topic.

Arvonne Fraser  (9)  (10)  (10)  (8)

Having invested--perhaps too heavily--in our son's health care technology businesses, I'm very interested in this subject.  I'm a bit sad that the angel tax credit doesn't include smaller investors like us who invest in the very early startup phase, but so be it.  Am more interested in Carr's comments about the needed and important infrastructure, including education, that are essential and generally provided by government and taxes, hence my high agreement on this meeting.

Clarence Shallbetter  (6)  (8)  (5)  (8)

Chris Stedman  (10)  (10)  (10)  (5)

The first three questions seem to be almost of a common sense in their nature.

1. Minnesota Advantage:  The Minnesota economy seems to have always done better than many of our surrounding regional counterparts in terms of not peaking or dipping, but remaining relatively stable and strong, even in down economic times. This can somewhat be accredited to our strong SMB climate.

2. Strategy:  Detroit (in example) does not currently have the sustainability that Minneapolis/St. Paul does, thus being more enticing for VC’s.

3. Taxes:  I highly doubt any business start-up says “I would have looked into opening my own business, but the taxes would be so high, it wouldn’t be worth it”. If they do, then maybe it was more of a pipe dream, than a serious business case or platform. And maybe running their own business isn’t what they are best suited for.

4. Medical Technology:  I don’t believe that they “favor” medical. We do have a strong Medical segment, and it is a huge industry vertical. So it only makes sense that the VC’s would be interested in that investment. I would assume that across the country, other regions are strong in other Verticals. That doesn’t mean that the VCs will focus on or favor those segments over others in that area.

Wayne Jennings  (8)  (10)  (10)  (5)

One revealing remark was that some high-tax, high-cost areas (California, NY, Boston) attract business and capital. We shouldn’t put too much stock on the high tax disadvantage of Minnesota.

Charles & Hertha Lutz  (9)  (10)  (9)  (8)

DeWayne Townsend  (6)  (8)  (9)  (9)

I think bio-diesel is becoming a bit of a venture capital darling.

Paul and Ruth Hauge   (5)  (8)  (8)  (6)

Terry Stone  (7)  (7)  (5)  (5)

Ray Cox  (8)  (10)  (5)  (8)

I think the legislature made a huge mistake in their recent venture or “angel investor” legislation when at the last minute they added the words "a natural person". This eliminates the tax advantage for anyone that wishes to use trust funds, retirement funds, etc from the plan. I participate in a Rain Fund. We have a few members who fund the contributions using trusts or retirement funds. Because of that our whole Rain Fund group is eliminated from the tax preferential plan.... and therefore less willing to look at some deals.

Jan Hively  (9)  (9)  (9)  (9)

Bright Dornblaser  (10)  (10)  (8)  (5)

3. Taxes: We need to learn why MN dropped from no. 1 to no. 3 in the Wall Street Journal's Market Watch in 2009 vs. 2007 and 2008.

Tom Swain  (7)  (9)  (10)  (5)

Tom Spitznagle  (5)  (9)  (5)  (7)

Bob White  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (5)

Peter Hennessey  (5)  (10)  (2.5)  (5)

1. Minnesota Advantage:    I have no idea of the VC market in MN. But I would hope that MN like all States would have the good sense to encourage entrepreneurship. 

3. Taxes:   Taxes, both in the amount and in their complexity, are major burden and deciding factor in start-up or relocation. 

4. Medical Technology:   I have no idea. Maybe VC's are looking for start-ups that won't or can't go offshore? 

Chris Brazelton  (10)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)

1. Minnesota Advantage:  And we should continue to market this to the world. 

4. Medical Technology:  Strong companies like Mayo Clinic and Medtronic attract other like-businesses.  That doesn't mean we favor them, just that we're known for some of the most successful.

Donald Anderson  (7.5)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)

Dave Broden  (5)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)

1. Minnesota Advantage: The statement during the conversation did not fully confirm that ALL venture capital firms are OK with the way Minnesota is operating or the business segment interfaces. I feel that their needs to be further dialogue with others knowledgeable on the subject of venture capital firms in Minnesota before this answer is addressed. 

2. Strategy:  Business and quality people come to have strong infrastructure and related activity. 

3. Taxes: True but the overall image must be positive and expressed in a professional and effective method. The plan of Itasca suggests that this may be the case that will be evolving. 

4. Medical Technology:  This continues to be a possible bias and needs to be clarified. Too often I heard from people who say Minnesota is not a state for a certain type of technology or business because all they want is one or two segments.  

Mark Haveman  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)

3. Taxes:  But that's because his membership likely organizes, as C corps but do not pay corporate income taxes because they don't make a profit.    I would strongly suspect that if Mr. Carr’s membership was experiencing a VAT or alternative entity based tax, he might not be so sanguine about the level of business taxation in the state. 

Bob Brown  (5)  (10)  (2.5)  (5)

1. Minnesota Advantage:  Some venture capital firms are great, but others want too much control of companies, which can be detrimental to the success of the enterprise. 

W. D. (Bill) Hamm  (2.5)  (10)  (2.5)  (7.5)

1. Minnesota Advantage:  Very little to none of your venture capital is doing anything to help non-metro start ups. In fact there is some indications that venture capitalists in Minnesota are using their money to undermine our rural economies as part of a greater social engineering scheme.

2. Strategy:  While this statement rings quit true on the face, our roads are still declining due to falling state revenue in spite of a major fix a couple years back that has been of little or no help. You still continue to back Socialist education over a return to local control that once made our education system famous, so without redirecting control of education there will be no improvement. While I support "culture" I do not necessarily support your concept of helpful cultural institutions. Please define "necessary hurdles for business".

3. Taxes:  It is a very important issue to all but our undermining Socialist core.

4. Medical technology:  Not only just medical start-ups but metro start-ups in general. Without a statewide effort you doom us to failure.




The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  David Broden, Charles Clay, Marianne Curry, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  Marina Lyon, Joe Mansky, John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  and Wayne Popham 

The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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