Neal St. Anthony
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Data management

Downtown firm tops $30 million in revenue

Minneapolis-based Atomic Data has signed a multiyear partnership to be the exclusive technology-services partner of the Walker Art Center. The Walker represents Atomic’s largest partnership behind its contract with the Minnesota United soccer club.

“The Walker is one of Minnesota’s most treasured institutions, with hundreds of thousands of visitors coming through its doors each year,” said Atomic Data CEO Jim Wolford. “By joining forces with their existing IT team, we’ll help the Walker continue to modernize infrastructure, execute cutting-edge initiatives, and better serve its tech-centric attendees.”

Wolford said downtown-based Atomic Data will work with Walker IT staff on a variety of technology projects intended to propel the Walker’s technological capabilities forward and better engage audiences and artists.

Atomic Data, in addition to providing unspecified financial in-kind support, will again provide free Wi-Fi at the nearby Rock the Garden 2020 music festival of the Walker and Minnesota Public Radio.

“We are immensely grateful for Atomic Data’s generous support and excited for the opportunities that this new partnership will create,” said Walker Executive Director Mary Ceruti. “Atomic Data and the Walker share a commitment to innovation and championing the new.’’

Atomic Data topped revenue of $30 million last year and has grown for several years at a 15%-plus revenue-increase clip.

Employment is expected to rise from 205 to 250 this year, Wolford said.

Also, Atomic has hired 45 entry-level IT workers through its 2018-originated partnership with Summit Academy of north Minneapolis, which provides GED and specialized training in carpentry, health care, technology and other fields for mostly minority students.

Atomic provides round-the-clock IT support, data-management and security services.

Neal St. Anthony

venture capital

VNN Sports raises $3.7 million

VNN Sports, a high school sports communications-software platform based in Michigan, has raised $3.7 million in a funding round led by NextWave capital with participation from Arsenal Ventures.

CEO Rick Ehrman of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based VNN previously worked for Sports Engine, a similar company in Minneapolis that was sold to NBC Universal.

“In my time at Sports Engine, our investors and partners had a front-row seat to see the power of digitization in athletics, culminating in the consolidation of the club sport space around us and our acquisition by NBCUniversal in 2016,” he said. “Receiving financial votes of support from high-profile organizations like NextWave and Arsenal further validates our vision at VNN and allows us to continue expanding our platform …”

VNN plans to use the funds to expand its marketing, product development and build the foundation laid over the past 18 months, which includes six partnerships and the launch of a team-centric mobile application.

VNN said the goal “is for every athletic director across the country to have access to digital tools that make it easy to build, expand and promote those programs … whether improving attendance at games, increasing participation by student-athletes, raising money for teams … or simply creating opportunities for a community to rally around its young people.”

Neal St. Anthony


Event venue opening in downtown St. Paul

The St. Paul Event Center will open soon on the third floor of the Treasure Island Center in downtown St. Paul.

The 14,000-square-foot event center is the latest addition to the building that was formerly a Macy’s department store.

After a $1 million dollar renovation, the event space features 18-foot windows, state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting systems and room to host 650 guests. With full catering and beverage options via a partnership with Crave Catering & Events, the St. Paul Event Center is expected to host weddings, corporate conferences, concerts and more.

“We’re really thrilled to show off the hard work and thoughtful design behind the St. Paul Event Center,” said Lee Oberg, construction and design consultant for the owners. “We think the beauty and flexibility of the space, coupled with its proximity to downtown, skyway access, hotels and corporations makes it a necessary and attractive option in St. Paul.”

The Treasure Island Center, located at 400 Wabasha St., opened in 2018.

In addition to the new event center, the 540,000-square-foot building also is occupied by Stacked Deck Brewing, Walgreens, several office tenants and the top floor TRIA Rink where the Minnesota Wild hockey team practices. Two new restaurants will soon open in the building.

Nicole Norfleet