Here's one of those gotta-have-it gifts that hardworking manufacturers and suppliers all over Minnesota can give themselves this holiday season: An online place to find - and be found by - more customers right in their own communities, regions and state.
A Minnesota manufacturers supply chain database has been on the industry's wishlist for quite a while. And this year, manufacturers will find it neatly wrapped beneath their collective tree.
A couple years ago, Lisa Lavin posed a question to a friend over lunch. “Do you have a patent burning a hole in your back pocket?” she wondered.
The inquiry wasn't entirely out of leftfield, considering that Lavin’s dining companion was Mark Kroll, an internationally recognized biomedical engineer who helped revolutionize implantable heart defibrillators, who holds more than 350 issued or pending patents, and who is widely considered Minnesota’s most inventive genius.