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Entrepreneurship is in our DNA

Since opening our doors in 2009, we’ve founded or co-founded six different companies—some flourishing, others now-defunct, all profoundly worthwhile. Launching our own startups and entrepreneurs has always been an integral part of GoKart Labs’ culture, giving us the empathy, speed, optimism and agility we need to best help our clients of all sizes.










Our incubator is just heating up

In 2009, we launched one of the first Startup Studios in the country (before it was even a category). Nearly a decade later, we formalized GoKart Ventures, a startup partner that invents and invests in new businesses. While creating new businesses has always been core to our DNA, we’ve now developed a formalized process surrounding this passion for investing in disruptive ideas that radically improve modern life.


Bring Me The News Logo, GoKart Labs Startup, Ventures

Started: 2009

Acquired by Pohlad Companies: 2015

The Story

Fast, focused and multi-platform, filters through hundreds of traditional and non-traditional news sources and social platforms to bring people the news they want and need. Developed in 2009 by award-winning Twin Cities investigative journalist and TV news anchor, Rick Kupchella, BMTN makes it simple to get, share and discuss what’s happening in Minnesota.

Our Role

Co-Founders, technology platform, digital marketing team, brand identity, fundraising, and a board member

Sopia Learning, GoKart Labs Startup, Venture

Started: 2009

Acquired by Capella Education: 2012

The Story

Sophia delivers an engaging, self-paced and flexible online learning experience that combines high-quality curriculum with universal accessibility. Offering free resources as well as low-cost for-credit courses eligible for transfer to over 2000 colleges and universities, Sophia helps thousands of students and teachers transform the way they learn and teach.

Our Role

Invented, designed, built and sold Sophia.

Stories in Progress

The Big Know Logo, GoKart Labs Client

Started: 2014

The Story

Free online courses. Renowned brands and businesses. The Big Know teams major brands and big-name experts with compelling content marketing, entertainment, digital media, and online learning techniques to educate, challenge and inspire audiences to improve their lives in meaningful ways.

Our Role

Creator and founding team for The Big Know.

Kaleidoscope Logo, GoKart Labs Client

Started: 2016

The Story

Kaleidoscope helps visionary organizations and advocates fund the next generation of change-making leaders by designing, building and administering scholarship programs on a cloud software platform.

Our Role

Technology team, strategic partner and investor; helped Kaleidoscope close out their first round of funding in 9 months.

Polco Logo, GoKart Labs Client

Started: 2015

The Story

Polco is a Madison-based startup that’s using technology to enable cities and their citizens to communicate more clearly and more often about decisions facing their communities—from roads to recycling to land use to public spending.

Our Role

Technology team, strategic partner and investor; helped Polco close out their first round of funding in 9 months.

Popover Logo

Started: 2017

The Story

Popover helps us all be better friends by making it easy to ask for and offer help within a close, local circle of friends you can depend on. Friends can then quickly review and claim your asks and offers. The app collects key information to shortcut the logistical headaches we navigate to simply help each other out.

Our Role

Kate Nolan, a Solution Lead at GoKart Labs invented and pitched the business. We are currently testing, designing and building Popover.


Twin Cities Startup Awards Hosted By GoKart Labs

2018 Twin Cities Startup Awards: Meet the Winners

GoKart Labs was proud to co-host the awards program for the annual Twin Cities Startup Week. Our goal was to celebrate our amazing cohort of…

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Supporting Startups and Startup Week

Since opening our doors in 2009, we’ve founded or co-founded six different companies. Some have been successful and some not so much, others are still…

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GoKart Labs Ventures Helps Employee’s Idea Come To Life

GoKart Labs Ventures has helped unlock an idea that long-time employee Chad Gillard has been brewing on for about twenty years. Gillard paired up with GoKart…

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