$1.55 million

Last week, an app created by University of Minnesota Duluth alumnae closed a venture-backed funding round at $1.55 million.

The app, called Joshins, connects caregivers to families with members who have special needs. It helps facilitate "care dates," which is often a challenging task for families that are looking for qualified caregivers, a news release from Joshins says. The app arrived in the Duluth market in January.

The company landed another success: Ashton Kutcher's brother, Michael Kutcher, has joined the team as an adviser. Kutcher is a disability advocate, as he helps lead several advocacy organizations.

The need for caregivers has grown during the pandemic, especially with more children home from school while day care and summer camps are closed and day services canceled.

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The new funding will support Joshins' expansion into new markets, including Austin, Houston and Dallas, the release says.

A quick update

In case you forgot: This year is a census year.

This week, expect to receive a postcard from the U.S. Census Bureau if you have yet to respond to the census, a news release from the bureau says.

Households that fail to response to the census can expect a visit from a bureau staff member — also called an enumerator — starting Aug. 11.

With nearly 72% of Minnesotans responding, our state has one of the highest response rates in the nation. Still, that means more than one in four households haven't responded.

You can fill out the census at 2020Census.gov or by calling 844-330-2020 anytime between 6 a.m. - 1 a.m.


If you're of Finnish descent, you may recognize that word.

It's also the name of a new Cook County coffee project.

Fika Coffee in Lutsen, Java Moose in Grand Marais and design company Hoaglund Designs are collaborating to produce 12-ounce whole bean and ground coffee bags — coffee that does more than fuel caffeine needs.

Half of a bag's $20 price will go to North Shore community members for buying everyday items, like groceries, diapers, rent, heating and more.

Through a form on Sisu's website, people can nominate others who need money. Their goal is to raise $30,000 for people who may need a little extra help.

Sisu is a fitting name for the project. Sisu is "the idea of one’s ability to keep fighting against all odds when others have given up," according to the project's website.

You can find bags in-person at Fika Coffee or Java Moose, as well as online at sisucoffeeproject.com.

Kelly Busche covers business and health for the News Tribune. Her love for coffee is immeasurable, and she's always on the hunt for new brews to try.