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Teen entrepreneurs win IT Challenge

Software developed by St. Paul high school students won top honors at the second annual “Making the Business: Youth IT Challenge.”

The winning program was Academic Par Excellence, a business plan for online tutorial programs for ACT and PSAT test preparation for high-school students,

The Youth IT Challenge (YITC) program is a technology-based business plan competition, which began in January throughout the U.S. and hosted more than 150 students vying to compete in the national event by winning locally sponsored Youth IT Challenges in their home communities.

Each student received an HP laptop; a printer; software including Microsoft Office 2003, Digital Image Suite 10 and Plus! SuperPack for Windows XP; a notebook optical mouse; and a $719 U.S. Savings Bond.

MQSoftware buys Reconda

St. Louis Park-based software company MQSoftware Inc. acquired Reconda International Corp. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MQSoftware makes middleware management programs, which act as liaisons between large computers and from different manufacturers, letting them exchange data more easily. Reconda, based in Greenwich, Conn., makes middleware support products.

KCA to handle market surveys

Minneapolis-based KC Associates was selected by national IT market analyst firm IDC to conduct broad, in-depth market surveys. To date, KCA has provided the survey data for two studies: a national study aimed at improving commercial software needed to help key U.S. industries remain competitive, and a global study on the high-performance computing requirements of major industries.

KCA says it is the only marketing consulting and communications organization in Minnesota focused exclusively on business-to-business information technology (IT) products and services.

Bankers Systems teams with MeridianLink

St. Cloud-based Bankers Systems Inc. and MeridianLink Inc. formed a strategic alliance for MeridianLink to offer Bankers Systems’ technology to its clients.

MeridianLink will offer Banker Systems’ LoanPQ electronic documents for lending transactions to credit union clients that use its loan origination system.

Bankers Systems is a subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer in Amsterdam. The company provides compliance, credit and operational risk management technology to financial organizations.

MeridianLink, based in Costa Mesa, Calif., provides enterprise business technology to credit unions and business partners.

OnePAL.com launches shopping site

Minneapolis-based online company OnePAL LLC launched its comparison shopping search engine, www.OnePAL.com. With over 150,000 participating merchants, OnePAL.com offers consumers the ability to search and compare over 900,000 products, including the most popular MP3 players, digital cameras, camcorders and plasma TVs. Shoppers use convenient links to compare features, prices and other information before clicking through to a merchant’s Web site to make a purchase.

Ontrack releases reports program

Minneapolis-based Ontrack Data Recovery recently released Ontrack VeriFile Online Data Reports.

VeriFile establishes a new standard for pre-service evaluations by allowing customers to view a complete listing of their recoverable and non-recoverable files in an organized, easily searchable format. By means of a small browser-based application, the new VeriFile reports offer customers the ability to make a more informed decision about their data recovery.

IBS partners with Internet coupon company

Mendota Heights-based Internet Broadcasting Systems Inc. is partnering with a California company to provide coupons to consumers via television news station Web sites.

IBS, which produces Web sites for TV news stations, is partnering with Coupons Inc. to put coupons, offers and promotional incentives online.

IBS, whose broadcast partners include NBC, Cox and Post-Newsweek, said its sites are visited by more than 12 million unique visitors a month.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Coupons Inc. provides secure, print-from-the-Web coupons. The company’s clients include Johnson & Johnson, General Mills and Pfizer.

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