The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced $1,189,500 in Launch Minnesota Innovation Grant awards to startups across the state. The grants were awarded to 43 startups, over half of which are led by entrepreneurs of color, veterans, women, or located in Greater Minnesota.
Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants target the most promising, innovative and scalable technology businesses in Minnesota. The grants help reduce the risk for Minnesota technology startups and entrepreneurs who are solving problems and growing the state’s innovation ecosystem.
"The launch of new technology startups is central to Minnesota’s overall competitiveness, because our startup ecosystem has an outsized impact on our state,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “These grants encourage more Minnesotans to build the next big thing – creating jobs and opportunities in industries of the future.”
Since its inception during the 2019 legislative session, Launch Minnesota has awarded 245 Innovation Grants totaling $6M to 176 unique grantees – accelerating the growth of startups and amplifying Minnesota as a national leader in innovation.
The program has $3M this biennium, $1.5M each fiscal year to provide grants to high-growth startups. Launch Minnesota has $310,500 remaining this fiscal year, which ends June 2023.
"Putting capital in the hands of founders is making a difference,” said Launch Minnesota Executive Director Neela Mollgaard. “These businesses are growing and solving big problems that will define our state’s next chapter."
Innovation Grants include business operations, which provide up to $35,000 for research and development, direct business expenses and technical assistance, and Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Matching Grants, for first time Phase I and Phase II awardees and that are based on sliding scales of their federal awards. Businesses are eligible to receive one of each grant over the two-year period.