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Launch Minnesota Receives National Award as an Small Business Administration "Super Connector"

Out of 160 submissions from across the U.S., Launch Minnesota is one of four recipients in its category


January 25, 2021

St. Paul – Launch Minnesota – an initiative of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) designed to accelerate the growth of startups and amplify Minnesota as a national leader in innovation – has received a national award as a “Super Connector” in the new Lab-to-Market (L2M) Competition sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in partnership with the National Science and Technology.

The competition drew over 160 submissions from across the country and awarded $330,000 in prizes. Launch Minnesota was one of four recipients in the Super Connector category which recognizes “current efforts to successfully attract and/or support networks of underrepresented communities in the R&D innovation ecosystem.” The prize was $10,000. Here is Launch Minnesota’s SBA award submission video.

“This recognition speaks to the importance we place on ensuring that everyone in Minnesota who has a good idea is able to connect to our innovation ecosystem and help develop solutions to the challenges we face as a nation,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove.

Launch Minnesota submitted a proposal on behalf of our partners in the Launch Minnesota Network, specifically:

• MNSBIR – Minnesota SBIR/STTR Office

• University of Minnesota Technology Commercialization

• University of Minnesota’s Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship

• University Enterprise Laboratories (UEL)

The University of Minnesota is a statewide partner in the Launch Minnesota Network which was formed last March and uses a first-of-its-kind hub-and-spoke model to unite six regions, seven hubs and over 60 partner organizations. This network enables innovators or new technologies from across the state to be connected to organizations to help commercialize new ventures.

“I’m pleased we could bring together and elevate the incredible work of organizations in Minnesota’s innovation ecosystem. This is an example of the impact we have as a state when we work together,” said Launch Minnesota Executive Director Neela Mollgaard.

The Lab-to-Market (L2M) Competition’s goal is to encourage entrepreneurship and inclusive, sustainable growth by developing and commercializing technology to improve access to resources.

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow us on Twitter.


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