By Steve Grove
DEED Commissioner 

Launch Minnesota is excited to join Twin Cities Startup Week


September 20, 2021

Twin Cities Start Up Week kicks off a week-long celebration of Minnesota’s strong and growing startup ecosystem. Right now, in Minnesota, innovative entrepreneurs are tackling the problems that are going to redefine the future of the global economy. And, any business that starts here has a better chance of surviving than in any other state.

Through the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)’s Launch Minnesota program, we believe that innovation exists across our state. Since its creation two years ago, we have already awarded $3.2 million in grants to 104 innovative startups. Our grantees have taken this funding and turned it into momentum to hire people and raise funds to propel their businesses forward.

We’ve also developed a statewide network that includes eight hubs and over 80 program partners to entrepreneurs through a hub-and-spoke model. We connect founders to subject matter experts through the Minnesota Exchange powered by Kinetic and provide education to make sure our startups get off to a great start.

In January, Launch Minnesota and its partners received a national award as a “super connector” in a competition sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration in partnership with the National Science and Technology Council.

Explore the full TCSW 2021 schedule and register to create your itinerary!

Our Innovation Grants are now open, they are available to offset business operations expenses for startups creating novel solutions. We have $1.5M to award this fiscal year (ending June 30th 2022).

Here is a checklist to see if your business is eligible and the link to the new Innovation Grants application portal. We have partnered with Hello Ignite, a Minnesota company based in Red Wing, to improve the grant application and review process. Applications for Matching SBIR/STTR Grants will be available in October.

Additionally, our Angel Tax Credits are available. There are $2.8M dollars in reserved credits for investments in targeted businesses remain available (business owned/operated by women or minorities or that are located in Greater Minnesota) yet this year. On October 1, any unused reserved credits become available for investments in any business certified to participate in the program. Check out the businesses that are certified and ready for investment via Angel Tax Credit / Launch MN. More details here.

In Minnesota, our strength is that we don’t rest on our laurels, we push to find the solution to the next big problem. At DEED, we are here to support our entrepreneurs and help turn their passion into reality.


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