St. Paul – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded $1 million in Launch Minnesota Education Grants to entrepreneurial support organizations and more than $1.16 million in Innovation Grants to startups statewide.
"We're excited to support innovation and startup growth through the Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants and Education Grants," said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. "Both programs offer valuable support to help Minnesota's startups and small businesses prosper and grow."
Education Grants to support entrepreneurs statewide
Eight entrepreneurial support organizations received grants to become Launch Minnesota Network hub leaders – which, alongside more than 120 program partners, spearhead regional efforts to help entrepreneurs access available resources. The Network is organized in a hub-and-spoke model that allows each region to customize its offerings while still enabling entrepreneurs to access statewide resources and best practices. Since its formation, the Launch Minnesota Network has made significant progress in supporting innovators across the state.
"This is an exciting time for Minnesota's innovation ecosystem. We have strong organizations across the state working collaboratively to help entrepreneurs succeed," said Neela Mollgaard, Executive Director of DEED's Office of Small Business & Innovation. "The grants will enhance the visibility of each region, our vibrant startup community and our state as a national leader in innovation."
Data shows the Launch Minnesota Network has increased connectivity between participating organizations by 20% over the course of 18 months. This is an important factor for the success of an entrepreneur. During the last year, the partners of the Launch Minnesota Network achieved the following:
- 4,597 founders received individual support
- 1,471 new entrepreneurs in the pipeline
- 572 new businesses formed
Organizations receiving Education Grant funding — and their regional programs for entrepreneurs — are:
- Northeast Minnesota Grantee: Northspan Program: DAWN
- Northwest Minnesota Grantee: Greater Bemidji Program: NoW Innovators
- Southeast Minnesota Grantee: Red Wing Ignite Program: E1 Entrepreneurs First
- Southwest Minnesota Grantee: Minnesota State University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program: Startup Southwest
- Twin Cities Grantee: Greater MSP/Forge North Program: Forge North
- West Central Grantee: Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation Program: Fastlane 94
- Statewide Grantees: University of Minnesota Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship and Grid Catalyst.
Innovation Grants bolster Minnesota's entrepreneurial ecosystem
Launch Minnesota awarded Innovation Grants of up to $35,000 to 43 startups statewide.
Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants target the most promising, innovative and scalable technology businesses in Minnesota by providing funds for startups, which can be used for research and development, direct business expenses and technical assistance. Of the 43 Innovation Grant recipients, 30 are led by entrepreneurs of color, veterans, women, persons with disabilities or are startups located in Greater Minnesota.
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 (SBIR) Matching Grants, for first time Phase I and Phase II awardees and that are based on sliding scales of their federal awards.
Since its inception in 2019, Launch Minnesota has awarded $7.6 million in grant funding and 61% has been awarded to targeted founders.
The following companies received Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Matching Innovation Grants:
- Adapt Design Works: Developing a novel multi-sensing seat cover system for prevention of sitting-related pressure injuries in individuals with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias.
- Adialante: Developing affordable, compact and silent MRI systems.
- Agitated Solutions: Researching and developing a novel contrast agent device for musculoskeletal injection procedures.
- Ascan: Developing a novel tissue oxygen scanning method for Acute Compartment Syndrome (ACS) diagnosis.
- Claritytek: Developing virtual reality cognitive therapy targeting Alzheimer's disease.
- Elements Endoscopy: Developing a modular flexible endoscopy system that lightly roboticizes the endoscope.
- Fistula Solution Corporation: Developing a novel post-surgical incision management device to prevent ostomy complications.
- Frontline Biotechnologies: Developing nanosorbent technology for eDNA collection and concentration for aquaculture pathogen detection.
- Innocent Technologies: Developing an online software platform addressing unconscious biases in educational settings.
- LEAH Labs: Developing a commercially-ready cell engineering platform that will enable a curative therapy for cancer in the veterinary market.
- Moonshot Medical: Developing an intravenous medical device for delivery of oxygen microbubbles for the treatment of hypoxia and ARDS.
- Momease Solutions: Developing a wearable device that aids in expressing breast milk.
- NexGen Cancer Detection: Developing a diagnostic test to screen for residual cancer in a patient's blood.
- Piraeus Medical: Developing a novel device to enable cranial access.
- Quench Medical: Researching and developing a novel inhaled dry powder aerosol that aims to stop pulmonary air leaks.
- Radwave Technologies: Developing a modular and reconfigurable electromagnetic navigation system for surgical interventions and medical robotics.
- TerraCity: Developing a machine learning-powered shared mobility optimizer that improves transit optimization.
- Weathervane Labs: Developing a software platform for personal thermal comfort models for weather-ready decision making.
The following companies received Business Operations Innovation Grants:
- Adialante: Developing affordable, compact and silent MRI systems.
- Anarus: Developing a cloud-based standardized product data exchange platform for manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
- Babbl Labs: Developing an AI-based news monitoring platform for stock traders.
- Bloom Standard: Developing an automated ultrasound screening neonatal and pediatric device.
- CC Scholz Design: Developing eco-friendly greetings and gifts everyone can use.
- FeVi Co: Developing a pain-averting assistance device for all types of injections that aims to helping individuals overcome needle phobias.
- GogyUp: Developing assistive-reading technologies.
- GoNo: Developing a patented AI personalized medicine engine that aids in food choices based on personalized medical conditions and wellness goals.
- Hinckley Medical: Developing a protocol management software and weighing device for ambulance gurneys to improve medication dosages and treatment accuracy.
- HMMP: Developing a manager development experience aimed at addressing employee retention and engagement.
- Klaris: Developing a novel appliance that eliminates impurities and gasses to create slow-melting pure ice.
- Objective Biotechnology: Developing an automated microinjection robot that uses machine learning to target, inject and deliver payloads to embryos.
- Omi Live: Developing an interactive online shopping platform experience for the eco-conscious community.
- Pelva Health: Developing a combination therapeutic device and software platform that gives women suffering from chronic vaginal pelvic pain immediate relief and long-term rehabilitation.
- Q-rounds: Developing a digital health solution that provides a real-time virtual queue for hospital rounds.
- Quebracho: Developing a Hispanic better-for-you convenience food brand.
- Radar Consulting: Developing end-to-end recruitment programs for local school districts to eliminate staffing shortages.
- Refr Sports: Developing a robust management software tailored for the referee industry.
- Resource Electromembrane: Developing high-performance membranes for electrically-driven separations, in the water, environmental, energy and chemical industries.
- Social Beast Enterprises: Developing an interactive gaming platform designed for partners to engage and grow customer relationships through playful, free-to-play predictive games.
- Soulwork Technologies: Developing a software platform designed for corporate sustainability teams.
- Stake: Developing a marketplace platform where you can buy items that support sustainability and social responsibility in every step of the ordering process.
- Trajectory Medical: Developing a novel "Trajectory Guide" device to address the problem of pacemaker lead-induced Tricuspid Regurgitation.
- University of Fisheries: Developing Wild Alaskan Salmon Jerky using a proprietary process.
- VSOD: Developing an app that allows general practice veterinarians to connect with specialists for virtual collaborative medicine.
- XanthosHealth: Developing a social care connection platform for clinical teams and community-based organizations for people living with cancer.