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Commercialization Funding

Financial resources to help bring emerging energy technologies and products to market. 

Funding Opportunities Bulletin 

Minnesota Department of Commerce Funding Opportunities public service bulletin provides timely updates on local, state, and federal funding opportunities for energy-related projects. The Funding Opportunities Database shows current opportunities and also provides an option to receive updates to funding opportunities by email.

MNvest 

MNvest allows eligible businesses to engage in equity crowdfunding campaigns – an online strategy to raise small amounts of capital from a large number of people. With MNvest, a Minnesota business can solicit investment funds from Minnesota residents in exchange for a financial interest in the business. It provides Minnesotans with an opportunity to invest in local startups and small businesses to share potential risks and rewards from having a financial interest in the business. 

SBIR and STTR Grants 

Overseen by the Small Business Administration, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs now have a combined $2.2 billion  set aside annually among 12 federal agencies to support the financing and commercialization of cutting-edge technologies developed by small businesses.

Minnesota SBIR serves as the State’s focal point to help technology-based entrepreneurs and innovators successfully access federal funding through the SBIR and STTR Programs. MN-SBIR provides training and helps you identify federal funding opportunities that match your research interests and prepare and submit winning research proposals.

Minnesota Innovation Voucher Pilot Program

Managed by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, this pilot program provides up to $25,000 in financing to help small businesses purchase technical assistance and services necessary to advance research, development, or commercialization of new or innovative products and services. Qualifying companies receive vouchers, which can be redeemed with approved public universities, colleges, technical schools, and nonprofits in Minnesota.

Energy Efficiency Applied Research and Development Grants

The Minnesota Department of Commerce provides grant funding so that manufactures and distributors of emerging commercially available energy efficiency technologies or systems can obtain independent validation of their performance. If proven cost effective for utility energy conservation programs, utilities may offer financial incentives to their customers so that  energy savings and cost effectiveness can be maximized for both the customer and the utility energy conservation programs. If your company is interested in learning more about this program, please contact Mary Sue Lobenstein.

Financing a Business in Minnesota

Whether it’s to startup, operate or expand, at some stage most every business owner must find the money to make things happen. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development provides details on state financing programs as well as guidance on financing your business from funding sources.

Minnesota Initiative Foundations

Six regional foundations work across the state to strengthen the communities and economies of Greater Minnesota. Each foundation is independent and serves its region with unique grants, business loans, leadership programs and services.  

Small Business Administration

SBA-backed loans are processed in partnership with local banks or credit unions to help finance or grow small businesses. This simple Access Financing wizard will connect you with government resources that best fit your business needs. 

U.S. Grants Portal

Grants.gov provides tools to FIND and APPLY for federal grants. The Grants Learning Center includes information about the grants lifecycle and how policies may affect you.

Minnesota Venture Capital Association 

The Minnesota Venture Capital Association (MVCA) is a not-for-profit group comprising members whose primary activity is the management of venture capital funds and investments. MVCA provides links to Member Venture Capital Company Web Sites.

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