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Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs (MILE)

The Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs (MILE) program provides interest-free loans to early stage businesses developing or producing high-tech products or services in Minnesota. This program is an initiative of the Minnesota Investment Fund.

Overview

MILE seeks to accelerate the commercialization of research, fuel the growth of start-ups and provide quality jobs for the next generation of Minnesotans. MILE loans are targeted for high-tech startups that are at a business stage where they are generally unable to attract sufficient outside investment or traditional bank financing. Highlights about MILE loans:

  • Amounts range from $20,000 to $50,000
  • Interest-free
  • 4-year term
  • No repayments in the first year and graduated payments in subsequent years
  • Require a 1:1 match from another funder
  • Approximately $125,000 may be awarded and up to 6 loans may be made each application period

To apply for a MILE loan eligible businesses submit an application during open application periods, which are generally twice a year. Applications are then reviewed and scored based on set criteria. Businesses whose applications score the highest may be awarded MILE loans.

MILE loans can be used for working capital, intellectual property development, proof of concept activities, commercialization planning, prototype design, market feasibility studies and other start-up activities as approved by DEED.

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