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MILE Program Approves First Round of Startup Loans

Funding goes to four early-stage businesses in St. Louis Park, St. Paul, Mendota Heights and Mankato

10/11/2018 7:46:12 AM

Shane Delaney, 651-259-7236

ST. PAUL – Four high-tech startup businesses in Minnesota, including three owned and operated by women, have been approved for interest-free loans totaling $196,000 under a pilot program at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

DEED approved the funding from the Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs (MILE) program for UR Turn in St. Louis Park, Thrivors Inc. in St. Paul, Poma 22 in Mendota Heights and Guardian Athletics in Mankato.

“One of the challenges of starting a new business is finding adequate funding sources,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “Support from the MILE program will assist in fueling startup growth and the development of quality jobs for the next generation of Minnesotans.”

The MILE program provides interest-free loans of $20,000 to $50,000 to early-stage businesses developing or producing high-tech products or services in Minnesota. Each business approved for funding must repay the loan within four years and have a 1-to-1 match from another funder. Approved businesses can have no more than five employees, including the owner, and must be headquartered in the state or planning to move here.

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

DEED anticipates the next open application period for these competitive loans will be in the first quarter of 2019.

The following is a breakdown of this round of loans:

UR Turn, St. Louis Park, $50,000
UR Turn is a women-owned and -managed business specializing in information technology that helps middle school and high school students reach their goals.

Thrivors Inc., St. Paul, $46,000
Thrivors is a women-owned and -managed business specializing in information technology that helps people who are recovering from cancer.

Poma 22, Mendota Heights, $50,000
Poma 22 is a women-owned and -managed business that is researching and developing personal safety protection equipment for painters and drywall workers.

Guardian Athletics, Mankato, $50,000
This Greater Minnesota business is researching and developing personal safety protection equipment for football players.

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.


Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.

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