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Launch Minnesota Education Grants Aim to Catalyze Our Innovation Ecosystem

11/13/2019 2:54:50 PM

Last week, we invited startups and entrepreneurs to apply for Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants [G(1] which target the most promising, innovative and scalable technology businesses in Minnesota. Now, we’re excited to announce that Launch Minnesota Education Grants are open to organizations who want to help catalyze our innovation ecosystem.

This is a new opportunity for qualified organizations throughout Minnesota, including higher education institutions, who want to be part of building up a innovation ecosystem – a network to support startups and energize the exchange of great ideas. We’re looking for organizations who have experience and success providing educational programming to high-tech startups and conducting outreach and collaboration with key partners. We need organizations experienced building networks with businesses, federal and state agencies, institutions of higher education, trade associations and other organizations working to advance innovation and high-technology early stage businesses.

The goal: improve coordination among innovation ecosystem stakeholders to maximize impact – and elevate Minnesota as a national leader in the innovation economy.

Grant funding will be used to deliver the following services:

  • Commercialization: development and delivery to high technology businesses of industry specific or innovative product or process specific counseling on issues of business formation, market structure, market research and strategies, securing first mover advantage or overcoming barriers to entry, protecting intellectual property, and securing debt or equity capital. This counseling is to be delivered in a classroom setting or using distance media presentations;
  • Risk Capital: outreach and education to businesses and organizations on the Angel Tax Credit program, the MNvest crowd-funding program, and other state programs that support high technology business creation especially in underserved communities;
  • Statewide Collaboration: collaboration with institutions of higher education, local organizations, federal and state agencies, the Small Business Development Center, and the Small Business Assistance Office to create services needed for startups and entrepreneurs and to share best practices statewide; and.
  • Networking: events, competitions with other innovation-related organizations to inform entrepreneurs and potential investors about Minnesota's growing information economy.

Grant proposals will be accepted twice during the two-year grant cycle. We’re also offering an informational webinar on November 22, 2019 at 10:00am CT. Check out launchminnesota.org to learn more. Launch Minnesota provides special consideration and social capital connectivity for startups and small businesses in Greater Minnesota as well as businesses started by women, veterans and people of color.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-Commissioner Steve Grove

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