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Launch Minnesota is an initiative spearheaded by Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Designed in consultation with legislators from both parties, and alongside dozens of private sector leaders, the program exists to help grow Minnesota's startup ecosystem.

Read our Year End Recap

We know that Minnesota already has a lot to offer startup founders.

  • Stable venture capital investment - We have the second-highest investment rates in the Midwest
  • Skilled tech talent - We have a great university system and R&D centers, along with a growing number of technology bootcamps and training programs.
  • Reliable digital infrastructure - We are fifth in the nation in internet usage per capita, and are at 90% broadband penetration.
  • Successful Fortune 500 businesses - We have the highest per capita number of Fortune 500 companies in the nation, creating a strong business-to-business startup ecosystem.
  • Great patent success - For example, we are #1 in the nation in medical device patents per capita.

Yet we know that much more can be done to make Minnesota a national leader in innovation. And there's never been a more important time.

We believe:

  • Businesses of the future are the startups of today. Our established businesses in Minnesota need a robust innovation ecosystem to provide the ideas and talent to continue to be global leaders.
  • We can make it possible for companies to grow right here in Minnesota and not feel they have to go elsewhere - and we want to promote innovative jobs and our innovation ecosystem in a coordinated way.
  • States and cities that develop their innovation ecosystems are quickly distancing their economies from those who do not. It's important for us to be competitive in the new economy.
  • We need to make it easier for emerging innovative companies to find answers and plug into resources across Minnesota.

Launch Minnesota has several offerings to grow our innovation ecosystem:

  • A series of Innovation Grants for research and development, business liquidity, even childcare/housing assistance - to make it easier to get your startup off the ground.
  • An Angel Tax credit to incentivize investments from venture capitalists in Minnesota startups.
  • Education Grants that empower community builders to train startups on critical skills in building a technology startups.

You can find more detail on each of these offerings throughout the Launch Minnesota website. All financial incentives are available by application, and our Advisory Board guides decisions on award-winners.

Beyond these incentive programs, Launch Minnesota seeks to bring our statewide startup industry together to create a stronger network of innovators in Minnesota, and to tell the story of our startup growth to the rest of the country.

Together, we can make Minnesota an extraordinary place to grow your technology startup.

Launch Minnesota is here to help you take off.

2022 Innovation Award Recipient

Neela Mollgaard & Launch Minnesota Initiative

The Innovation Award recognizes a creative solution to an economic development challenge, awarded to a community, county, organization, or a collaborative team. It could include any or all of the following:

  • Programs or initiatives that focus on business attraction, talent attraction or retention, business retention and expansion, financing, entrepreneurship, technology or other economic development initiatives.
  • Successful partnerships that demonstrate the strength of working together as a collective whole.
  • Creativity, effective communication and impeccable execution of an economic development marketing initiative.

Read More about the Awards

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