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Innovation Grants

Whether you dream of starting an innovative business or you're already underway, Launch Minnesota is here to help you navigate your journey. Through grants, tax credits, educational programming, and a statewide network, we're building efforts to help grow Minnesota's startup ecosystem.

Innovation Grants

Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants are targeted to the most promising innovative scalable technology businesses in Minnesota. Together we’re working to help reduce the risk for Minnesota technology startups and entrepreneurs, who are solving problems and growing our state’s innovation ecosystem. The application process is now open for the following Innovation Grants:

  • Business operations: These grants provide up to $35,000 for business operations, including research and development, direct business expenses and technical assistance.
  • Housing or child care: These grants provide up to $7,500 for housing or child care expenses.
  • SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) match: These grants provide up to $50,000 for businesses awarded a Phase 2 SBIR and STTR (Small Business Innovation Research) award.

Businesses are eligible to receive one of each grant over the next two years. We give increased consideration to startups located in Greater Minnesota, as well as businesses owned by women, veterans, or people of color.

The first deadline of grants received by November 30, 2019 will be reviewed by the Launch Minnesota Advisory Board in December. Grantees will be announced in January. Applications received after November 30 will be reviewed on a regular basis in the following months.

Complete details and applications.

Minnesota Angel Tax Credit Program

Every startup needs capital to get going, and our Minnesota Angel Tax Credit exists to make that a whole lot easier. Minnesota provides a 25% credit to investors or investment funds that make equity investments in innovative startup companies. The Minnesota State Legislature allocated $10 million for 2019 – with another $10 million in 2021. Applications will be accepted as long as 2019 funding is still available.

Educational Opportunities

You may have a game-changing idea, but how exactly do you turn it into a startup? Launch Minnesota's Education Grants empower educators, accelerators, and community builders to scale their training efforts across the state.

Want to learn how to pitch a venture capitalist? How to build a technology team? How to create a business plan? Our education grants help experts share answers to these questions and more through their training efforts.

Organizations who receive our grants are expected to convene and collaborate across geographic and organizational boundaries to provide programming that includes:

  • Education for entrepreneurs with scalable innovative businesses
  • Peer-to-peer support groups
  • Sharing of best practices across sectors
  • Events and meetings with other innovation-related organizations
  • And more...
Keep an eye on this website and on our social media https://twitter.com/launchminnesota for educational opportunities near you as these grants ramp up in the coming months.

Access to a Network

Launch Minnesota strives to connect entrepreneurs and community builders across the state, bringing our statewide startup industry together to create a stronger network of innovators in Minnesota. Together, we can tell the story of our startup ecosystem's growth to the rest of the country and the world.

Stay connected to our network by signing up for our newsletter to stay informed on what we're building together.

Other DEED programs that may be helpful

There are other programs at DEED that help early stage companies grow in Minnesota. Not all are focused on technology startups, but they may be relevant to your business - take a look:

Small Business Assistance Office
This office helps reduce the expense of starting a business in terms of money, time, expertise, and lost opportunity for startups and established businesses alike by offering individual consultation services along with a comprehensive series of business guidebooks (all free of charge.)

Small Business Development Centers
This statewide network of Small Business Development Centers provides professional expertise and guidance for pre-venture and startup stage businesses as well as for established businesses ready to take things to the next level.

Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program
ELP provides loan capital for businesses that are owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities. DEED provides funding to certified nonprofit partners to make loans to startup and expanding businesses throughout the state. The program is designed to encourage private investment, provide jobs for minority and low-income persons, create and strengthen minority business enterprises, and promote economic development in low-income areas.

Indian Business Loan Program
This program supports the development of Indian-owned and operated businesses and promotes economic opportunities for Indian people throughout Minnesota. Loan proceeds may cover startup and expansion costs, including normal expenses such as machinery and equipment, inventory and receivables, working capital, new construction, renovation and site acquisition.

Minnesota Reservist and Veteran Business Loan Program
This program provides business loans to companies that are affected when certain employees are called to active military duty and to individual veterans who have returned from active duty and want to start their own business. Both types of loans provide one-time, interest-free loans of $5,000 to $20,000.