Minnesota Grants $1 Million to 43 Local Startups
Courtesy of Launch MN

Minnesota Grants $1 Million to 43 Local Startups

MN Deed program Launch MN selected 43 startups out of a pool of 70 to receive grants of up to $35,000.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) on Tuesday announced it has awarded $1,189,500 in Launch Minnesota innovation grants to startups across the state. Of those 43 startups, 25 were entrepreneurs of color, veterans, women, or located in greater Minnesota.

Launch Minnesota, an initiative spearheaded by MN DEED, seeks to level the playing field by providing access to resources, talent, and funding, said Neela Mollgaard, executive director of Launch MN. “These businesses are solving big problems that will define our state’s next chapter. Providing grant funding to early-stage companies positively impacts not just the founders, but local communities and those benefiting from the innovative solutions being developed and deployed,” she said.

In this recent cohort of awardees, Mollgaard said it’s clear innovators are focused on solving problems that align with the state’s major economic drivers. The industry breakdown includes: 45% in med/health/biotech; 29% in software/IT; 10% in food/ag tech; and 6% in clean tech.

For this round of grants, over 70 eligible startups applied in July and August. The eligible startups then go through a competitive evaluation process that includes both an internal review from DEED staff and an evaluation from Launch MN’s advisory board comprised of a broad range of individuals with diverse expertise, Mollgaard said. Startups are evaluated internally based on several key components, including their team, impact, and capacity in addition to a review of their value proposition and market demand for the technology.

To date, 60% of grants have gone to targeted founders who are women, people of color, residents of greater Minnesota, and veterans.

Innovation Grant awardees can receive up to $35,000 for research and development, direct business expenses, and technical assistance. Awardees of the small business innovation research (SBIR) or small business technology transfer (STTR) matching grant can receive up to $35,000 for Phase I and $50,000 for Phase II.

Launch MN has $1.5 million each fiscal year to award to startups; grant applications are reviewed and awarded until the funding is depleted. After this round, Launch MN has $310,500 remaining this fiscal year, which ends in June 2023.

In Launch MN’s closeout surveys, 100% of grantees shared the funding helped propel their business. Susan Langer, a founder of Live. Give. Save. (SPAVE) and a TCB Notable Women in Technology 2022, was part of the first group of startups to receive funding from Launch MN. Langer said the funding helped build out the software platform and helped position the company to be acquired the following year in 2021.

“The launch of new technology startups is central to Minnesota’s overall competitiveness because our startup ecosystem has an outsized impact on our state,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove in a news release. “These grants encourage more Minnesotans to build the next big thing – creating jobs and opportunities in industries of the future.”

The 43 startups to receive state funding this round were:

Adapt Design Works LLC: Developing an app-connected system that monitors and prevents pressure injuries for wheelchair users

Agitated Solutions Inc: St. Paul company providing agitated saline as contrast during ultrasound procedures

Astrin Biosciences Inc: Excelsior-based developer of single-cell diagnostic tools and precision therapies to transform cancer mortality

Binary Bridge SBC: Minneapolis-based startup on a mission to bring health equity and clinic modernization to emerging economies with an innovative digital health records system

Bus Stop Mamas LLC: Minneapolis-based workforce engagement tool that provides businesses access to an untapped talent pool of educated stay-at-home moms

C Drager LLC: Online platform for farmers and independent meat market producers to sell directly to consumers, based in Mankato

Canomiks Inc: Rochester-based developer of an AI-based platform to test and certify biological efficacy and safety for the food, beverage, and dietary supplement industry

Carba Inc: Minneapolis-based company permanently removes and buries large quantities of carbon monoxide from the atmosphere

Cerovations LLC: St. Paul-based Medtech developed focused on neurosurgical, urologic/gynecologic, and cardiac inventions

Clean Chickens and Co. LLC: Elk River-based mobile poultry processing unit that is both USDA-inspected and Halal-certified

CoraVie Medical: Developing a subcutaneous, continuous blood pressure monitor in Minneapolis

Daynamica Inc: Golden Valley-based startup building an application for collecting, processing, and understanding human activity and travel behavior data

Detect Auto Inc: Minneapolis-based computer vision-based analytics platform for auto repair shops providing analytics and insights on shop performance with AI

Empower Independence Company LLC: Developing a shower system that enables individuals with physical limitations to provide self-care, increase independence, and enhance safety in the shower

Exergi Predictive Inc: Developing machine learning software products for hybrid and electric vehicles, based in St. Paul

Frontline Biotechnologies Inc: Minneapolis-based researcher of a novel eDNA sorbent kit for use as a diagnostic tool for aquatic disease and invasive species

Hayaa LLC: Providing culturally appropriate sanitary wear for Muslim healthcare workers

Heart Failure Solutions Inc: Assisting heart failure patients that have been diagnosed with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

Isola Therapeutics Inc: Developing a local drug delivery platform to treat lung cancer and esophageal cancer

Loon Medical LLC: Chanhassen-based developer of a mobile application with a quality-controlled collection of clinical signs and outcome monitoring meant for infants and preschoolers with respiratory illnesses

MarPam Pharma LLC: Developing a one-time treatment for HIV that eliminates the need to take daily antiretroviral medications.

Morari Inc: Maple Grove-based developer of a chemical-free Bluetooth-enabled wearable patch for the treatment of premature ejaculation

NeuraWorkx Medical Technologies Inc: Excelsior-based developer a non-invasive bioelectronic and digital health solution by enhancing the brain’s glymphatic system to slow its aging process

Neurotype Inc: Researching and developing portable brain sensing tools to support the recovery of people who struggle with substance use disorders, based in Minneapolis

Nightware Inc: Hopkins-based prescription digital therapeutic system for the reduction of sleep disturbance related to nightmare disorder or nightmares from post-traumatic stress disorder

NovoClade Inc: St. Paul-based company working to bring chemical-free environmentally friendly insect control to market

Nucleic Sensing Systems LLC: Developing technology for the autonomous detection and verification of biological organisms

Parkpoolr LLC: Minneapolis-based startup offering modern parking management including property management, advertising, payment collection, and more

REMastered Sleep LLC: Eagan-based startup makes a myofunctional therapy water bottle to provide a simple solution to improve airway health and get better sleep

Sasya Inc: St. Paul-based developer of low-cost, high-performing feed additives for the swine feed market

Sarcio Inc: Developing an osteoarthritis regenerative cell therapy, based in Minneapolis

Shape Medical Systems Inc: St. Paul-based company validating new methods developed by Shape to detect early-stage pulmonary arterial hypertension

SIID Technologies LLC: Minneapolis-based startup applies principles of machine learning and data science to develop software as a service (SaaS) software products that mitigate algorithmic bias within legal practices

Superior Nano LLC: Developing nano-dosage forms of drug molecules and nano-drug delivery technology

TearRestore Inc: At-home device replacing in-office treatment for dry eye sufferers, based in Minneapolis

Teqnizan Inc: Hamel-based company offers a patented music earring that connects to Bluetooth-enabled devices

Tiumed LLC: Creating an electro-surgical device targeting benign prostatic hyperplasia surgeries

TriOxLLC: Red Wing-based developer of an at-home appliance that sterilizes a prosthetic sleeve.

TurnSignl Inc: Minneapolis-based on-demand legal guidance from an attorney to drivers.

Weathervane Labs LLC: Minneapolis-based app with personalized weather insights.