Advance Thief River is a Launch Minnesota Navigator

Advance Thief River is excited to be part of Launch Minnesota, a statewide collaborative effort to accelerate the growth of startups and amplify Minnesota as a national leader in innovation. Launch Minnesota is a new initiative spearheaded by Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). 

Thief River Falls is one of six Northwest Minnesota communities, working together to build a culture of innovation and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Thief River Falls has a rich history of innovation and is home to world-class companies that have demonstrated the ability to thrive in relatively remote, rural area.

As part of Launch Minnesota, Advance Thief River will help area entrepreneurs with access to capital, education, networks, and connections to the resources they need to be successful. 

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.

As part of Launch Minnesota, Advance Thief River will act as a Navigator, providing one-on-one assistance to entrepreneurs and helping connect startups to the resources they need to launch and grow a successful startup. Check out Thief River Falls business resources, including Two Rivers Angel Network, a group of accredited angel investors, looking to invest in Thief River Falls area startups.

Launch Minnesota 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 first time Phase 2 SBIR or STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) 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.

Grant applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis until the $1.6 million in fiscal year 2020 funding is fully awarded. In July, another $1.6 million in funding will be available for fiscal year 2021.

Applications are reviewed first by the Launch Minnesota advisory board, then by an internal review committee, and finally by the commissioner’s office.

For complete details and the applications, please visit Launch Minnesota Grants.

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