Launch MN 2021 Recap

Startups and Entrepreneurs Statewide Received Critical
Grants and Supports

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Today Launch Minnesota released a 2021 recap that outlines the growth sparked by the state’s efforts to advance Minnesota’s startup ecosystem. The numbers tied to bolstering Minnesota’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem – including connecting startups to capital; supporting entrepreneurs statewide through the collaborative Launch MN Network; and expanding entrepreneurial expertise.

The data shows both a strong return on investment and promising trajectories for the startups who received grants and other supports through Launch Minnesota.

“The startup economy in Minnesota is growing and thriving, strongly supported by Launch Minnesota. We’ll never take our foot off the gas in terms of supporting entrepreneurs, businesses, and the economy, but based on Launch Minnesota’s 2021 results, we have made great strides in supporting innovative startups, focusing on equity, and creating jobs.”

Steve Grove, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

The startups supported by Launch Minnesota are creating jobs, winning awards, using Launch Minnesota grants to secure private matching dollars, and obtaining federal funding and angel tax credit investments. Key successes include:

  • Results from 41 startups that fully used their grant funding
    between 2020-2021
  • Hired at least 37-full time employees
  • Raised $45M in private capital
  • 48% of startups secured private investment
  • Over $31 return for every public dollar invested

Overall stats for 2021:

  • 100% of Launch Minnesota grantees said grant propelled their business forward
  • 54 startups received almost $1.5M in grants matched with private dollars
  • Targeted founders received 67% of grants
  • $13M federal funding infused with the help of MN SBIR/STTR Accelerator
  • Issued $10M in angel tax credits to help 80+ MN companies raise $40M+ of private capital

Additionally, Launch Minnesota contributed to a connected ecosystem that benefits entrepreneurs and helps them expand their expertise:

  • 200+ individuals joined the new Minnesota Exchange, powered by Kinetic, a local startup and Launch MN innovation grantee.
  • Lean Startup Education: Nearly 500 individuals trained through UMN Venture Builders and ILT Studios.
  • Discovery Launch Pad MN opened the incubator to 10 Launch Minnesota grantees – this was the first time they’ve served startups outside the University of Minnesota system.
  • 6 of the 9 MN Cup division winners were Launch Minnesota grantees.

Late last year, DEED introduced a new initiative – called Build What Matters – to demonstrate the benefits of living, working, and launching a business in Minnesota. Businesses started in Minnesota contribute to communities across the state and country in addition to shaping the global economy. The results coming out of Launch Minnesota demonstrate precisely how Minnesotans are starting and growing businesses that matter in Minnesota.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website, the website, or follow them on Twitter.

Did You Know?

Advance Thief River is part of the Launch Minnesota Network, acting in the capacity of a navigator, helping entrepreneurs acquire the knowledge and resources they need to be successful.

Contact Michelle Landsverk for more information or with questions on business formation, expansion, and more.

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