Update: Launch Minnesota has been fully funded! Funds for the program were included in the new jobs bill was recently signed by Gov. Walz. Congratulations, Launch Minnesota! You deserve it.
Today @GovTimWalz signed a historic Jobs bill, w/ record amounts for childcare, small biz supports, & workforce funding to great NGOs.
— Steve Grove (@grove) July 1, 2021
Launch Minnesota has been a major ecosystem builder. With dozens of grants awarded to deserving businesses, the organization has helped, well, launch a huge number of Minnesota entrepreneurs. And we are grateful!
While continued funding for Launch Minnesota was included in the Governor and House omnibus bill, it unfortunately wasn’t included in the Senate omnibus bill.
To help illustrate the positive impact Launch Minnesota has had, we’ve gathered a handful (of many!) stories from founders. As you’ll see below, continued funding for the organization will help benefit businesses like these.
Wesley A Wierson — LEAH Labs
Launch Minnesota funding was critical for us to establish our business presence in Rochester, MN, and help us de-risk our company’s research as we work to build curative therapies for dogs with cancer.
Andrew Brown — Radwave Technologies Inc
Launch Minnesota helped accelerate Radwave’s product development and introduced us to more of the Minnesota startup ecosystem. One particular introduction with Pat Dillon resulted in a National Science Foundation phase 1 grant for 256k.
Goutham Vemuri — Sasya
Launch Minnesota was a much-needed boost to the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Not only did it financially support Sasya, but it also brought together a strong network. The targeted support of the entrepreneurs through the housing program was a nice touch.
Cathy Skinner — Thrivors
The Launch Minnesota funding allowed our company to build technology capabilities for cancer patients. The structure of the program provided us with the timing and runway to meet our milestones.
The terms of the program made the award far more valuable than a loan or funding from an investor. Moving forward, I strongly recommend the reinstatement of the Launch Minnesota program. Many other Minnesota businesses will benefit and add value to the employment landscape and economic development of the state.
Robbie Spencer — Nanodropper
It’s pretty simple. I wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for Launch Minnesota. Nanodropper used the grant they received from Launch Minnesota to hire me. Since then, I have executed a marketing campaign that has resulted in the successful launch of our first-of-its-kind product, thousands of Nanodroppers sold, hundreds of thousands of visitors to our website who not only learn about our company, but also eye health through our educational blogs, and a network of more than 70 eye care clinics that now use or sell the Nanodropper in-house.
I also successfully orchestrated a campaign that helped our co-founders be named to the 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in healthcare, bringing notoriety to the startup community of Minnesota. A lot of hard work has gone into these efforts, but it all started with a seed planted by Launch Minnesota that allowed me the opportunity to flourish. I will be forever indebted to this organization.
Sean Higgins — BetterYou
Launch Minnesota emerged at a time when we were just getting our footing at BetterYou. They helped us expand part of our business and connect with other founders going through the same thing. They’re a great program for the early stages and I recommended them to every founder in the community I came across.
Chris Lukenbill — Shrpa
We are extremely appreciative of the support provided to our company through the Launch Minnesota programs. Thanks to support and grant funding, we have provided stability to our full-time employees, and we are now looking to hire more individuals to join our small but growing team.
Siba Das — NovoClade
The grant from Launch Minnesota has had a huge impact on our ability to continue with research and development as well as paying for associated business development expenses. It would have been very difficult for us to run our operation without their support.
Morgan Clyburn — Agitated Solutions
Launch Minnesota provided valuable early-stage funding to support our research and development activities and several intellectual property fillings. The progress we were able to make with this critical funding allowed us to further fundraise another $625,000 and we expect to have our first product launched this year!