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Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants Awarded to 20 Startups
Minnesota Ag Connection - 02/14/2020

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Developments (DEED) has awarded over $672,000 in Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants to 20 technology startups throughout the state. These grants require a one-to-one match with private dollars, bringing the total potential investment in these startups to over $1.3 million.

Launch Minnesota is a statewide collaborative effort to accelerate the growth of startups and amplify Minnesota as a national leader in innovation. Grants are targeted to the most promising, innovative, and scalable technology businesses in the state.

"Launch Minnesota is off to a strong start. We've had an overwhelming response to our innovation grants so far," said Kevin McKinnon, DEED Deputy Commissioner for Economic Development. "We're impressed by what we've seen from Minnesota's high-tech entrepreneurs."

"I've seen firsthand that early stage startups need help reducing the risk of entry for scaling up their businesses -- and Launch Minnesota's Innovation Grants do just that," said Jodi Hubler, Launch Minnesota Advisory Board Chair. "It's exciting to be part of this movement to grow Minnesota's startup scene."

"Launch Minnesota is building on the energy of our state's entrepreneurs, who are eager to expand their businesses, solve real world problems, and grow our Minnesota's innovation ecosystem," said Neela Mollgaard, Launch Minnesota executive director.

The Launch Minnesota Advisory Board, comprised of 10 individuals with diverse expertise, is the first to review grant applications. They evaluate the technology and possible ROI for Minnesota. The applications then proceed to an internal review committee for additional evaluation. The internal review of the next batch of grant applications will be completed by the end of February. Grant applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis until the $1.6 million in fiscal year 2020 funding for Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants is fully awarded. In July, another $1.6 million in funding will be available for fiscal year 2021.

In the first grant round, 17 business operations and three SBIR Phase II grants were awarded to 20 startup companies. Five individual founders at four of the 20 startup companies also each received a $7,500 housing and childcare grant.

Visit LaunchMinnesota.org or visit the Launch Minnesota grants section of the DEED website to learn more about grant opportunities and access application materials.

2020 Innovation Grantees -- First Round:

Anatomi Corp, Minneapolis A life science research tools company that manufactures advanced models of human neurological disease useful for the development of new treatments for conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and chronic pain.

Aurora Concussion Therapy, St. Paul Medical device company focused on commercializing a non-invasive concussion therapy.

Binary Bridge, Minneapolis A portable electronic medical records system that can facilitate a full clinic in remote villages.

Char Energy Equipment, Ada Formed to design, build, and sell its patented horizontal-bake gasifier.

Darcy Solutions, Minneapolis Provide most energy- and cost-efficient way to provide heating and cooling while also significantly reducing carbon emissions.

Educharacter, Minneapolis SayKid is a voice technology company that has developed the world's first screen-less, play-based learning platform.

Farm Vision Technologies, St. Paul Automation of yield mapping to improve harvesting processes.

General Probiotics, St. Paul Develops innovative cellbots, antimicrobial probiotics that eliminate harmful pathogens in livestock, enable the production of safe food, and reduce dependency on antibiotics.

GRIP Molecular Technologies, St. Paul Molecular detection device used at point-of-care to enable the rapid identification of chemical and biological threats.

Guardian Athletics, Mankato Kato Collar is affordable technology that slows down the head by up to 30% upon impact, reducing forces on the brain that cause injuries.

LEAH Labs, Rochester LEAH Labs is developing a new curative treatment for canine cancer, starting with a therapy for B cell lymphoma, the most common cancer in dogs.

Live Give Save, Red Wing Spave, a fintech mobile app that enables anyone to use their everyday purchases to increase their savings as well as give to causes they care about without changing behavior.

Marblehead Medical, Rochester Acute ischemic stroke care has been revolutionized with multiple trials showing the efficacy of mechanical thrombectomy retrieval devices.

Otrafy, St. Paul Otrafy helps food processors and manufacturers manage the collection, storage and transfer of certification data across the food chain.

Phenomix Sciences, Rochester Mayo Clinic startup with a disruptive new technology geared toward obesity management.

Quench Medical, St. Paul Quench Medical is developing the first inhaled route of delivering an approved chemotherapy medication to treat lung cancer by directly targeting lung tumors and minimizing systemic toxicity.

Remote Insights, Minneapolis A sow management solution using artificial intelligence, sensors, and other advanced technologies to monitor the animal's health events.

Saysa, St. Paul Technology development enterprise that delivers environmentally-responsible solutions targeted to replace petroleum-derived chemicals.

TerraCOH, Minneapolis Engineering analysis and design of Co2 Geothermal power system to provide dispatchable geothermal electricity generation and grid-scale energy storage.

Virtuwoof, Minneapolis A technology platform for mobile and web that enables veterinarians to offer virtual care to their existing clients.

Launch Minnesota is a new initiative aimed at growing Minnesota's startup ecosystem. Launch Minnesota is spearheaded by DEED, leveraging the expertise of dozens of private sector leaders and Minnesota entrepreneurs.

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