Launch Minnesota, an initiative from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, said Friday that it has awarded more than $672,000 in innovation grants to 20 technology startups from around the state.
This is the first round of grants distributed by Launch MN. The next batch of grant applications will be completed by the end of February.
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. Another $1.6 million in funding will be available for fiscal year 2021.
Grant distribution is controlled by the 10-member Launch MN Advisory Board. The group evaluates the technology and possible ROI for Minnesota. The applications then proceed to an internal review committee for additional evaluation.
These grants require a one-to-one match with private dollars, which brings the total potential investment in these startups to more than $1.3 million.
Five individual founders and four of the 20 startup companies also each received a $7,500 housing and childcare grant.
“Launch Minnesota is off to a strong start. We’ve had an overwhelming response to our innovation grants so far,” Kevin McKinnon, DEED deputy commissioner for economic development, said in a statement. “We’re impressed by what we’ve seen from Minnesota’s high-tech entrepreneurs.”
DEED announced the creation of Launch Minnesota in August. The program is designed to foster innovation across the state with a special focus on businesses located outside the Twin Cities.
Launch Minnesota grew out of a collaboration between DEED and the Minnesota Legislature. It is a joint initiative with private businesses and nonprofit organizations statewide that provides financial incentives, training and grants to people starting businesses in technology sectors like aerospace, agriculture, nanotechnology and medical devices.
“Launch Minnesota is building on the energy of our state’s entrepreneurs, whoa are eager to expand their businesses, solve real-world problems and grow Minnesota’s innovation ecosystem,” Launch MN Executive Director Neela Mollgaard said in a release.
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: Aims to provide the most energy and cost-efficient way to heat and cool buildings while also significantly reducing carbon emissions.
SayKid, 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 systems 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.