Minnesota’s startup ecosystem
11 Aug 2019
Agralite Arrowhead BENCO Brown Connexus Light and Power Crow Wing Dakota East Central Federated Goodhue Itasca Kandiyohi Lake Country Lake Region McLeod Meeker Mille Lacs Minnesota Valley Nobles North Itasca Redwood Runestone South Central Stearns Electric Steele Todd Wright Hennepin
Tucked away in this year’s motley special session package at the Legislature was a bill authorizing the creation of Launch Minnesota, a $5 million public-private program to grow the state’s innovation economy.
Amid partisan sniping over proposed increases to public education funding and the state gas tax, Launch Minnesota’s relatively modest investment drew low-key support from both sides of the aisle, emerging from the legislative gantlet with the broad strokes of Gov. Tim Walz’s original proposal intact — albeit with a slimmer budget. The passage of Launch Minnesota was hailed as an early win for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) under commissioner Steve Grove, a 12-year Google veteran and co-founder of Minneapolis-based youth-in-tech nonprofit Silicon NorthStars.