Launch Minnesota Metro Hub Programs

Launch Minnesota is a statewide collaborative effort to accelerate the growth of startups and amplify Minnesota as a national leader in innovation. Since 2020, entrepreneur support organizations in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area have supported founders at every stage of growth as part of Launch Minnesota's statewide network. Through June 2023, Forge North will act as the hub for the metro region to help align and connect support organizations' services to better serve founders.

Learn more about the programs from MSP entrepreneur support organizations supported by Launch Minnesota.
-- Early Stage programs serve founders whose business is still determining its goals. You might be looking for guidance on questions like business formation and trademarks, or you might be seeking an audience to refine your business model.
-- Mid-Stage programs offer more focused training and mentorship. You may have established the foundation of your business but need more advanced guidance on raising capital, finances, etc.
-- Late-Stage programs connect founders of businesses with traction to to the investors, mentors, metrics, and peers to find perspective as you scale beyond your first round of investment.
-- Free Launch Minnesota programs for all stages of startup growth.

Early-Stage Startups

-- FINNOVATION Lab will provide short, intensive workshops to support early-stage, high-growth food & beverage startups improving sustainability and responsibility in food systems.
-- Legal Services Workshops from LegalCORPS cover topics relevant to early-stage startups. Seven workshops will be hosted in-person between fall 2022 and June 2023.
---- Business Formation & Choice of Entity Workshop - Thursday November 10, 4:30-6:00pm at The Coven Saint Paul
-- Every Wednesday at 9am, 1 Million Cups MSP offers early-stage entrepreneurs a virtual space to network and improve their pitches, hosted by Impact Hub MSP. While this networking event is geared towards those just starting their entrepreneurial journey, community members at all stages are welcome.

Mid-Stage Startups

Compass to Innovation from Led by TRUTH offers high-touch online training to BIPOC founders engaging in strategic road mapping to scale their startup business. Opt-in group coaching sessions are available to founders after completing training.
-- The Lunar Summit (September 13, 2022) demystified the capital stack, offering founders tools and information about how to grow their companies. The event was hosted by Lunar Startups.
--
MinneAMA is a monthly virtual education series hosted by Minnestar which provides founder-to-founder education and programming on key business issues such as perfecting investor pitches and cultivating diverse and inclusive workspaces.
Upcoming sessions include:
---- I Built Something Awesome! Now What? - Noon on November 15
---- Ask a VC: Getting Funded in 2023 - Noon on December 20
Previously recorded sessions include:
---- Marketing for Small Businesses
---- BURNOUT & The Impact of Chronic Stress in Tech
---- Coding Exercises: Advice for Employers
-- The Coven Courses offer on-demand startup education programming plus live virtual events from The Coven. All the content in the courses is presented by BIPOC and women experts.--

Late-Stage Startups

-- BETA Backers bridges the gap between startups and venture capital firms through virtual conversations hosted two times per year. The event is convened by BETA.
--
ConnectUP! Institute’s Mind Your Business program creates business development content for immigrant communities in their native languages through an online learning system.
-- The Mentor Program led by the Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory (MESA) offers multi-year, pro bono mentoring of CEOs or founders of startup software companies from seasoned technology executives with startup experience. MESA seeks both founders and mentors to expand their impact!
--
Social Enterprise MSP is creating an easy-to-use impact measurement tool to empower entrepreneurs to track the impact of their work for funders, investors, and other stakeholders, which unlocks their ability to scale. Look for more information in early 2023.

Other No-Cost Launch Minnesota Resources

Funding:
-- The Growth Loan Fund offers loans of up to $400,000 to businesses headquartered in Minnesota which are raising venture funding. The maximum amount is determined by 20% of the total amount of equity funding raised in rounds within a 12-month period. If you're raising capital and struggling to find your final investor, this loan could help you bridge the gap to your next phase of growth.
-- Innovation Grants offer up to $35,000 for business operations including research & development, direct business expenses, and technical assistance. Businesses owned by women, veterans, and/or people who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color are given increased consideration.
-- Launch Minnesota maintains a database of venture capital investors in Minnesota. You can also check out the Forge North database of investors here.

Community:
-- The Minnesota Exchange is an online platform where founders and experts can connect to share resources, seek guidance, and strengthen relationships across the state.
-- Launch Minnesota maintains a database of coworking spaces in Minnesota. You can also check out the Forge North database of coworking spaces here.

Education:
-- Free virtual education through providers like the University of Minnesota and ILT Academy.
-- Launch Minnesota hosts Friday Forums on the fourth Friday of the month, focused on a different topic each month.