Minnesota’s startup ecosystem
10 Aug 2019
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.