Funding Announced for Innovation Program

The Office of Business Finance is now accepting applications for the Innovation Voucher Award Program. On August 1st, $200,000 in funding was made available.

This program provides $5,000 to $25,000 awards to assist small businesses to purchase technical assistance and services necessary to advance research, development or commercialization of new or innovative products and services.

Qualifying businesses receive grants, which must be matched by the recipient on a 50% basis, which will reimburse for expenses incurred for assistance and services rendered by qualified public universities, colleges, technical schools and non-profits in Minnesota.

Application Procedure:

  1. Business applicant connects with a Minnesota-based higher education institution or nonprofit of their choice to provide the services it needs.
  2. The chosen service provider drafts a letter describing the project it is willing to complete and explaining how it is qualified and capable to complete the project.
  3. Business applicant completes and submits the application and required exhibits (including the provider letter from Step 2).
  4. DEED evaluates the application and required exhibits.
  5. Within 45 days of application submittal, DEED informs the applicant of a determination of either no award or award and amount of award.
  6. Within 18 months from the award determination, the project must be completed and paid for by the business.
  7. If the project is not completed within 12 months of the award, the business is required to complete and submit an annual Progress Report.
  8. The provider submits a letter to DEED confirming completion of the project.
  9. Business submits a Project Completion Form and a Reimbursement Payment Request to DEED.
  10. DEED pays reimbursement to business.

Here is a link for more information: