Get funds for acquisition, expansion, working capital and other needs.

Mayo Clinic Ventures

Mayo Clinic Ventures is responsible for commercializing Mayo Clinic’s intellectual property and is uniquely qualified to respond to the call for the advancement of health-related technologies. As a global leader in the delivery of whole-person health care, Mayo is involved in the comprehensive landscape of human disease. They encourage and promote collaboration with commercial partners to produce meaningful, effective changes for better health and medicine.

How they can help:

  • Innovation Program: Derived from the licensing revenue Mayo generates, this program awards up to $200,000 to early-stage companies for uses such as constructing prototypes (medical devices) or conducting animal tests (pharmaceuticals). It is open to Mayo-generated ideas as well as to outside entrepreneurs partnering with Mayo doctors.

  • Translation Program: Under this seed funding effort, technologies that show promise through first-phase work are eligible for further investments of up to $300,000. This could include pharmaceutical candidates seeking to perform more animal testing before being eligible for FDA-approved clinical trials.

  • Benefactor Fund: This seed program is funded by philanthropic donations and designed to help start-ups complete their first clinical trials (pharmaceuticals) or applications in clinical settings (devices and software).

  • Entrepreneur in Residence Program: Assists in the commercialization of the best ideas, typically developed by Mayo Clinic physicians and other clinicians as they pursue optimal treatments for patients.

  • Facilitates collaboration with renowned researchers across specialties to solve complex research questions. This close integration makes it possible to quickly bring proven diagnostics and therapeutics to patients.


Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) assists existing and potential businesses in the Rochester area secure the private and public resources needed to execute their growth plans. Since inception, RAEDI has assisted hundreds of businesses that have generated more than $2 billion of local economy activity, creating thousands of jobs.

How they can help:

  • Offers financial packaging, comprised of direct investment funding, fixed asset financing and export financing.

  • Provides business planning services such as cost differential comparisons, market research/analysis and community data/profiles.

  • Offers site/location support by providing objective information on locations, facilities and access to support.

504 Corporation

504 Corporation is a non-profit organization certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide financial assistance to small businesses. The 504 program is focused on growing and promoting economic growth of every community throughout the country.

How they can help:

  • Borrow up to 90% of costs to preserve cash and working capital.

  • Below market fixed rate for full term makes it more affordable.

  • Fixed payments maintain consistent cash flow.

  • Higher loan-to-value ratio means businesses qualify easier.

  • 10 and 20 year terms are longer than most conventional loans.

  • 504 Corporation is responsible for the SBA application and closing.

  • Business and its affiliates must meet one of the following SBA size standards:
    1) Net Worth & Net Income standard:
    a) Tangible net worth cannot be more than $15,000,000; AND
    b) Two year, average, after tax net income cannot exceed $5,000,000.
    2) Industry size standards – gross sales or full time equivalent jobs limits for each industry.

Gopher Angels

Gopher Angels is a group of accredited investors who are passionate about creating businesses in Minnesota. GA looks for outstanding entrepreneurs who can turn their vision into a successful business. It’s important for both the investor and the entrepreneur to find the right partner. GA want to hear from all passionate entrepreneurs, but it won’t always be the right fit.

How they can help:

  • In addition to financial support, GA members will provide you with strategic guidance, valuable connections, and business support to take your company to the next level.

  • Gopher Angels is industry-agnostic.

  • Gopher Angels will receive administrative support through the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, Carlson School of Management, U of M.

  • Minnesota-based, eligible for MN Angel Tax Credit preferred but not required.

  • Raising $50,000 – $1,000,000. For companies raising more than $1,000,000, GA prefers you obtain a lead investor before applying to Gopher Angels.

  • Demonstrated market validation (beyond a plan): working prototype, beta testing and/or revenue generating model.

  • Gopher Angels looks for a passionate team with “skin in the game”.


Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation promotes regional economic opportunities and collaborations with a focus on entrepreneurs and early childhood development.

How they can help:

  • SMIF provides early-stage investments, traditional loans, micro loans, technical assistance, mentoring, and regional leadership to achieve our vision of creating economic prosperity and community vitality.

  • SMIF provides micro loans through a partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA).

  • They provide grants to nonprofit organizations and communities.

  • They offer Seed Fund, startup stage businesses that need capital, business expertise, and networking opportunities.

  • Southern Minnesota Equity Fund, perform research and analysis, patent opinions and filings, and product testing and analysis.

  • Other Services: SMIF invests over $1.5 million annually to support a variety of early childhood development projects and programs. On top of that, their philanthropy efforts have exceeded $100 million, and they offer networking and regional connection opportunities.


Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

How they can help:

  • Offer a variety of specific loan programs, including 7(a) general small business loans, microloans, CDC/504 real estate and equipment loans, and disaster loans.

  • Also offers resources for other loan programs outside of SBA like SBIC investments and surety bonds.

  • Help you apply for funding by checking your credit and understanding your financial needs.

  • SBA's programs now include financial and federal contract procurement assistance, management assistance, and specialized outreach to women, minorities and armed forces veterans. SBA also provides loans to victims of natural disasters and specialized advice and assistance in international trade.

  • Other Services: Government contracting, a learning center for beginning entrepreneurs, informational guidelines on how to start and manage a small business.


MN Cup is a startup competition and hub to connect Minnesota’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We support emerging entrepreneurs through events, educational programming and an annual startup competition that provides them with tools, resources and support to launch and accelerate the development of their new ventures.

How they can help:

  • MN Cup competition benefits:
    $402,000 in available seed money
    Mentorship opportunities with industry leaders
    Exclusive event access
    Business plan feedback
    Networking opportunities with potential investors
    Media exposure

  • Startups compete in one of the following divisions:
    Energy/ Clean Tech/ Water
    Food/ Ag/ Beverage
    High Tech
    Life Science/ Health IT
    Social Entrepreneurship
    Student (undergrad and graduate students)
    Youth (18 and younger)




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