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Venture Center Named Community Builder in Startup Awards

Words reading "Venture Center, Technology Commercialization"

When the University of Minnesota launches new companies based on its researchers’ discoveries, it does more than bring new technologies to the market—it also invigorates the state’s broader tech ecosystem.

Earlier this month, the University’s Venture Center was named a “Community Builder” in the 2020 Inno on Fire awards. The awards, to be presented by Twin Cities startup and tech news source Minne Inno at an August 27th event, recognize the Minnesota entrepreneurs, companies, and organizations that are setting the startup scene on fire and driving change in the state.

As part of UMN Technology Commercialization, the Venture Center helps faculty, graduate student, and post-doctoral researchers assess the commercial potential of their ideas, identify funding opportunities, and launch new companies. Its staff collaborate with entrepreneurs, business advisors, and potential investors to help new startups succeed.

Beyond its role launching new startup companies, however, the Venture Center also actively supports many programs designed to bolster the larger startup community, including the gBETA Medtech accelerator, the state’s Launch Minnesota initiative, and the Walleye Tank life sciences pitch competition (the spring 2020 Walleye Tank, scheduled for April 28, has been canceled to support social distancing efforts around COVID-19).

Since its founding in 2006, the Venture Center has spun out 167 companies, with three-quarters of them based in Minnesota. In total, these startups have raised more than $1.16 billion from venture capital, acquisitions, and public offerings. UMN startups have created more than 820 current jobs—many of them high-paying tech positions—and more than 70 percent of these jobs are in Minnesota.

Learn more about the Inno on Fire awards.

Kevin Coss

Kevin Coss

Kevin is a writer with the Office of the Vice President for Research.

coss@umn.edu

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