Non-UMN Entrepreneurs & Startups

Are you looking for funding support for your Minnesota-based startup? Are you an entrepreneur interested in partnering with a UMN innovator to launch a startup based on University technology? Want to connect with our exciting startup community?

Discovery Launchpad MN

This program expands our Discovery Launchpad support, which was previously only available to UMN startups, to companies formed outside the University of Minnesota. UMN’s Discovery Launchpad MN is Launch Minnesota’s statewide partner and is able to leverage resources inside the UMN and in the external startup ecosystem to coach a participating company’s leadership, accelerate business planning and, ultimately, improve a company’s chance of success. In this program, grant recipients work one-on-one with a small team of knowledgeable Technology Commercialization staff and professional consultants to bolster their planning and address specific issues, challenges, and gaps in their business plans. 

You must be a recipient of a Launch MN Innovation Grant to apply for Discovery Launchpad MN. Applications for the current cycle are accepted until June 30, 2022. 

Learn more and apply for the Discover Launchpad MN

Partnering with UMN Startups

The Venture Center is looking for entrepreneurs who have the ability, willingness, experience, and resources to lead the formation and launch of a new company. A big part of our role in the Venture Center is to find entrepreneurs who can partner with our UMN innovators and our technology commercialization team to pull together a plan and start a new company. 

At any one time we have about 35 opportunities in our startup pipeline, where there may be a good fit for you. Reach out to the Venture Center,, to get connected.

Venture Center Business Advisory Group

Get to know the Venture Center by joining our Business Advisory Group (BAG), which is a broad-based, diverse network of experienced entrepreneurs, business executives, investors, and subject matter experts. The BAG helps us vet new ideas and assist with technology commercialization across a wide range of technological disciplines and sectors.

Members of the Business Advisory Group:

  • Participate in meetings held 4-5 times per year
  • Help identify entrepreneurs, investors, and CEOs
  • Make connections with other key stakeholders and industry experts
  • Provide technical and market advice
  • Potentially serve as CEOs, CFOs, advisors, mentors, board members, and investors
  • Correspond outside of regularly scheduled meetings
  • Get invited to other Venture Center events
  • Must sign a nondisclosure agreement with the University

If you are interested in joining our Business Advisory Group, please contact us at with a link to your LinkedIn profile.

Follow us on LinkedIn

Get connected with UMN’s Technology Commercialization on LinkedIn and find out about events and new opportunities to partner with UMN Tech Comm.


Contact to schedule an appointment and learn more.