At the Venture Center, we take ideas and technology from University of Minnesota research, prepare them for the market, and launch new businesses around them. As the largest producer of high-tech startups in Minnesota, the University of Minnesota’s Venture Center facilitates the launch of 20+ startups each year. The impressive 75+ percent survival rate of these startups is due in part to the resources, connections, and expertise the center can provide.
About Our Startups
Since 2006, we have launched more than 230 startup companies based on UMN technology, with a track record of success.
- 72 percent of our startups are based in Minnesota
- 75+ percent are still active today—well above the national average
- Our startups have raised more than $1.8 billion ($1.1 billion in startup investment capital and $675 million from IPOs and acquisitions, FY2006-2022)
Since 2017, ten UMN startups were acquired or IPO'd:
What We Do
- Provide a wide range of services and support to UMN innovators— including faculty, graduate students, and post-docs—to assess the commercial potential of their ideas, identify funding opportunities, and advise on the steps to establish new companies based on their inventions and ideas (whether or not students own intellectual property they create depends on criteria articulated in the Regents Policy on Intellectual Policy Rights.)
- Assess every University-based technology that comes through our office to develop the right commercialization plan. As part of the Startup Process, we work closely with the UMN innovator to determine whether the technology or idea has potential to succeed as a startup company and the best path forward.
- Operate the Discovery Launchpad, a startup incubator and program of formal coaching for UMN innovators interested in forming a startup company
- Facilitate equity-based investments through the University’s Discovery Capital program.
- Host Minnesota Ventures, investor events that connect Minnesota-based startups to global investors.
- Co-host Walleye Tank, Minnesota’s life science startup pitch competition twice a year with the Mayo Clinic Office of Entrepreneurship.
- Produce five free educational startup webinars and partner with other organizations throughout the UMN startup ecosystem to provide educational opportunities to UMN innovators
- Work with external entrepreneurs, business advisors, and potential investors to help find additional resources and support to launch University startups