MN DEED Launches Growth Loan Fund to Provide Funding for Early Stage Businesses

This information is shared from a Nov. 1, 2022, DEED newsletter. 

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) launched the Growth Loan Fund today as part of the recently announced $97 million through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). This program provides direct loans from DEED to technologically innovative seed- and early-stage businesses.  

The federal government has approved Minnesota for up to $97 million in small business financing support, which allows DEED to carry out its commitment to help small businesses grow and succeed. The Growth Loan Fund supports entrepreneurial growth throughout Minnesota. 

DEED is now accepting applications from businesses seeking financing from the program. 

Informational webinar 

Businesses interested in participating in the Growth Loan Fund Program are invited to join a webinar with DEED officials on Friday, November 4 at 1:00 p.m. 

Applicants must be seeking equity investments in a funding round that includes at least one venture capital fund or accredited investor.  Loans range from $100,000 to $400,000 based on 20% of the total investment in the defined funding round, not to exceed 12 months subsequent to loan approval. The business must complete at least 70% of the proposed equity raise to remain eligible for the loan. 

Eligible businesses must meet one of the following criteria: 1) been certified to participate in the Angel Tax Credit (ATC) Program; 2) be identified by a venture or angel fund for investment; or 3) be identified by an individual accredited investor for investment. 

To qualify for funding through the Growth Loan Fund, businesses need to be engaged in, or be committed to engage in, technological innovation in Minnesota. The primary business activity must include one or more of the following: 

  • Using proprietary technology to add value to a product, process or service in a qualified high-technology field; 
  • Researching or developing a proprietary product, process, or service in a qualified high-technology field; 
  • Researching, developing, or producing a new proprietary technology for use in the fields of: agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, manufacturing, or transportation; or 
  • Researching or developing a proprietary product, process or service in the fields of agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, manufacturing, or transportation (no technology component required).