More than $1.5 million has been awarded to business startups since January through the Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Another $255,390 has been awarded to 10 startups, DEED said on Friday, June 11.

In total, 12 grants were awarded during the fourth round of funding: seven for business operations, three for housing and child care expenses and two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards.

The grants target the most promising innovative and scalable technology businesses in Minnesota, according to a news release. The grants help reduce the risk for Minnesota technology startups and entrepreneurs who are solving problems and growing our state’s innovation ecosystem. In this grant round 30% of awarded businesses are women or minority owned.

“During this challenging economic time it is more important than ever to invest in entrepreneurs and foster the innovation economy in Minnesota,” DEED Deputy Commissioner of Economic Development Kevin McKinnon said in a statement.

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“These startups are developing everything from helmets to protect workers from airborne contaminants to a platform to help track the academic progress of middle and high school students ,” said Executive Director of Launch Minnesota, Neela Mollgaard. “We’re glad to be able to help support Minnesota businesses finding innovative solutions to real world problems.”

With these most recent grants, Launch Minnesota has awarded nearly $1.5 million of its $1.6 million appropriation for 2020. And, it said in the news release, it is planning to allocate $1.6 million in funding in fiscal year 2021. The grants require a private one to one financial match.

Grants recipients and their projects include:

Berd, St. Louis Park

Producing hybrid metal and polymer cycling products, including super lightweight bicycle spokes.

Cambridge Technologies, Worthington

Developing herd specific vaccines for veterinarians.

MFr Technologies, Maple Grove

Developing surgical instrument to help regenerate cartilage in joints.

Nanodropper, Rochester

Developing an eyedrop bottle adaptor that increases access to expensive eyedrop medications by reducing waste.

Poma 22, Mendota Heights

Created a helmet with high-powered air duct system that provides an ear-to-ear air curtain to shield workers from airborne contaminants.

RenewPower, Minneapolis

Developed a modular, renewable-energy based power generation and storage system.

Stratix Labs, St. Paul

Developing ready-to-go anti-biofilm and anti-sanitizer test kits.

UR Turn, Minneapolis

Building a platform that tracks academic progress of middle and high school students.

Visana Health, St. Paul

Developing an app for women with severe menstrual pain.

Visyn, Minneapolis

Building a holographic system to learn movement skill for sports and medical markets.