Laura Beier Apr 23, 2021 10:21:18 AM 14 min read

BETA Explore Recap: Resources for Underrepresented Founders

We had a wonderful BETA Explore session on April 22 covering statewide and national resources for historically underrepresented founders! 

A huge thank you goes out to J.P. Morgan Chase Commercial Bank, and MN DEED for making it happen. Thank you also to our speakers for a wonderful discussion!

Below are all resources mentioned in the session, along with commentary from our speakers.


Minnesota Resources

Launch MN’s goal is to grow a thriving statewide ecosystem in Minnesota. The organization does this by increasing access to capital, creating friendly environments for startup founders, and increasing entrepreneurial expertise. 

The following are ways founders can apply for funding, learn more about starting a business, and get connected to local investors. 


Launch MN Innovation Grants are targeted to the most promising innovative scalable technology businesses in Minnesota. This year, the organization allocated $3.2 million to high tech startups across the state — 60 percent of this to targeted founders such as BIPOC, women, veterans, or startups in Greater MN. While all grants have been allocated thus far, the organization hopes to get more funding by July 2021.


Tax credits are mainly an incentive to investors, but it’s a ripple effect that ends up assisting high tech startups in attracting high equity capital. Launch MN allocated $10 million total in tax credits for 2021, $5 million of which is for targeted populations. $4 million is remaining for these populations — learn more here! 


The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) provides funding to nonprofit partners to make loans for MN startups. A few examples include the Emerging Entrepreneur Loan program, which targets small businesses owned by BIPOC, women, and veteran founders, and the Veteran Business Loan Program.


Launch MN has a comprehensive list of private investors in Minnesota that you can search and filter by vertical, funding stage, and location.


  • Competitions 

Minnesota has a ton of resources when it comes to competitions. This is a great way to gain visibility as a young company, and maybe even earn a few bucks. Here’s just a few that were mentioned on the call:


These are a few good crowdfunding options for startups in Minnesota.


Launch MN also provides education, mentoring, and more via 8 hubs across the state with 80 program partners. All organizations are working together to start and scale businesses. An example of this is the Value Proposition training. Learn more about the Launch MN network (that includes BETA!) here. 


National Resources

  • Advancing Black Entrepreneurs - J. P. Morgan Chase
    • A partnership with Advancing Black Pathways, this program is a collection of practical resources tailored to help Black business owners grow and scale their business.
  • Women on the Move - J.P. Morgan Chase
    • This program aims to expand women-run businesses, improve women’s financial health, and advance women’s career growth. Through these efforts, the goal is to help secure an equal future for female employees, clients, consumers, and communities. 


Advice from the Speakers 


  • “Don’t take less than you know you’re worth!” Just because we’re in the Midwest, doesn’t mean you have to accept a smaller investment if you know you can get more. —Monique Little, You Go Natural 



  • “Take advantage of the great resources in Minnesota!” Our state is #1 when it comes to business survivability rates. — Neela Mollgaard, Launch MN

About BETA

BETA is a 501(c)(3) organization that develops Minnesota’s next generation of business leaders by inspiring and educating first-time founders. The BETA Group nurtures startups and small businesses with great scalability potential, so they can grow to become our next Fortune 100s. Learn more.