A Financial Blessing

Minnesota Angel Network aids new companies in need of funding.
By Anna Austin | March 22, 2011

New investors and start-up companies in Minnesota will soon have access to a new funding resource to help get projects off the ground.

That includes emerging biomass and biofuel companies in the state, according to Melissa Kjolsing of the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, a nonprofit state organization dedicated to fostering and cultivating the long-term viability of the state's bioscience sector.

In short, the Minnesota Angel Network provides a secure and focused web-based portal to facilitate connections between angel investors and companies, making it easier to obtain angel funding to grow their business. The system is also designed to save time for the investor by helping the company prepare for due diligence questions by providing seasoned mentors to aid them through the process.

The program also aims to help maximize utilization of the Minnesota Angel Investor Tax Credit, which was signed into state law in April 2010 and provides a 25 percent individual income tax credit for qualified investors who put money into start-up and emerging companies focused on high technology or new proprietary technology. There is $15.9 million in tax credits available for 2011, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The program is the result of two years of planning and is supported by the Biobusiness Alliance of Minnesota, several regional investor networks, Minnesota Initiative Foundations, universities and business leaders. The network is part of The BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota's Full Spectrum Funding initiative that is focused on improving the funding environment for start-up companies statewide.

Kjolsing says that the Minnesota Angel Network website is still beta testing the application process, but the network will open the portal sometime this summer to companies and projects.

—Anna Austin