MILE: A New Loan Program for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups from DEED

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs (MILE) was launched June 4th by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).  It is a new competitive loan program, designed to help early-stage businesses that are developing high-tech products or services in Minnesota, which provides interest-free loans ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. Businesses approved for loans under the program must have a 1-to-1 match from another funder and repay the loan within four years, with no payments required in the first year.

MILE seeks to accelerate the commercialization of research, encourage the growth of startups, and create quality jobs for Minnesotans.  It is designed to help promising young businesses at a stage when it is often difficult to attract financial support. Eligible businesses include but are not limited to: aerospace, agricultural and food processing, biotechnology, energy efficiency and conservation, information technology, materials science, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, process control, telecommunications or similar sectors. Businesses whose primary activity is brick-and-mortar retail sales, professional or consulting services, direct financial or insurance services, medical or legal services, or real estate sales or development are not eligible.

MILE funding may be used for working capital, intellectual property development, proof of concept activities, commercialization planning, prototype design, market feasibility studies and other startup activities as approved by DEED.

Businesses applying for loans must employ no more than five people and have their headquarters in Minnesota or plan to relocate in Minnesota. They must have been in business for five years or less, completed a recent business plan, and have equity or debt investment not exceeding $1 million.

DEED is accepting applications for the first round of loans from June 4 to July 16. Visit for more information and application materials.

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