We invest in the best of the best, in MN and the Midwest

Our Investments

We believe MN entrepreneurs are awesome. We invest in scalable, early stage companies. We’re industry agnostic, with companies in healthcare and health IT, medical devices, enterprise and SaaS, food and beverage, agtech, and CPG.

Exited

Core Biome
CoreBiome
Exited Rapid, accurate, affordable microbiome sequencing. Acquired by OraSure.
Dispatch
Dispatch
B2B software and delivery service
structural
Structural
Platform to connect employees to increase enterprise productivity. MN Cup winner
Stempnix
StemoniX
Accelerates drug discovery with low-cost, high-volume process for growth of stem cells.
upsie
Upsie
Affordable, easy warranty experience for all you electronic devices. Techstars Retail 2017
Kaleidoscope
Kaleidoscope
End-to-end scholarship and grant management platform
Equals3
Equals3
Creators of Lucy - AI to democratize enterprise data for quick insights
Ambient Clinical Analytics
Ambient Clinical Analytics
Creators of AWARE software (FDA Class II), a clinical bedside decision support tool to lower healthcare costs and improve outcomes, using Mayo licensed technologies
SwineTech
SwineTech
Brings AI to the pork industry to reduce sow and piglet deaths
Balance the Superfood Shot
Balance the Superfood Shot
Gives you 1/2 of your daily organic fruits and veggies, all in a 2 oz shelf-stable shot
Oculogica
Oculogica
Creator of EyeBox, the first FDA authorized non-invasive concussion diagnostic aid.
Omnia Fishing
Omnia Fishing
E-commerce site specializing in fishing gear, including shop-by-lake map
Hummingbird
Preceptis
Maker of Hummingbird TTS, a lower-cost alternative for pediatric ear tube procedures, the most common pediatric procedure.

Exited

Joia
Joia
Exited
Sparkling beverage using all-natural fruits, herbs and spices. Acquired by Prestige Beverage Group
Kidizen
Kidizen
Parent-to-parent marketplace for buying and selling pre-loved kid items
Learn to Live
Learn to Live
Online mental health therapy for stress, depression and social anxiety, based on proven principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Pursuit Vascular (R1)
Pursuit Vascular (R1)
Maker of ClearGuard, the only FDA cleared device to reduce risk of catheter-related bloodstream infections
Starting 11
Starting 11
Sports Tech company with live Premeir League fantasy soccer app
Corvida Medical
Corvida Medical
FDA-cleared Halo device, a smarter Closed System Transfer Device for chemotherapy.
NoSweat
NoSweat
Peel and stick inside sports helmets, hard hats and gear to wick away sweat.
OppSource
OppSource
Sales engagement platform that leverages machine learning
Attune Medical
Attune Medical
Proprietary medical device technology platform to precisely control whole-body temperature in the operating and emergency rooms.
ProcessBolt
ProcessBolt
Exited Enterprise solution for efficient risk assessement of complex and connected vendor landscape.
Five Friends Food
Five Friends Food
Makers of Nomi refrigerated Fresh Bars sold nationawide
75F
75F
IoT solution to control, analyze and optimize commercial HVAC systems.
Tradelanes
Tradelanes
Platform to digitze and automate supply chain for shippers, merchants, exporters, importers. Techstars Farm To Fork 2018
Hennepin Life Sciences
Hennepin Life Sciences
Developing a spectrum solution approach to safely kill bacteria, fungus and viruses, while eliminating bacterial mutations that lead to superbugs.
MicroOptx
MicroOptx
Developing a novel, miniaturized, Nano fabricated implant to treat glaucoma
Gila Therapeutics
Gila Therapeutics
Clinical-stage pharma company developing novel treatments of metabolic diseases like obesity
B-Mogen
B-Mogen
Gene delivery and editing solutions for antibody validation, human disease research and mitochondrial DNA editing. With some technology licensed from Mayo.
Realief Neuropathy Centers
Realief Neuropathy Centers
Delivering proprietary treatment for pain, numbness, tingling, diziness due to peripheral neuropathy, through franchises across the US
Allergy Amulet
Allergy Amulet
Exited Portable food allergen and ingredient detection device.

Exited

DonorPath
DonorPath
Data insights engine that offers online fundraising solutions for nonprofits. Acquired by Network For Good.
Naiku
Naiku
Edutech platform incorporating assessments, feedback, tracking
Thrill On
Thrill On
Online destination for sharing videos, pictures and products based on the sports and outdoor activities you love to do
Seeonic
Seeonic
Exited IoT technology for inventory management in the field and on shelf.
RoverMed
RoverMed
The only nano-capsule technology capable of delivering drugs directly to the nucleus of the infected cells, anywhere in the body
iCrime Fighter
iCrime Fighter
Secure mobile evidence management tool for law enforcement agents.

Exited

Pedia Solutions
Pedia Solutions
All-in-one portable energy grid, using solar power, to provide energy to those who don't have reliable access
RiteSoft
RiteSoft
SaaS solution for warehouse management for small and medium sized businesses
POPS! Diabetes
POPS! Diabetes
Exited Digital platform to monitor and manage A1C count, including POPS! one Glucose Monitor (FDA-cleared)
MyRain
MyRain
Exited Solving water security problems in India by leveraging technology to delier drip irrigation to small-plot farmers and creating a sustainable network of distributors and users.
Needls
Needls
Targets and optimizes Facebook and Instagram ads by monitoring social media in real-time
Past Investments
  • Peppermint
  • Lumena
  • Buyer Curious
  • Bavia

Driving Midwest Innovation.

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What is Angel Investing?

 

Angel Investors fill an important niche in the funding process for start-up businesses. Most start-ups begin with investments from founders, friends, and family- but when those investments aren’t sufficient to grow the business large enough to attract traditional Venture Capitalists, angel investors may be the perfect bridge. Below is additional information about sourcing.

 

EXTERNAL LINKS:

https://gust.com/founders/raise

https://articles.bplans.com/5-essentials-for-angel-investment/

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/what-are-angel-investors-392985

https://www.rockiesventureclub.org/colorado-capital-conference/how-do-angel-investors-differ-from-venture-capitalists/

 

ANGEL SYNDICATE:

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Banking Resources

There are a plethora of funding resources available for start up businesses- but having a well-established banking relationship is critical for funding day-to-day operations. Banking relationships open doors to small business loans, lines of credit, and other resources that can accelerate the growth of a new business. Some banks have departments focused on small business support that are optimized to work with start-ups. Below are several key banking resources for a new company:

 

EXTERNAL LINKS:

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans

https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/small-business/small-business-loans/business-line-of-credit

https://bankwithchoice.com/businesses/

https://www.nav.com/business-financing-options/

 

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Legal Resources

Establishing a solid legal footing for your new business is a critical first step. Angel and Venture Capital Investors have similar business structure requirements, along with interest and preference for strong intellectual property protection if applicable to your business. Partnering with the right legal team can help young businesses tackle problems like understanding term sheets, types of financing, business tax laws, syndicated investments, and more.

 

EXTERNAL LINKS:

https://www.delawareinc.com/blog/do-i-need-a-business-license-business-license-info/

https://www.delawareinc.com/blog/why-venture-capitalists-prefer-delaware-c-corps/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/maryjuetten/2015/08/11/do-venture-capitalists-care-about-intellectual-property/?sh=48db1b855b87"

https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics

https://www.investopedia.com/best-small-business-insurance-4844202

 

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Accounting & Taxes

Investing the time to getting your books off on the right foot can save a lot of time in the long run. Many small businesses find that it is easier to contract with an accounting and tax firm with expertise in start-up businesses to ensure that they are accounting for taxes and bookkeeping needs appropriately. The below resources discuss the types of business tax and accounting best-practices that are crucial for any start-up.

 

 

EXTERNAL LINKS:

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/bookkeeping-and-accounting-for-small-business-393002

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/live/bookkeeping-guide/bookkeeping-basics/

https://vc-list.com/cpas-vc-funding/"

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/11205-when-should-you-hire-cpa.html

 

OUR RECOMMENDED PARTNER RESOURCES:

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Becoming an Angel Investor

Angel investors are required to be accredited investors and are generally relatively high net worth individuals. Additionally, it can be helpful, although not required, for the investor to understand details about the industry, business, or product that they are investing in. Joining an Angel Network can be a great way to get a foot in the door and get exposure to a wide range of investable companies and co-investors. Below is additional information about becoming an Angel Investor.

 

EXTERNAL LINKS:

https://money.usnews.com/investing/investing-101/articles/how-to-become-an-angel-investor

https://tech.mn/news/2020/07/29/mind-the-gap-we-need-more-minnesota-angel-investment/

https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2020-191

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Why Angel Investing?

Angel investing provides a unique opportunity to connect capital and investor expertise to early stage start-ups. Investors often bring more than just financing to the table at these early stages- industry expertise, connections, and mentorship can all be just as impactful on businesses success. Becoming an angel investor can be rewarding; financially, professionally, and personally! Below are several links to more perspectives on the benefits of angel investing.

 

EXTERNAL LINKS:

https://gouchevlaw.com/5-key-differences-angel-venture-capital/

https://www.angelcapitalassociation.org/blog/the-rewards-of-being-an-angel-investor/

https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.us/investor-resources

 

WHY ANGEL NETWORKS?

Angel networks take some of the guesswork out of early-stage investment process. Rather than sourcing, vetting, and There are a number of benefits to joining an angel network like Gopher Angels. The most obvious is the diversification benefit: joining a network often allows for smaller investments in a wider range of companies vetted by other industry-expert angels. Similarly, Angel networks provide connections to other investors, industries, and companies that solo investors may struggle to secure. For new investors, networks provide access to a well vetted screening process and the guidance of seasoned angels.

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Taxes

There are Tax incentives for angel investors at the Federal level, as well as a state level tax credit for Minnesota-based investors. Working with a savvy tax firm can take the guess-work out of qualifying investments. There are more details about the benefits of these tax incentives below.

 

EXTERNAL LINKS:

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/ss/ssanginv.pdf

https://crowdwise.org/taxes/three-ways-the-us-gives-tax-relief-for-investing-in-startups/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mariannehudson/2014/11/17/tax-tips-every-angel-investor-should-know/?sh=4ccc8e3cd069

https://crowdwise.org/taxes/the-five-tax-questions-every-startup-investor-should-answer/

 

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Legal

There are several steps in the investment process that might benefit from legal review, but the most important is a legal review of the term sheet prior to investment. Investors may choose to conduct their own legal reviews, or when investing with a group (such as with an angel network) typically the entrepreneur or angel network will cover the cost of the legal review for the group as a whole. Other useful information about the role of lawyers in angel investment can be found below.

 

EXTERNAL LINKS:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mariannehudson/2014/09/10/simple-term-sheets-align-angel-investors-and-entrepreneurs-for-more-successful-deals/?sh=7c1c8afc24a5

http://www.calstartuplawfirm.com/business-lawyer-blog/angel-investor-term-sheet.php

https://operatorcollective.com/your-legal-checklist-for-angel-investing/

https://www.holloway.com/g/angel-investing/sections/legal-due-diligence-for-angel-investments

 

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Human Resources

Finding and hiring the right talent for your early-stage business is crucial to success. Establishing HR procedures and policies early on can save a headache later, and working with the right services can aid with hiring and policy development. The links below provide some helpful early-stage resources from first steps to best practices for the long term.

 

EXTERNAL LINKS:

https://gusto.com/blog/people-management/4-hr-must-dos-for-first-time-entrepreneurs

https://www.bamboohr.com/blog/hr-checklist-for-startups/

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/startinganhrdepartment.aspx

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/336446

https://resources.workable.com/stories-and-insights/startups-hr-practices

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Insurance

All start-up businesses require insurance. Some kinds of businesses will require specialized insurance offerings to mitigate their risk, but many can operate with just a few simple policies like general-coverage, personal liability, and commercial property insurance. Working with the right insurance providers can protect small start-ups from outsized risk and ensure that you are well protected against liability concerns.

 

EXTERNAL LINKS:

https://www.svb.com/blogs/lewis-hower/startup-insurance-guide-for-founders

https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/get-business-insurance

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241026

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