2012 is going to be an amazing year for Minnesota startups, both in idea generation and funding. Lots of industries are in disruption mode, and you can be part of the story.  

Here are a few entrepreneurial items to consider/ponder as the temperature outside drops to absolute zero:

MN Angel Tax Credit – Time to Renew: Another funding essential. If you’re a Minnesota startup looking to raise angel money, get certified so your investors can get their credit. If you were approved in 2011, you need to re-up. Here’s the link(now go fill out!).  Don’t forget – you need approval, your investor needs approval and your deal needs approval.

A New Angel Investor Group – Gopher Angels: We need more angel investors in MN, and Gopher Angels is looking to grow the pie.  Read a summary here and find Gopher Angels on GUST here. If you’re in startup fundraising mode, make sure you have a GUST profile and share with the Gopher Angels.  

SOPA/PIPA - Bad; not good. While I strongly support IP rights, these proposed laws go too far and would interfere with basic operation of websites and the internet. Over-correction to the max.   And this will impact negatively on MN's high tech economy.  So, contact your federal representative/senators and let them know what you think.  

U of M’s Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) – Rocking into 2012 – Great stuff happening at the OTC’s Venture Center. Jay Schrankler and his team have dramatically increased the velocity of on-campus startup development. Read up here about some of the new technologies rolling into commercialization (from today’s Tech Showcase at UEL).

It's Business Plan Competition Season:  With spring coming (yes...), the B-plan competitions are on the way.  Here are two to check out:  MN Cup; Clean Tech Open.

A few events of note:

Feb 8 – MN 2012 Entrepreneur Kick-Off – hosted by TiE MN, MN Cup, MOJO and others. Details here.

Feb 10-12 – Startup Weekend Twin Cities – great weekend where teams go from concept to business pitch. Details here.

Enjoy the freeze and keep the idea juices flowing.

Ernest Grumbles, Co-founder, MOJO Minnesota

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