The Minnesota Science and Technology Authority, an initiative to support entrepreneurs and spur job growth, received $714,000 in state funding for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

The funding, which was approved by the state legislature this morning, is significantly less than what the authority had initially proposed. The authority had hoped for $10 million each year. The $10 million would include $1.25 million for the authority's operations, $2 million in a technology commercialization fund, $2 million for an advanced entrepreneur program, $4 million to support small business innovation research grants and $750,000 for an internship program.

Despite the smaller amount, officials said they were excited about the money they received during tough budget negotiations.

"I think more legislators are understanding the importance of developing and growing our start-up community and fostering our high-tech industries as a whole," said Peter Lindstrom, vice president of public affairs for the Minnesota High Tech Association.

The $714,000 for the two fiscal years was allocated over two bills. The tax bill included $500,000 to help fund the authority's programs. The jobs bill included $214,000 to fund the authority's operations.

Lindstrom said the authority will have to do some prioritizing on their initiatives that will become clear in the weeks and months ahead.

The authority is based in St. Paul. The group's executive director is Betsy Lulfs.