Entrepreneur Profiles: Sofia Fund on the Fundamentals of Fundability

The burgeoning number of innovative startups in Minnesota’s science and tech community should be attracting more attention from early-stage funders, or angel investors, from across the U.S. and beyond. But for startups to draw more outside capital, says Cathy Connett, CEO and managing partner of Sofia Fund, “We need fundable business models.”

Cathy Connett, Sofia Fund co-founder

Cathy Connett, Sofia Fund co-founder

Entrepreneurs need to understand the fundamentals of fundability, says Connett, to know which kind of startups get early-stage funding, and which don’t.

Sofia Fund is a Minnesota-based angel capital fund which invests in high-growth women-led businesses. Connett and her partners have been investing in companies for more than 30 years, either as individuals or as part of the Sofia Fund. Sofia Fund is seeking more, and stronger, opportunities to invest. To achieve that, says Connett, “We’re trying to improve the financial sophistication of women entrepreneurs, to help them understand what investors value.”

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June 19, 2018 | No Comments ›

Innovators: Apply now for the 2018 Tekne Awards

The Minnesota High Tech Association is inviting innovators in science and technology from across the state to apply for the prestigious Minnesota High Tech Association Tekne Awards. Applications are now being accepted through Aug. 3, 2018, and the ceremony announcing finalists for the Tekne Awards will be on Nov. 29 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
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June 11, 2018 | No Comments ›

Entrepreneur Profile: Quench Medical Finds Funding Via MN SBIR

Quench Medical is on a quest to bring life-changing improvements to treat asthma. As CEO and founder of Quench Medical, Bryce Beverlin II, PhD, has been working to commercialize his startup company’s patented process for aerosol delivery of asthma medication deep into the lungs’ small airways.



“We’ve developed a daily control medication that has the potential to control inflammation in the lungs,” Beverlin says. While existing FDA-approved drugs reach about 15 percent of lung airways, Quench Medical has shown its aerosol-based medication reaches 80 percent of the lungs. “This is truly a next-generation therapy.”

The strong potential for Quench Medical has attracted attention from numerous supporters, one of whom has been Pat Dillon, director of the MN SBIR program based at the Minnesota High Tech Association.  MN SBIR is part of America’s Seed Fund, which provides federal investments for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR).  Continue Reading ›

June 5, 2018 | Comments Off on Entrepreneur Profile: Quench Medical Finds Funding Via MN SBIR

Innovators in Energy: 75F

The story of innovative startup 75F, based in Burnsville, Minnesota, illustrates that innovation is thriving in Minnesota. 75F is one of the past recipients of the Minnesota High Tech Association’s Tekne Awards, which recognize leading innovators in 15 categories of science and technology.

A Tekne Award winner in the energy and clean technology category, 75F has developed solutions for climate control in non-residential settings. The company name comes from 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the optimal temperature for commercial building conference rooms, as established by the United Nations. Continue Reading ›

May 22, 2018 | Comments Off on Innovators in Energy: 75F

Growing Our STEM Workforce through Fast-track Tech Training, College STEM Internships and More

A strong STEM workforce is a core element to grow Minnesota’s economy and core to the mission of the Minnesota High Tech Association. Highlighted here is a sampling of what’s happening on multiple fronts at Minnesota High Tech Association in collaboration with our members and other organizations across Minnesota to grow Minnesota’s STEM workforce: Continue Reading ›

May 11, 2018 | Comments Off on Growing Our STEM Workforce through Fast-track Tech Training, College STEM Internships and More


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