SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Geography: Minnesota

States’ fiscal picture improves with growing economy

The ability of states to deliver the services promised to its residents relies on their fiscal soundness. With most states beginning their fiscal year in July, SSTI has reviewed the current fiscal standing for each state and here presents a snapshot of our findings.

Most states ended their fiscal year with a surplus and continue to recover from the Great Recession, with a growing economy and job gains. However, they face continuing demands on their budgets, with expanded Medicaid payments and the growing opioid crisis confronting nearly every state. Such decisions affect the state’s ability to fund innovation efforts, from the amount of support available for higher education and STEM programs, to funding for entrepreneurship, and forging public private partnerships to strengthen innovation programming that the private sector cannot fully support.

Our analysis found that some states that rely on the energy sector to fund their spending priorities continue to struggle, while others are already factoring in anticipated revenues as a result of new Supreme Court rulings involving gaming and online sales tax collections.

Loans for innovation: MN pilots a rare model

The Minnesota Department of Deployment and Economic Development (DEED) has launched a new loan program for entrepreneurs with high-tech products or services. The loans are similar in size to microfinance options increasingly available to new bricks-and-mortar establishments, but flexible payment options and innovation-focused criteria are intended to make Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs (MILE) uniquely appropriate for tech-based economic development.

Mayo Clinic policy change spurs entrepreneurship in Southeastern Minnesota

A change in policy at the Mayo Clinic has “single-handedly sprouted a startup ecosystem in Rochester, as med-tech startups, accelerators, co-working spaces and a venture capital ecosystem have flourished in the area over the last half decade” according to new research by Maddy Kennedy of the The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

States, industry partners launch workforce training efforts focused on 21st century jobs in CA, KY, MD, MI, NC, TN

Due to the effectiveness of employer-sponsored training program, U.S. states are working to build partnerships with industry partners that leverage public resources to help develop a 21st century workforce that addresses specific industry needs. Over the last month, partnerships have been announced between states and key industry leaders including AGCO, CVS, Tesla, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Some of those collaborations are detailed below.

Policymakers leverage public libraries to promote innovation

For hundreds of years, libraries have helped drive American innovation by serving as a trusted resource and providing information to a wide range of individuals. As libraries continue to implement their own initiatives in this space, policymakers across the country have recently turned to them as a way to level the playing field around workforce development and entrepreneurial support.

CO, MN, NM, OK state budgets take hit in innovation funding

As governors and state legislatures continue their negotiations over state budgets, SSTI has reviewed the latest to be signed. The process has proved difficult in more than a few states, with New Mexico having to overcome several stalemates and still facing shortages while in Oklahoma three-fourths of the state agencies are seeing decreased funding due to the state’s $900 million shortfall.

Tech Talkin’ Govs Part IV: governors talk change, new administration, tech and education

More than half of the country’s governors have delivered their state of the state addresses. Last week’s addresses tended to relate to the national election and the incoming administration, with some governors heralding the change and others pledging to try to reach a bipartisan understanding while standing firm on issues they believe in, like climate change in California. Although TBED issues may not have been at the forefront of the addresses, science, technology and especially innovation and higher education continue to receive attention. This week we zero in on comments delivered by governors in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana and Utah.

TBED funding to increase in some state budgets, cut in others; CA, HI, MN, NV, ND, RI

SSTI has reviewed another mix of state budgets as governors across the country continue to release their proposals. Some states, like California and North Dakota, are seeing cuts in the amount of money designated for TBED-related work, while others like Minnesota are in a more favorable fiscal situation and continue to fund such initiatives. Still others, like Rhode Island, are proposing new initiatives.

States Commit to Improve Economic Prosperity Through Increased Broadband Access

A month after a federal court ruled that high-speed Internet service can be defined as a utility, four states have announced commitments to expand high quality, reliable broadband services to rural areas and other underrepresented groups. Two Midwest states, Wisconsin and Minnesota, will provide funding to help support projects that improve access to broadband and spur economic prosperity.

17 Governors Sign Accord to Promote Clean Energy, Economic Prosperity

A bipartisan group of 17 governors signed the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future – a joint commitment to support the deployment of renewable, cleaner and more efficient energy technologies and other solutions to make the U.S. economy more productive and resilient as well as spur job creation in member states.

New Programs in St. Louis, Twin Cities Connect Startups With Corporations

Recently announced programs in the St. Louis and Minneapolis-St. Paul regions offer startups and major corporations new chances to connect and work together. Pioneered by Illinois’ Corporate Startup Challenge, these types of programs seek to build bridges between important components of the innovation ecosystem: revolutionary new products and services and established market leaders.

MN Adopts Equity Crowdfunding; MD Organizations Announce Partnership Crowdfunding Portal

Last month, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed the MNVest bill – an intrastate securities exemption that allows Minnesota-based companies and entrepreneurs to raise money through equity crowdfunding. To qualify for the exemption, businesses must show evidence of several requirements including being organized under state laws and that its principal office is located in Minnesota. Companies can raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors from across the state.

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