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Rep. Paul Thissen celebrates MN #StartupWeek by promoting IDEA Act


October 12, 2017 

Rep. Paul Thissen has introduced the IDEA Act. The Innovation, Discovery and Entrepreneurship Act creates a robust public-private partnership to generate meaningful high-paying jobs and put exciting, new ideas into the marketplace. It will bring together our great universities like the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State, and our world-renowned research institutions like the Mayo Clinic and Hormel Institute with private technology companies and venture capital investors to promote research and development that will maximize economic growth and job creation in Minnesota.

The IDEA Act, (HF2134) will create the Minnesota Research and Development Authority, a multi-agency board that will have broad authority to accelerate commercialization of Minnesota research and development, to provide seed money to organizations that assist innovative entrepreneurship.  The Authority will be funded with a $500 million investment by the state of Minnesota.  The IDEA act will allow Minnesota to invest in new infrastructure for research, development and innovation activities across the state and to vastly expand internship opportunities for college and high school students across Minnesota in careers of science, technology, engineering, math, and manufacturing. 

The Research and Development Authority is also charged with partnering with the private sector to create at least three entrepreneurship incubator laboratories modeled on the successful J-Labs in southern California, including two such labs located outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The incubator labs will provide new entrepreneurs with physical space, lab and other scientific equipment, capital, coaching, common services, and a spot for networking. 

"We met with and listened to entrepreneurs working in Minnesota right now on the ground trying to bring innovative - sometimes transformative - ideas to market,” said Rep. Thissen. “Entrepreneurs I spoke to tell me Minnesota needs exactly this type of significant partnership commitment from the State of Minnesota. We should not pass up the opportunity."