AURI Taking Applications for Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program – Alexandria Echo Press

SAINT PAUL – Access to technical advice, state-of-the-art equipment and financing options can make the difference for the next generation of innovators looking to grow their businesses to create jobs in the food industry and agriculture and generate income in the region.

That’s why the Agricultural Use Research Institute is continuing the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program in 2022.

Founded in 2016, the EiR is a comprehensive program designed to catalyze and support small business and entrepreneurial innovation in value-added agriculture throughout the Upper Midwest that benefits Minnesota. Qualified entrepreneurs selected to participate will benefit from the direct use of AURI’s laboratories and equipment, as well as the organization’s expertise in its focus areas of food, co-products, renewable energy and biobased products. Some participants may be eligible to receive a small stipend for eligible expenses related to program participation.

The EiR program is open to businesses organized under the laws of Minnesota or having a principal place of business in the state. Those who stand to benefit the most from the program are small or sole proprietorships, although AURI may consider others depending on the circumstances.

The program can also provide support to entrepreneurs in their efforts to obtain non-dilutive financing through grants from the federal government, states and other public or private entities. While some research and development grants may not allow funding for laboratory space and facilities, or may require matching funds, AURI can help increase the likelihood of grant awards by providing qualified entrepreneurs with a source of in-kind counterpart funding.

“We are excited to continue the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program and continue our important work of assisting food and agriculture entrepreneurs with product and process development, analytical testing, market assessment and a myriad of other decisions. faced by entrepreneurs ready to scale their business,” said Dr. Luca Zullo, AURI’s Senior Director of Science and Technology, in a press release. “This program meets a need in the business community. Access to equipment, facilities and expertise can be prohibitive for many at the very start of any business. Our goal with EiR is to reduce this cost by allowing innovators to focus on investing what they have (sweat equity and ideas) rather than what they don’t have (hard cash). .

The ideal candidate for the program will possess both technical expertise and a basic understanding of laboratory operations and equipment use. To optimize the use of limited laboratory and staff resources, AURI will limit the number of concurrent EiR projects, with a preference for residencies not exceeding eight months. To be eligible for AURI’s services, EiR applicants must benefit Minnesota’s agricultural sector while demonstrating the potential to positively impact Minnesota’s economy.

Applicants to the program must also demonstrate their ability and intention to continue commercializing their idea upon completion of their residency. Finally, EiR applicants must provide a work plan, as well as a business plan with a budget reflecting an ability to support the project during the residency, and its strategy for continuing its funding beyond the EiR.

For more information about EiR or to request an application, email [email protected] or visit

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