Entrepreneurs Pitch Startups to Gov. Tim Walz

Baihly Warfield
Created: April 17, 2019 08:26 PM

DULUTH, Minn. - Gov. Tim Walz was looking for the state's next economic innovator at the Natural Resources Research Institute Wednesday morning. 

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Walz made a stop there on his "Community Prosperity" tour. He heard pitches from Minnesota-based startups about how they hope to grow and create local jobs. 

"When you create these jobs at home, people get to make the choice to pursue the career they want and live in the place they want," Walz said. "Everybody says, 'I'd love to live in Duluth. I'd love to live in Two Harbors, if I can find the work I want to do.' That's what these people are creating."

One of the startups created a product called MAQR bracelets, which have a QR code on them that can provide health information. Another touted the health benefits that can be extracted from birch trees. Yet another entrepreneur created an app that helps you meet people based on your interests.

"You heard all these UMD graduates talk about how excited they are hiring other UMD graduates to live in Duluth and the surrounding area. That's how we create prosperity. So we're hopeful about it," Gov. Walz said. 

He brought Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman and DEED Commissioner Steve Grove with him and asked the entrepreneurs to explain how state programs can better assist them. He called this is a "transformational time." 

"We know when we moved out of World War II and America became a manufacturing power, we still manufacture, we still have mining, we still have agriculture, we still have lumber industry," Walz said. "But it's innovation, innovation around those projects that is going to be the future."

Walz and Hortman also talked about the importance of providing tax credits for technology entrepreneurs in next year's budget. The governor also mentioned the need for quality health care for people who want to work and raise families. 

Gov. Walz also delivered the keynote speech at a LISC luncheon while he was in town.


Baihly Warfield

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