BEMIDJI -- A local Bemidji-area company has received grant funding as part of an ongoing effort by a state program.

On Monday, the state Department of Employment and Economic Development's Launch Minnesota program awarded $454,375 to startup businesses. The amount followed a first round of grants totaling $746,295. According to a press release, the program has $400,000 left to allocate.

The grants are meant to help reduce the risk for Minnesota technology startups and entrepreneurs. Since Launch Minnesota started, it has awarded 118 innovation grants of more than $2.8 million to 88 start-up companies.

The program was created with bipartisan support during the 2019 legislative session with the goal of supporting start-up businesses.

The local business is DomiNative Development, which received $21,000. An Indigenous business focused on fitness, the company received the grant to create a virtual racing community.

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"Providing resources and support for technology startups is important to help our state's economy as these companies grow," Kevin McKinnon, deputy commissioner for DEED, said in the release. "It's even more important now as we look to help businesses during the pandemic recovery."

Along with businesses, Launch Minnesota has also assisted organizations. For example, Greater Bemidji Economic Development's LaunchPad program also received a grant of more than $60,000.

Headquartered at the Mayflower Building in downtown Bemidji, the LaunchPad is an entrepreneurship support program that provides co-working space.