ST. CLOUD -- The Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation has received $75,000 state funding to support high-tech startups and create networking opportunities for entrepreneurs throughout west central Minnesota.

Launch Minnesota, spearheaded by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, is a new initiative under Governor Tim Walz aimed at growing Minnesota's startup ecosystem.

Seven organizations throughout Minnesota received funding. Together, they will form the Launch Minnesota Network to help Minnesota-based technology startups take their businesses from concept to launch.

St. Cloud will serve as the hub for west central Minnesota, says Leslie Dingmann, Business Development Associate for the GSDC. Dingmann says the new funds will support growing startup-focused programming already taking place in St. Cloud and expand outreach and networking opportunities to places like Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Brainerd and Moorhead.

Each Launch Minnesota grant requires at least a one-to-one match. DEED says they have already leveraged nearly $900,000 in private dollars.