Rochester startups receive innovation grants

Mackenzie Davis
Updated: February 23, 2021 06:21 PM
Created: February 23, 2021 05:46 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) - The Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants Program is awarding over $450,000 to technology startup businesses across the state. Two of those businesses are in Rochester.

Shrpa and Nanodropper, the two Rochester companies, have gotten the funding they need to get off the ground.

"Launch Minnesota has created this ecosystem that has allowed people like me to find really exciting opportunities like this," Robbie Spencer, Marketing Manager at Nanodropper, said.

This has given both companies the ability to bring on their first full-time employees.

"It actually enabled Nanodropper to hire me full-time. I was the first full-time hire by the company," Spencer said.

Nanodropper invented an eyedrop bottle adapter that reduces the size of the eyedrop by about 2/3, saving you money and product.

"It's definitely helpful. It's enough to make a big impact on what we're doing so we're a small enough company that any small piece really helps," Chris Lukenbill, co-founder of Shrpa, said. is a site that helps people share and discover all of the different ways to explore a new community,  like booking day trips and family adventures. And it's all on one website.

"Being able to pull funds together to be able to help with all of this, we're just in this growth phase, any funds that we're able to secure really helps with continuing to help with that," Lukenbill said.

For Shrpa, it's about being able to engage with communities and to grow to serve even more communities. They will be able to do so with this funding.

"It's definitely growing, and I think some of that is because of the pandemic. Some of that is just where we're at as a company," Lukenbill said.

For Nanodropper, it was about the launch of their new product.

"Luckily we were able to weather the storm, and that's mainly because of Launch Minnesota being able to give us that grant," Spencer said.

Copyright 2021 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company