Innovate 218 - A Launch MN Regional Hub

Innovate 218 Virtual Fall Cohort 2021

This 10-Week Lean Startup Program is designed to be FREE to all entrepreneurs and soon-to-be-entrepreneurs of the NE Minnesota Region. This program is taught by the team at ILT Academy. They want us to be aware that they are going to coach, support, and boost all cohort members in their lean startup journeys.


October 12th - December 14th, 2021

Duration: Every Tuesday Evening 

Time: 6 pm - 10 pm 

Cost: FREE

*Limited spots available

** There will be no class on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021 due to Thanksgiving **


Apply Now


Important Dates


Applications Due:




Classes Begin:


Founder Showcase:



Program Details

Got an idea? Launching a startup? Growing a business? ILT Academy can help. This course is 10 weeks (9 sessions) long and delivered virtually. Students will leverage design thinking, design innovation, and Lean Startup methods to create, refine, and present their idea/startup. Using new tools, frameworks, and processes to collaborate, communicate, and think critically. Students will: 

  • Define a concise problem/solution fit
  • Iterate and finalize a Lean Business Canvas
  • Create and use a 30-second pitch
  • Learn how to test/validate hypotheses and assumptions
  • Develop a strong 5-minute pitch. 


Session Dates //

Every Tuesday from 10/12/2021 through 12/14/2021 

Orientation: 10/05/2021

**No class on November 23rd, 2021 due to Thanksgiving**


Session Times //

6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Orientation time from 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM


Session Location //

Online (virtual sessions)


How much does this cohort cost? 

The program is FREE to all practicipants. The program is generously sponsored by Innovate 218's strong network of area leaders. 


Who should apply? 

Participants do not need any startup experience nor a fully formed idea for a startup. ILT Academy just asks that you have the ambition, motivation and grit. 


Am I eligible to apply?

Priority will be given to founders and startups based in West Central MN. There are a limited number of seats available; the acceptance rate will be very competitive. However, if there are additional spaces, the program will consider participants outside the priority areas. We encourage you to apply regardless of your current location. 


Full Course Description




Outside of coastal cities and metropolitan areas, including Minneapolis/St. Paul, there are minimal world class resources available to today’s new innovators and entrepreneurs in Greater Minnesota. West Central Minnesota and the Greater St. Cloud Region have undertaken a bold effort to make the region the go-to region in Greater Minnesota for entrepreneurs and startups who seek a robust ecosystem and support structure to grow their ideas into successful startups. Through Innovate 218, we are hoping to do the same.

Innovate 218 is a regional Launch MN group that was created to help innovators and entrepreneurs located in Greater Minnesota by providing a comprehensive set of supports and expanding the ILT Academy program that has already been running in St. Cloud, MN and Red Wing, MN.   

The programming and services brought forth through Innovate 218, will assist in the building and expansion of the startup ecosystem for entrepreneurs in the Northeast Development Region through education, training, networking, access to nationally ranked accelerators, access to risk capital and technical support services.



Although our group is ever-growing, the following partners currently make up, Innovate 218:





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