Dovetail Partners Promotes Innovation Voucher Program

MN DEED pilot program provides financing to help small businesses purchase technical assistance and services


(Minneapolis, MN) - Dovetail Partners is pleased to announce their involvement in promoting the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED) pilot program - the Innovation Voucher Program. This program seeks to aid small businesses throughout the state. The program provides up to $25,000 in financial assistance to help small Minnesota businesses purchase technical assistance and services necessary to advance research, development or commercialization of new or innovative products and services. Qualified companies will receive vouchers, which can be redeemed with program partners in the higher education and non-profit fields. MN DEED does not select or endorse potential Innovation Voucher Program partners or imply that partners not listed on their website are not eligible to provide services.


Businesses must choose a program partner prior to submitting an application. Companies with 40 or fewer employees, with at least half of the employees based in Minnesota, may apply to the Innovation Voucher Program. Recipients must provide a cash match equal to 50 percent of the voucher award. Ordinary and necessary expenses not directly related to the development and commercialization of new and innovative products and services are not eligible. Projects must be completed within 18 months of voucher award. Applications are reviewed and vouchers awarded on a rolling basis, contingent on the availability of funds.


Dovetail Partners provides technical development, product development, commercialization, market development, technology exploration, and improved business practice services. Dovetail offers interested small businesses assistance with technology transfer, product development, manufacturing process optimization (i.e., hardware), management systems analysis and improvement, process systems analysis and improvement (both human and production), and energy usage management.


Dr. Jeff Howe, Dovetail's Founder & Chair, serves as Dovetail's lead consultant. Dr. Howe is passionate about helping leaders and organizations through major periods of change. He has over 40 years of successful hands-on leadership experience including time as CEO and/or President of several companies. Organizations under Jeff's leadership have received awards such as MN Handicapped Employer of the Year, WI Environmental Company of the Year, and a Midwest finalist for the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.


Harry Groot is also available from the Dovetail team. Harry Groot has consulted with over 300 firms, mostly  within the forest products sector, focusing on business and manufacturing issues, including operations improvement, streamlining management systems, quality program implementation, facilities, logistics, equipment design and specification, and rural economic development. Harry's work experience has built on his Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering training. He has particular interest in helping small businesses prosper, assisting cooperative enterprises to succeed, implementing appropriate technologies, and facilitating triple bottom line outcomes. Mr. Groot has been certified as a Professional Engineer and an Energy Manager, and has served as Regional Director for Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology.


To apply, download and complete the Innovation Voucher Application Form and submit according to the instructions.


For additional program information, contact Brandon Toner at 651-259-7218 or For additional information about Dovetail Partners' available expertise, contact Jeff Howe at 612-333-0430 or