Gopher Angels Invests $11M in First 4 Years in MN Companies

By Melissa Kjolsing

Gopher Angels has now put $11 million into high-potential startups connected to Minnesota. Recent investments in a variety of companies highlight the breadth and depth of support that Gopher Angels provides to startups in the region.

Since its founding in 2012, Gopher Angels has grown membership rapidly to meet the needs of startups and the desire for a supportive network for angel investors in Minnesota.

“Gopher Angels was founded on a vision of making angel investing in Minnesota more inclusive and collaborative,” says Sara Russick, managing director of Gopher Angels. “We are so excited to see strong progress toward that vision, and are eager to continue adding members with a passion for helping grow great companies.”

“The continued growth of membership and invested dollars helps fuel innovation through Minnesota startups,” says David Russick, co-managing director of Gopher Angels. “Investment by our members — who include family offices, funds and microfunds as well as individual accredited investors — is critical in helping early-stage companies hit those key milestones for more growth, more employees and more capital.”

To date, 2016 investments made by Gopher Angels include:

  • Oculogica (new investment)
  • Preceptis Medical (continuing support), 2013 MN Cup Grand Prize Winner
  • SIMPLS (new investment), 2015 MN Cup Food/Ag/Bev Division Winner
  • Stemonix (continuing support), 2016 MN Cup Life Science/Health IT Division Winner
  • Advanced Cooling Technology (continuing support)

In addition to injecting capital, Gopher Angels is an active supporter and collaborator for Minnesota startups, including as a long-time sponsor of MN Cup. Gopher Angels members also regularly mentor the nascent companies in accelerators and business plan competitions in the region.

It’s incredibly important for Minnesota to have a meaningful and growing group of startup investors to build on the great company ideas that compete in MN Cup. It’s evident that Gopher Angels wants all good ideas and startups to succeed. As investors, their members cannot support every company, but their group’s total commitment to Minnesota’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is creating valuable impact for local startups

MN Cup Team


Melissa Kjolsing is the director of the Minnesota Cup, an annual entrepreneur competition at the University of Minnesota.