Founder and Director

Pat Dillon, MBA

Pat Dillon is responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of MNSBIR and its services to startups and small businesses in Minnesota.   Pat has nearly 30 years of knowledge, experience and relationships in the programs to bring immediate value to startups and existing firms starting on this journey.

Pat is actively involved in Minnesota’s innovation, investment, and commercialization arena.  Pat is a member of the University of Minnesota (U of M),  Technology Commercialization, Business Advisory Group; the Chair of the Advisory Board for the U of M, Technological Leadership Institute; a mentor for the Carlson School of Management, STARTUP Course; a frequent contributor to MN-REACH and MIN-CORPS (I-Corps Programs); a former MN-CUP Life Sciences Semi-Finalist Committee Member; a speaker and organizer at the U of M Medical Devices Conference, Government Funding for Startups; and a frequent speaker at Twin Cities Startup Week, and co-teaches a graduate course at the Mayo Clinic, Office of Entrepreneurship.

From 1994-2004, Pat was the director of the Minnesota’s SBIR/STTR Office at Minnesota Project Innovation (MPI), Minneapolis, a private, non-profit organization. MPI’s 20-year impact led to high paying jobs, outside investments, and new products and services.

Pat is a 1999 recipient of the prestigious SBA Tibbetts Award; a national award for excellence in the SBIR/STTR Programs. Pat is also a 2001 recipient of the City Business’ 25 Most Innovative Woman Award (now the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal). Pat has served as a commercialization plan reviewer for the National Science Foundation (twice) and the United States Department of Agriculture (multiple times), and was the principal investigator of an Office of Naval Research contract for SBIR outreach in a five-state region for the first-ever SWIFT Tour (SBIR/STTR Where Innovation Focuses on Technology) (now called SBIR Road Tours).

Pat is a retired United States Navy Commander with 40 years of service. both active and reserve, and in both aviation and intelligence communities. Pat is a  combat veteran having served 10 months in Kabul, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Pat earned an MBA and BS in Business Administration from Winona State University, Winona, MN.


Adhoc Expert Consultants

The Accelerator engages with a highly experienced team of consultants who bring invaluable support to promising companies and projects.  Their expertise in marketing, federal cost accounting, grant and contract administration, and commercialization assistance.