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Floreo Labs Partners with Women’s Foundation of Minnesota to Deliver Groundbreaking Innovator Program

Minneapolis, MN – June 14, 2024 – In a significant collaboration aimed at supporting young innovators, Floreo Labs is excited to announce its partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) to administer their Innovator Program. This initiative is designed to inspire and elevate young women and gender-expansive leaders through micro-grants, leadership development, and personalized coaching.

Floreo Labs partners with Women's Foundation of Minnesota to to Deliver Groundbreaking Innovator Program
Image Source: Women's Foundation of Minnesota

The Innovator Program harnesses the unique perspectives and skills of young leaders aged 16-24, providing them with the resources to bring their groundbreaking ideas to life. Each participant receives a $3,000 microgrant to fund projects that champion gender and racial equity and justice. The program is committed to supporting these visionaries who lead from the intersections of their identities and experiences, advancing key recommendations in the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota’s Blueprint for Action.

Participants in the Innovator Program will meet as a cohort for technical support and leadership development, attending five in-person convenings throughout the year to build skills in leadership, innovation management, and human-centered design.

Additionally, each Innovator will pair with a professional mentor for four coaching sessions a year, focusing on both personal growth and project development. Participants also receive access to the Lab Accelerator Program online learning platform to support their learning throughout the course of the cohort.

Since its inception in 2018, the Women’s Foundation’s Innovators program has awarded 139 grants totaling $347,500, demonstrating a profound commitment to nurturing the talents of young women and gender-expansive youth across Minnesota. 

That year, participant Hilal Ibrahim used her Innovator grant to source materials and create handmade hijabs and henna by and for Muslim women. The following year, Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital approached the founder to design and feature a new Henna and Hijabs (H&H) product line in their gift shop. The hospital effectively became the only U.S. health care organization to center inclusivity and provide high-quality hospital-grade hijabs to its stakeholders. In 2021, H&H collaborated with Nordstrom to bring high quality, fashionable hijabs and headscarves to stores.

"We need more community driven solutions in the product and tech space,” said Naomi Arroyo, Managing Partner at Floreo Labs.

"The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota is advancing pathways to economic opportunity and promoting locally powered systems change with their innovative programming. They are directly contributing to an an inclusive and innovative environment where every young woman and gender-expansive individual can flourish and our partnership with them underscores our dedication to continue to support the innovation ecosystem in the Mid-West."

Eligible participants include young women and gender-expansive youth from diverse communities across Minnesota. The program prioritizes applicants from communities such as Black/African American, African Immigrant, American Indian, Hispanic/Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, those with disabilities, and those from Greater/Rural Minnesota. Citizenship is not a requirement for participation.

Interested in Becoming an Innovator? Applications close June 24, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. Catch a recap of our Informational Webinar for in depth details about the application process and program requirements. For questions about this program, contact Janett Jimenez at or 612-236-1825.


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