Winners of six separate divisions were announced Wednesday in the sixth annual Minnesota Cup competition, a statewide contest that rewards the newest and most innovative business ideas.
Each division winner will receive $20,000 in seed capital, with the exception of the student winner, who will get $5,000. The overall, grand-prize winner will be announced September 13 and will receive an additional $20,000, along with the Minnesota Cup.
More than 1,000 participants competed in this year's Minnesota Cup, which was co-founded by Scott Litman and Dan Mallin, who also co-founded Minneapolis-based Magnet360. Over the past six years, the contest has helped more than 5,000 entrepreneurs pursue their dreams of launching and growing their own companies.
While some of the companies that competed have yet to launch their business ideas, others are already up and running. Here's a look at the six division winners, along with brief descriptions of what they're all about:
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Biosciences: BioMatRx (Todd Geisler, Graham Geisler, Jamison Geisler)-Provides tissue engineering products, equipment, and information to the dental industry
Clean Tech & Renewable Energy: EarthClean (Doug Ruth, Mark Stump, Rick Masloski, Nyle Zikmund)-Is commercializing an environmentally safe liquid that is exponentially more effective at stopping fires than water, Class-A Foams, or toxic retardants
General: Go Home Gorgeous (Rachel Swardson)-Provides postpartum recovery treatments that have proven effective in decreasing the physical and emotional stress commonly associated with childbirth
High Tech: GeaCom (Mat Johnson, Cassandra Bachtell, Amanda Little)-Is developing a multi-lingual medical communication system
Social Entrepreneurship: Springboard for the Arts (Laura Zabel)-Connects artists with the skills, contacts, information, and services they need to make a living and a life
Student: Blue Water Ponds (Ben Schurhamer, Connor McComas)-Provides environmentally friendly services for restoring ponds through the use of barley straw and pond weed harvesting in an effort to control aquatic plants in the long term