The MN Cup, a statewide entrepreneurial competition, announced its 25 finalists on Monday.
 
The companies span eight different divisions and emerged from a pool of over 1,500 applicants. All but two of the finalists are from the Twin Cities metro area.
 
Finalists were selected based on their business plans, presentations given by the entrepreneurs and videos that they produced. Judges assess these using criteria that includes the value proposition of the idea, its commercial viability and the progress that the entrepreneur is making in bringing it to market.
 
The MN Cup will whittle down the list further to division winners at the end of August. Those companies will be awarded $30,000, with runners up getting $5,000. Over $400,000 in prize money is up for grabs this year, with a significant chunk of it going to the overall winner of the competition. The grand prize winner will be announced at the end of September. Minneapolis-based Astropad won in 2015. (Read TCB's Q&A with one of the entrepreneurs behind Astropad here).
 
This year’s finalists are:
 
  Company Region Other Categories
Energy/Clean Tech/Water Division Activated Research Metro  
  Arc Suppression Technologies Metro Veteran-led
  Verterra Energy Metro  
Food/Ag/Beverage Division Bolton Bees Metro Woman-led
  Far North Spirits Greater MN Woman-led
  SelfEco Garden Metro  
General Division Awear Technologies Greater MN  
  Berd Spokes Metro  
  Key Log Rolling Metro Woman-led
High Tech Division Sezzle Metro Minority-led
  Token of Trust Metro  
  Vugo Metro  
Life Science/Health IT Division Geneticure Metro  
  StemoniX Metro Minority-led
  Zift Medical Metro  
Social Entrepreneur Division Asiya Metro Woman-led, minority-led
  Mind Shift Metro  
  The Mother Love Metro Woman-led
Student Division Minnealloy Magnetics Metro Minority-led
  Nesel Packs Metro Woman-led
  Tree Trainer Metro  
Youth Division Da Bomb Bath Fizzers Metro Woman-led
  ExpressionMed Metro Woman-led
  Leozarb Metro Minority-led
  mXers Audio Metro Minority-led
 

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