The MN Cup wrapped up its 2016 competition a few months ago, but it’s already gearing up for 2017.
The statewide entrepreneurial competition, which bills itself as the nation’s largest, kicks off March 20 and is taking applications through April 28 for businesses to enter. This year’s competition has more than $425,000 in prize and seed money at stake.
“In the marketplace, all business ideas are equal, but not all worthy concepts will make it into the ring—that’s where MN Cup comes in. We break down the barriers that hold back great ideas,” executive director Melissa Kjolsing said in a statement. “We connect would-be innovators with mentorship, teach them about the entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Minnesota, and help them find their place in it.”
Any Minnesota-based company with revenue under $1 million is eligible to enter the MN Cup. The divisions mirror last year’s: general, high tech, energy/clean tech/water, food/agriculture/beverage, life science/health, impact ventures and student. There’s also a youth division for those 18 and under.
Divisional winners receive $30,000 and move on to compete for the $50,000 grand prize.
The 2016 winner of the MN Cup was StemoniX, which creates stem cells for research and drug-reaction screening. TCB conducted a Q&A with StemoniX cofounder Ping Yeh shortly after the company won.