The Minnesota Cup announced Monday that 70 semifinalists have advanced to the next round of the annual entrepreneur competition—and will now compete for $300,000 in prize money.
The 70 entrepreneur teams were selected from a pool of nearly 1,300 applicants, the highest number of entrants ever, for the 10th annual Minnesota Cup, a statewide competition that seeks out the most innovative business ideas.
Thirty-four percent of the entries came from women-led teams, while a total of 45 percent included entries with at least one female team member—the largest representation of female participants in the competition’s history. (Twin Cities Business recently reported on the demographic breakdown of the overall applicant pool.)
The semifinalists named Monday, whom are divided into seven divisions, will have the opportunity to put together a detailed business plan with the help of the competition’s mentor network, take advantage of a free one-month membership to co-working space Café, Inc., meet members of the Cup’s review board, and attend events organized by Cup partners.
On August 18, finalists for each division will be announced, and each division winner will be awarded $30,000 in seed capital (with the exception of the student and social divisions, which are awarded $20,000 each). Additionally, one runner-up from each division will receive $5,000.
The division winners will then compete for a grand prize of an additional $50,000—and they will all be honored at an event on September 10 that evening at the University of Minnesota’s McNamara Alumni Center.
“Minnesota has long been an incubator for innovation, and the Minnesota Cup harnesses that innovative spirit with the help of our extensive local business network,” Minnesota Cup cofounder Scott Litman said in a statement. “Our goal is always to find the great ideas of the future and help transform them into the next successful, Minnesota-based companies. And this year’s strong applicant pool is no exception—we’re so excited to see what will develop through the summer.”
The semifinalists are listed by division below:
Energy/Clean Technology/Water Division