Astropad Wins 2015 MN Cup
The MN Cup named Astropad the overall winner of its 2015 entrepreneurial competition.
The company, which was founded by former Apple employees and maintains offices in Minneapolis and San Francisco, makes an app that turns Apple iPad and iPhone devices into a graphics tablet.
The company takes home the $50,000 grand prize, which brings their total winnings to over $80,000. In all, $327,000 in prizes were awarded.
“We can’t put into words how much we’ve learned from the experience,” cofounder Matt Ronge said in a statement. “Winning the Cup means everything for our company and our brand and we can’t wait to see what’s around the corner for Astropad as we expand thanks to the exposure—and capital infusion—from MN Cup.”
Astropad was up against six other companies that were named finalists in their own division (Astropad was in high tech): small and energy efficient engine manufacturer Stratetek (energy/clean tech/water), local and organic convenience store SIMPLS (food/ag/beverage), wood products company Woodchuck USA (general), online social anxiety program Learn To Live LLC (life science/health IT), civic social network Civic Eagle (social entrepreneurship) and women’s product review company Ova Woman LLC (student).
“Our judges were struck by Astropad’s unique vision, well-honed presentation skills, and comprehensively prepared business plan,” MN Cup cofounder Scott Litman said in a statement. “We look forward with excitement to watch this innovative idea grow into a dynamic business with real-world impact, including local job growth.”
Other prizes awarded included a $25,000 matching grant to RED Food, which facilitates getting farm-fresh food to restaurants, by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and a $5,000 semifinalist prize to Hunhu Healthcare by AARP for improving the lives of seniors.
MN Cup, now in its 11th year, is the country’s largest statewide venture competition. Nearly 1,300 entrepreneurs participated this year. Last year, Mankato-based 75F won the competition.