Minnesota Cup Names Six Division Winners
The six division winners were announced Wednesday in the ninth annual Minnesota Cup competition, a statewide contest that awards $200,000 in prize money to the newest and most innovative business ideas.
Each division winner will receive $25,000 in seed capital, with the exception of the social entrepreneur winner, who will receive $20,000, and the student winner, who will receive $10,000.
The winners will now compete for the grand prize—an additional $40,000 and the Minnesota Cup—on September 11. The six competitors will present speeches to judges and an audience at the University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center—the judges will then make their final selection, which will be announced that same day. (To read about last year’s winners, click here.)
More than 1,000 participants competed in this year’s Minnesota Cup, and more than 8,000 Minnesotans have participated in the competition since its 2005 inception.
To be eligible for the contest, the business ventures may consist of an individual or a group of up to four. However, five of this year’s division winners were business ideas pitched by individuals.
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:
Energy/Clean Tech Division
Garden Fresh Farms – Developed indoor warehouse urban agriculture systems for local farms. (Dave Roeser, Ramsey County)
Kidblog, Inc. – A digital publishing platform that allows K-12 students to navigate the online landscape within a secure, private classroom blogging space. (Dan Flies and Matt Hardy, Hennepin County)
High Tech Division
When I Work – A Web application for employee scheduling and communication that uses mobile apps, text messaging, social media, and email. (Chad Halvorson, Ramsey County)
Life Science/Health IT Division
Preceptis Medical – A medical device manufacturer developing surgical tools that allow ear tube procedures to be performed with reduced pain and surgical time for pediatric patients. (Steve Anderson, Aitkin County)
Social Entrepreneur Division
Minnesota Valley Action Council – A nonprofit organization that uses federal, state, and local resources to provide assistance to children and families in need. (Jim Gehrke, Blue Earth County)
ShedBed – Developed a technology that attracts and contains pet hair and dander to the pet’s bed. (Nathan Conner, Hennepin County)
Click here to also see the division runner-ups, which will all receive $5,000 in seed capital.