MN Cup Announces Nine Division Winners
Deephaven-based Raise a Hood—which helps users repair their own cars with the help of “telemechanics,” community knowledge, and artificial intelligence—was a winner in the “High Tech” division of MN Cup. Photo courtesy of Raise a Hood

MN Cup Announces Nine Division Winners

They’re all eligible for a $50,000 grand prize later this month.

Nine Minnesota startups are set to advance to the final phase of the yearly MN Cup competition.

On Friday, MN Cup organizers announced the nine division winners in the 2023 iteration of the annual startup competition.

Eight of the division winners took home a $25,000 prize each. The winner of the Youth division, meanwhile, received a share of a $20,000 total prize, which is being split between runners-up in the category. On Sept. 18, all nine division winners will present their companies before a judging panel for a chance to win a $50,000 grand prize.

In a news release, MN Cup organizers said they received a record number of applicants this year. In an email, a spokeswoman said the competition received a total of 887 unique business plans this year, up 17% over the prior year. “Participation continues to reflect MN Cup’s priorities of increasing representation with 43% women-led, 38% BIPOC-led and 31% Greater Minnesota-led companies applying,” organizers said.

Launched by local serial entrepreneurs Dan Mallin and Scott Litman, MN Cup has awarded more than $5 million to Minnesota startups since its founding in 2005.

This year’s divisions and division winners were:

  • Energy, Clean Tech, & Water: Minneapolis-based Carba Inc., which is developing a product for “permanent carbon removal.”
  • Education & Training: Minneapolis-based Radar Talent Solutions, which sells “custom hiring solutions for schools and local governments.”
  • Food, Agriculture, & Beverage: Minneapolis-based Quebracho Empanadas, which sells frozen empanadas which will soon be available in grocery stores throughout the Midwest.
  • General: Eagan-based REMastered Sleep, seller of water bottles designed to reduce snoring.
  • High Tech: Deephaven-based Raise a Hood, a platform that uses artificial intelligence and community knowledge to help users repair cairs on their own.
  • Impact Ventures: Minneapolis-based Xanthos Health, a digital platform designed to help people living with cancer meet their daily needs.
  • Life Science & Health IT: Glimpse Diagnostics, which bills itself as an “AI visual diagnostics company for ear care in young children.”
  • Student: Minneapolis-based Nivoso, which is developing a robotic system designed for yard maintenance and snow removal.
  • Youth: Rochester-based SafeSphere, which has developed an app designed to reduce stress and improve wellness.