MN Cup Boosts Total Prize Money to $185K

The pot of prize money for Minnesota's entrepreneurial competition has grown, due primarily to a new sponsorship from General Mills-and a runner-up in each division will now receive a $5,000 cash prize.

As the application deadline nears for the 2011 Minnesota Cup, the entrepreneurial competition has raised the stakes.

The seventh-annual contest-which began accepting entries in March-previously announced that it would give out more than $150,000 in prize money across six award divisions.

Minnesota Cup Director Matt Hilker on Monday told Twin Cities Business that the competition will now dole out $185,000 in prize money.

The contest awards money across six divisions: high tech, biosciences, clean tech and renewable energy, social entrepreneurship, general, and student. The winner from each division will receive $25,000-with the exception of the student category, which will award $10,000, and the social entrepreneurship category, which will award $20,000. After the division winners are chosen, the six will then compete for a $25,000 grand prize. (Those numbers haven't changed since the competition began accepting entries earlier this year.)

With the increase in total prize money, Hilker said, the competition will now award $5,000 to the runner-up in each of the six award divisions.

Hilker attributed the boost in prize money to the addition of a new corporate sponsor, Golden Valley-based General Mills, Inc., which will serve as lead sponsor for the competition's general division.

Regarding this year's pool of applicants, Hilker said, “We've received a lot of great responses so far. We're on the same pace as we've been on during the last couple of years.”

He stressed, however, that there's still time to submit an application before the May 20 deadline.

To enter the contest, click here.