MN Cup Reveals the 90 Semifinalists for its 2018 Competition

MN Cup Reveals the 90 Semifinalists for its 2018 Competition

This year’s statewide entrepreneurial competition is breaking records of previous editions, including with participation numbers, prize money and diversity.

The MN Cup has announced the top 90 teams that will move forward as semifinalists in this year’s entrepreneurial competition, cutting down the field from the initial record-breaking number of 1,661 entrants. Also breaking a MN Cup record is the amount of prize money at stake: $500,000 total – to be fractionally distributed at the end of the competition.
MN Cup is hitting its financial and participation milestones in the fourteenth year of the competition, which is the largest entrepreneurial contest of its kind in the country.
“MN Cup is a contest, but it’s also a mentorship program,” says MN Cup co-founder Scott Litman. “All semifinal teams, even those who don’t take away the top award, are winning something very valuable – the chance to be coached by some of the most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs in the state.”
The startups this year are being judged within nine categories: energy/clean tech/water, food/agriculture/beverage, general, high tech, impact ventures, life science/health IT, and education and training. Additionally, there are separate students and youth categories.
Entries into the 2018 MN Cup rose 22 percent over last year, and the breakdown of the vying entrepreneurs adds up to another round of broken MN Cup records. A milestone 45 percent of teams include women, 27 percent include minority members, and 8 percent include veterans.
“We’re thrilled to see the diversity of our applicants increase as participation grows,” says MN Cup director Jessica Berg, “There is more to be done, but we are working to create new relationships and strengthen existing partnerships to make MN Cup accessible to diverse applicants across the state.”
From the semifinalists, three teams in each division will be selected to present their progress and plans in August.
This year’s semifinalists are:







  • BarBud                                                    
  • CapakÑan LLC
  • DaVinci Industries
  • Enduramark
  • MagnaBox
  • Plyo
  • ReGlymph
  • Runerra
  • Texima Group
  • Two Daughters



To date, the competition has helped finalists raise more than $280 million in capital to support the development of their ideas, create jobs and broker partnerships and collaborations, MN Cup said in a release. Last year’s MN Cup grand prize victor was MicroOptx Inc, a medical device company that makes implants intended to halt the progression of glaucoma.
This year’s semifinalists will gather on June 6 at the Carlson School of Management for the start of the 2018 competition’s mentoring phase.