Officials are accepting entries for the seventh annual Minnesota Cup competition for a chance to win more than $150,000 in cash prizes in six divisions. Entries will be accepted until May 20.
“Job creation in Minnesota is increasingly vital and continues to be a top priority,” said Mark Phillips, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
“The Minnesota Cup encourages the kind of innovative ideas that lead to new jobs in the community and economic growth for our state.”
Awards will be presented in the following divisions: clean tech and renewable energy, bioscience, high tech, social entrepreneur, general and student. With the exception of the social entrepreneur and student categories, the winning entry in each division will receive $25,000. The social entrepreneur winner will receive $20,000, and the student winner will receive $10,000. Division winners will then compete for an additional $25,000 grand prize.
More than 5,000 people have competed in the Minnesota Cup since the event was launched in 2005. Competition finalists from 2009 and 2010 have secured more than $30 million in capital, created jobs, and brokered numerous business partnerships, collaborations and distribution agreements.
The Minnesota Cup helps improve the chances that start-up businesses will succeed by awarding them cash prizes that can be used for seed money, by connecting them with investors, advisers, business professionals and partners during event receptions, and by exposing them to media coverage.
Entrants are judged on the value of their business concept, implementation strategy for turning the ideas into a successful business and the quality of their presentations in later rounds of the contest. Review boards will judge each division of the contest and select a winner.
Interested entrepreneurs have until Friday, May 20, to submit their business proposals at www.minnesotacup.org. Submissions, which should be no longer than 400 words, must contain a description of the product or service, an explanation of the market size or opportunity, a sales and marketing summary, and a brief operating plan.
Contest organizers will seek more detailed information as the pool of competitors is pared down in later rounds. The contest will conclude at the McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota on Sept. 8, when finalists will make presentations and judges will announce the grand prize winner.
DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at www.PositivelyMinnesota.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PositivelyMN.