2016 MN Cup Competition launches today

Entrepreneurs and innovators can apply to join the competition from now until May 6

By Emily Gasperlin

Starting today, March 21, MN Cup is accepting applications for its twelfth annual startup competition. This year's pool of prize money is $400,000. The competition is open to entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors and small business owners working on a new business venture, as well as pre-existing businesses that have a yearly revenue of less than $1 million.

“Each year we ask, ‘How can the MN Cup help new entrepreneurs who may not have heard of us yet, or may not have access to the business opportunities or resources they need to succeed?’” Melissa Kjolsing, executive director of MN Cup, said in a recent statement. “In 2014, we launched a women’s initiative, focused on creating an improved culture for women leading high-potential startups in Minnesota. Through special programming and supportive peer networking, we helped encourage this underrepresented group in business. This year, we’re adding dollars to this effort. With the support and leadership of Carlson Family Foundation, the 2016 competition will award $25,000 to the top competing woman-led startup.”

Kjolsing went on to say, “Also this year, in partnership with Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest, we are ecstatic to introduce a Youth division for students 18 years old or younger to give them a chance to compete in a space they haven’t had access to before. We’ve been so impressed by innovative business ideas coming from our college-aged student division — we can’t wait to see the ideas that result from the next generation.”

The MN Cup is the largest statewide new venture competition in the country, with more than 10,000 participants since the competition's inception.

Applications will be accepted until May 6. Click here for more information and to apply.