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2012 Minnesota Cup Semi-finalist News Release


Semi-finalists across six divisions competing for a share of $200,000
in the statewide search for breakthrough business ideas

MINNEAPOLIS – June 11, 2012 – For the past 8 weeks, more than 1,000 Minnesotans from Thief River Falls to Preston have participated in the eighth annual Minnesota Cup, a statewide contest designed to accelerate the development of Minnesota’s newest and most innovative business ideas. Applicants are competing for their share of $200,000 – up from $185,000 in 2011 – and the chance to bring their entrepreneurial vision to life with the support and resources the competition offers.

49 entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators have advanced to the second round of the 2012 competition. Which exceptional idea will be judged to be the best? Might it be an innovative service that educates and empowers new moms and families? Maybe it will be a solution that gives users the inside scoop on patent examiners. Or perhaps it will be a technology for the production of a bio-energy feedstock that consumes CO2 and agricultural waste in the process.  The Minnesota Cup looks forward to accelerating the development of these and many other unique ideas over the summer and beyond. 

“The Minnesota Cup is about finding ground-breaking business ideas and turning them into profitable, Minnesota-based companies,” said Minnesota Cup co-founder Scott Litman. “The 2012 competition is full of exciting and strong business ideas that have the potential to succeed and join the ranks of past successful Minnesota Cup ventures.” 

What’s next?
On Tuesday, June 19, semi-finalists will be honored by contest organizers, including co-chairpersons Scott Litman and Dan Mallin, review board members, mentors, sponsors and supporters and past Minnesota Cup finalists and winners at the semi-finalist reception.

During round 2 of the competition, semi-finalists will be paired with a mentor with extensive entrepreneurial experience and will have the opportunity to attend events organized by Minnesota Cup sponsors and supporters.  These events have proven extremely valuable to past semi-finalists as they have been developing their business plans and investor presentations. By July 27, semi-finalists should submit a business plan and investor presentation for divisional judges to review. On August 20, the judges will name three finalists in each division to present their ideas live on August 28.  At the conclusion of each set of divisional presentations, a winner and runner-up will be named.

Division winners will receive $25,000 – with the exception of the Mosaic social entrepreneur division ($20,000) and the student division ($10,000) – and the opportunity to present to the Grand Prize review board on September 6.  Division runners-up receive $5,000.

Minnesota’s top breakthrough business idea will receive an additional $40,000 and be recognized as the overall winner of the 2012 Minnesota Cup.  The winner will be announced live at the final awards event on September 6 at the McNamara Alumni Center.

For the full list of this year’s semi-finalists visit www.minnesotacup.org.

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  • Magnet 360
  • Bush Foundation
  • Leonard, Street and Deinard
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Mosaic
  • Mojo Minnesota
  • General Mills
  • MHTA
  • The Collaborative
  • MVCA
  • Spoken Impact
  • Startec
  • Messerli and Kramer
  • TECHdotMN
  • Split Rock Partners
  • Eide Bailly
  • Fredrikson Byron
  • Gray Plant Mooty
  • Twin Cities Business
  • Haberman Associates
  • Kenyon
  • lurie Besikof lapidus
  • Maslon
  • Positively Minnesota
  • Proto Labs
  • Clean Tech Open
  • Gopher Angels
  • AURI
  • Division of Energy Resources - Minnesota Department of Commerce
  • Digital River
  • 301 Inc. Emerging Brand Elevator
  • Stoel Rives LLP
  • SixSpeed
  • Grain Millers
  • Cafe Inc.
  • Clifton Larson Allen
  • Treehouse Health
  • IBM