Last Thursday, startup semifinalists were announced in the 2018 Minnesota Cup, the largest statewide startup competition in the nation. These ninety companies will compete in nine different divisions: Education & Training, Energy/Clean Tech/Water, Food/Ag/Bev, General, High Tech, Life Science/Health IT, Impact Ventures, Student, and Youth Divisions.
Over $500,000 in seed funding will be awarded this season to companies participating in the Minnesota Cup business plan competition. In addition to financial capital, startups also receive mentorship opportunities, media exposure, and business plan feedback.
Applications for this year’s Minnesota Cup opened on March 26th. Over the next several months, finalists will be chosen in each of these nine divisions, earning a chance to win the overall $50,000 grand prize at the final awards ceremony at the McNamara Alumni Center on October 8th.
This year, Minnesota Cup received 1,661 applications from around the state, a twenty-two percent increase from last season.
Five teams from Olmsted country have advanced to the semifinal round of the competition including:
· Oronoco-based Busy Baby LLC in the General Division. This company’s product, the Busy Baby Mat, can be utilized on any flat surface to keep babies busy and baby toys safe and clean. The mat is also portable.
· Rochester-based LipiQuester LLC in the Life Science/Health IT Division. LipiQuester is a patent-pending nutraceutical that sequesters fat from the diet to prevent fat absorption, minus the negative side-effects experienced from typical anti-obesity treatments.
· Rochester-based Mill Creek Life Sciences in the Life Science/Health IT Division. Mill Creek Life Sciences has developed the first human platelet cell lysate on the market, called PLTMax. The company’s additional product, PLTGold, is a media supplement for stem cell growth.
· Rochester-based Thaddeus Medical Systems in the Life Science/Health IT Division. This startup has developed iGler, a smart hardware and software packaging solution to protect and keep medical and biological samples cold while shipping.
· Rochester-based B.A.S.I.C. BALSA in the Youth Division. This team of young women is developing an app to connect immigrants to resources in their new communities to enhance quality of life. This product was developed as part of the Technovation Challenge, a global initiative that enables girls to solve real-world problems through technology.
Congratulations to all the advancing companies and best of luck in the remainder of the competition!