Melissa Kjolsing, Director, MN Cup

Melissa Kjolsing (coal-sing) is the director of the MN Cup, the largest statewide startup competition in the country. Melissa has led the MN Cup for the past four years and has found multiple areas to innovate and expand. She has overseen the addition of two new divisions (Food/Ag/Beverage in 2014 and Youth in 2016), 25 new sponsors, doubled the prize money, expanded the MN Cup’s geographic reach and rebranded the MN Cup in 2015. In addition to her work with the MN Cup, Melissa also has developed and led new initiatives to encourage and support entrepreneurship for women, youth, social causes, minorities and Greater Minnesota. Melissa brings a background in business development and marketing to the program, having worked for Fredrikson & Byron and The BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota. Melissa has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato and is currently pursuing an MBA at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.