5 Most Common MN Cup Questions: Answered!

Friday, March 6, 2015

MN Cup

With the launch of the 2015 MN Cup Approaching on March 23, we have answered some of the most common MN Cup Questions.   What will I be judged on? What division should I enter?

The MN Cup team provides responses to these, and more, to help you prepare to enter! On March 23, you will find a link on our homepage at mncup.org to enter your idea into the competition.  

Is my company ready for MN Cup? We are just starting out.
The MN Cup annual new venture competition is for Minnesota entrepreneurs, researchers, and inventors. Whether you are at the point of inception or have already created a company and are pursuing your breakthrough idea, this program is intended to provide support for you as an entrepreneur. Any company with less than $1 million in revenue based in Minnesota can apply!

I am a busy entrepreneur, what do I have to do to enter?
All Minnesotans are encouraged to submit their breakthrough business ideas between March 23 and May 8, 2015. The application will be accessible on our homepage beginning March 23. Participants will select a division to enter and answer questions about their business idea. Entrants who advance will be asked to continue through two more contest rounds to help the judges determine seven division winners.

Judging Criteria Graphic

What will I be judged on?
50% – EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: This is your elevator pitch. Describe your product/service, the problem it solves, your value proposition and what is unique or innovative about your approach. (500 words)

25% – PLAN: Convince us your plan is commercially viable. Explain your business model including operating, sales and marketing plans.   (500 words)

25% – PROGRESS: What progress have you made?  Do you have a prototype, customers, strategic partners or revenue? Tell us what milestones you’ve achieved to validate the opportunity and bring your product/service to market. (500 words)

What can I get out of MN Cup, how will it help me?
We like to say the prize money is just the beginning because the MN Cup has so many great things to offer entrepreneurs including a strong and supportive community, exposure for their ideas and numerous resources.

All entrants:

  • An opportunity to learn about resources available to entrepreneurs.
  • Network with MN Cup partners, investors, and other entrepreneurs.
  • A chance to improve the entrepreneur’s pitch and business plan.

Participants who are selected to continue through the competition will have the opportunity to be paired with a mentor with extensive entrepreneurial experience and be awarded additional benefits including prize money, outlined here.

What division should I enter?
We organize MN Cup by division. Participants will self-select their division when entering the competition. More information on each of these divisions can be found here. Our seven divisions are:

MN Cup Divisions