Women standing in front of podium on a stage in front a room full of people.

About MN Cup


What is MN Cup?

MN Cup is a community-led, public-private partnership that brings together corporations, VCs, foundations, government and skilled volunteers to support Minnesota’s entrepreneurs. The core of our programming is an annual competition that reaches emerging entrepreneurs from across the state and connects them with tools, resources and support to launch and accelerate the development of their new ventures. The competition inspires entrepreneurs to begin their startup journey, supports them as they develop a solid business plan, provides exposure for their ideas and offers numerous opportunities to expand their networks.

$5 Million

Cash Prizes Given

Over 20,000

Entrepreneurs Served Across Minnesota

$1 Billion

Capital Raised by Top MN Cup Founders


Hundreds of experienced entrepreneurs and advisors volunteer their time to connect with the competitors through mentoring and judging. Our operations, programming and prize money are completely funded by sponsorship dollars, foundation grants and in-kind donations of services. Through this community-led generosity, we are able to offer every part of our competition and programming free of charge, and take no equity in return for prize money.

The competition was founded in 2005 by serial entrepreneurs Dan Mallin and Scott Litman in partnership with the University of Minnesota. Since our founding season, over 20,000 Minnesotans have participated, we’ve given away $5 Million in seed funds, and our alumni have gone on to raise nearly $1 billion in capital.

MN Cup is a program of the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship at the Carlson School of Management.


Contact MN Cup