The MN Cup is a broad, community-led effort with more than 75 sponsors and 350 volunteers. Industry leaders, successful high growth entrepreneurs and investors engage in our program each year through sponsorship, mentoring and judging. ​

For many MN Cup participants, the mentoring program has become the most valuable component — more valuable than the prize money awarded to the top 16 finishers and available to all 80 semifinalists. Amazing entrepreneurs and business leaders freely volunteer their time to meet with semifinalists to help them develop their plans and move their ideas forward. 

The Original Mentor

Brad Cleveland

Brad Cleveland Former Proto Labs CEO Brad Cleveland served as the original MN Cup mentor. In 2006, he suggested the idea and recruited his peer group to serve as the initial five mentors. Brad continues to mentor young entrepreneurs and serves as a constant inspiration of the impact one incredibly determined entrepreneur can make on the entire community.




MN Cup Mentor Hall of Fame