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The Largest Statewide Startup Competition

MN Cup is a startup competition and hub to connect Minnesota's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

We support emerging entrepreneurs through high-quality free events, educational programming, and an annual startup competition that provides them with tools, resources, and support to launch and accelerate the development of their startups.

MN Cup is a community-led effort that relies on the support of more than 400 volunteer mentors, judges and partners. More than $5 million of cash prizes have been awarded since 2005, with sponsorship funding going efficiently to the most promising startups in Minnesota.

Free for Any Entrepreneurs

Alumni cofounders Scott Litman and Dan Mallin envisioned MN Cup to be "the first step in launching a business in Minnesota." From high tech to no tech, the competition and related programming is open to any MN-based entrepreneur with less than $1 million of annual revenue.



Each of the 90 semifinalists is paired with 2 experienced mentors to support their efforts to develop their new venture and refine their messaging.


Educational Programming

Workshops organized by sponsors and the University help the entrepreneurs work through the challenges of testing their concept, developing a team, and securing the resources to build a business.



Judges serve all participating entrepreneurs, not just the 20+ annual winners of cash prizes. Divisional judges collectively represent a tremendous network of suppliers, customers, and investors that can offer advice and industry contacts to accelerate startup efforts.


Targeted Outreach & Awards

Targeted MN Cup outreach programs and partnerships support increased participation from women, minorities, youth, and rural entrepreneurs, in addition to developing targeted industry segments.

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