Open March 13th - April 14th, 2023

Application Requirements: Must be a Minnesota-Based startup making less than $1million in revenue


Office Hours

If you have questions regarding your application or eligibility, please join us for office hours every Monday and Friday until April 14th!

Monday Office Hours

Friday Office Hours

Should I Apply?

Yes You Should Apply!

The MN Cup is free and open to every innovator, entrepreneur, thinker, and doer in Minnesota. Watch this video and hear what some of our judges have to say about applying. Spoiler: they all say do it! Even if all you have is an idea, the process of applying will force you to clarify your thoughts. If your idea is big and you move on to the next round, our mentors and judges will provide you with invaluable feedback and advice. You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain, so just do it. 

Tips, Tricks, Templates

Click here to see Astropad's 2015 example.

This is what the text looks like for the initial online application. See our FAQs and below for more details. 

Tips from judges: have a well written plan. don't be afraid to tell us about challenges. find a way to combine a breakthrough idea and a team that can make it happen. show you have a viable/sustainable business model, coupled with a strong management team. do not create a market model based upon a hunch or idea. think like an investor.

Your MN Cup application will be assessed based on the Opportunity, your Plan, and your Progress. See each component below for some additional details and comments from our judges. 

Note: These are comments from judges from throughout the season. Your idea might be early, or you might not have thought about all of these things yet. That's ok!! The judges know you might be early when you first apply. This should give you an idea how the judges think about your application and the ideas you're presenting. 

Also, we've noted the type of division judge commenting, but only presented the comments which are applicable across all divisions. 


Opportunity includes: is this a breakthrough idea? Does it solve a real problem? Is it a unique value proposition? how large is the market? is this profitable? how will you impact minnesota?
Notes on the Plan component: is it commercially viable? is there a clear approach to create awareness and convert customers? Are you aware of and addressing major risks or challenges? Have you identified necessary partners? Have you assembled a team or advisors? Show your short term priorities? Have you validated your solution?
Progress components: Is there a prototype or MVP? Do you have customers? Do you have any strategic partners? Have you generated any revenue? Have you achieved any milestones to validate the opportunity? Have you grown your team?