The Competition

Why Enter

Through our established process, we strive to assist each entrant on their journey as an entrepreneur.

Competition Benefits

  • $500,000+ in available seed money
  • Mentorship opportunities with industry leaders
  • Exclusive event access
  • Business plan feedback
  • Networking opportunities with potential investors
  • Media exposure

Think critically about your business

MN Cup is a chance to focus on your business, improving how you articulate your business idea and how to answer questions that investors want to know.


Through our competition and events, entrepreneurs have a chance to connect with our numerous volunteers who represent industry, academia and investment community, as well as other entrepreneurs on their startup journey.


The MN Cup has awarded over $2 million in seed money since 2005. In addition to cash prizes, we offer advancing participants business planning support, mentorship, exposure, feedback from investors, access to exclusive events and professional connections. We are able to offer these numerous benefits and resources due to our engaged community of 350+ volunteers and 75+ sponsors and partners.

Who Should Enter

The MN Cup annual new venture competition is for Minnesota entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors. Whether you are at the point of inception or already have created a company and are pursuing your breakthrough idea, this program is intended to provide support for you as an entrepreneur.


Entrepreneurs based in MN with less than $1 million in annual revenue are eligible to apply. We welcome back anyone who has previously entered who did not advance or those who made it to the semifinalist round of a prior competition. Finalists and winners submitting brand new ideas that are not associated with a previous entry can also apply.

How to Enter

MN Cup accepts applications each year beginning in late March. The application link will be available on MN Cup's homepage through the end of April. We encourage you to sign up for our distribution list to be notified of future opportunities. Send us an email at

Select one of our nine divisions

  • Education & Training
  • Energy/ Clean Tech/ Water
  • Food/ Ag/ Beverage
  • General
  • High Tech
  • Life Science/ Health IT 
  • Impact Ventures
  • Student (current undergrad and graduate students) 
  • Youth (18 and younger)
Contact MN Cup