The MN Cup has advanced 80 teams of Minnesota-based entrepreneurs, inventors, and innovators to the semifinals of the 2017 competition. Among the teams are 11 Carlson School alumni. In addition, 27 other teams include at least one University of Minnesota alumni.
Teams with Carlson School alumni include:
Cosine Labs – Ari Chatterjee, ’02 MBA (Energy/Clean Tech/Water)
Terrafore Technologies, LLC – Anoop Mathur, ’01 MBA, and Kamala Puram, ’83 MBA (Energy/Clean Tech/Water)
Elevate Hockey – Andrew Oman, ’02 MBA (General)
Tenicity – Harsh Mankad, ’15 MBA (High Tech)
Accessible360 – Kelly Henry, ’12 MBA (Impact Ventures)
Live.Give.Save. – Susan Langer, Strategic Planning Certificate (Impact Ventures)
Marbles Analytics – Adam Moen, ’12 BSB (Impact Ventures)
Venn Foundation – Jeff Ochs, ’14 MBA Impact Ventures)
FocusStart Respiratory – Serafin Samson, ’03 MBA (Life Science/Health IT)
Lite Run, Inc. – Anantha Santhanam, ’17 MBA (Life Science/Health IT)
All of the semifinalists can be viewed here.
Many of the semifinalist teams have also been participants in the Carlson School’s STARTUP course. This course, open to all University of Minnesota students, provides a hands-on experience to help participants test the commercial potential of their ideas. Students in the class work with instructors and mentors to connect with customers, test hypotheses, and refine business models.
Of the semifinalists, three from each division (Energy/Clean Tech/Water, Food/Ag/Beverage, General, High Tech, Impact Ventures, Life Science/Health IT, Student, and Youth) will be chosen to present final business plans in August. Winners from each of the eight divisions will be announced in late summer. Each division runner-up will receive $5,000, while division winners receive $30,000 and a shot at the $50,000 grand prize and $20,000 second prize. The Youth division will award a total prize of $20,000 — the first-place winner will receive $10,000, and the second- and third-place winners and semifinalists will divide up the remaining funds. Competitors in every division are also eligible to win dedicated prizes, including from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Carlson Family Foundation, Meda and DEED, Securian Financial Group, Capella, and AARP.
At the MN Cup awards celebration on October 9, one will be chosen as 2017’s best breakthrough business idea.
More than 13,000 Minnesotans have participated in MN Cup since it began. Finalists have gone on to raise more than $230 million in capital to support the development of their ideas, create jobs, and broker numerous business partnerships, collaborations, and distribution agreements.