MN Cup has selected seven division winners out of the 1,300 entrants to its 11th-annual new venture competition. The winners represent the most innovative breakthrough ideas in the state.


The entrepreneurs behind these ventures faced off with other MN Cup finalists on August 25 and 26, delivering a 12-minute live presentation followed by 12 minutes of Q&A from judges. After the judges reviewed each of the three companies within each division, the winner and runner-up were selected. The winner of each division took home $30,000 and the runner-up received $5,000 to support their business idea.

Four of the seven division-winning ventures are led by Carlson School students or alumni.

Division Winners

  • Energy/Clean Tech/Water Division: Stratetek
  • Food/Ag/Beverage Division: SIMPLS (Ryan Rosenthal, ’11 BSB)
  • General Division: WOODCHUCK USA (John Guenveur, ’12 BSB)
  • High Tech Division: Astro HQ
  • Life Science/Health IT Division: Learn to Live, LLC
  • Social Entrepreneur Division: Civic Eagle (Damola Ogundipe, '11 BSB)
  • Student Division: Ova Woman (Elise Maxwell, MBA Class of 2016)

Additionally, Ova Woman won favorite overall division winner presentation and received a $1,000 cash prize.

Final competition

Division winners will compete in the final round of the competition on Wednesday, September 9. All entrepreneurs, professionals, and students are welcome to attend the Final Awards Event at McNamara Alumni Center, where the winner of the 2015 MN Cup and $50,000 prize will be announced at 5:00 p.m.

Register here

About MN Cup

MN Cup is an annual competition that provides entrepreneurs with tools, resources, and support to launch and accelerate the development of their new ventures. The competition inspires entrepreneurs to begin their startup journey, supports them as they develop a solid business plan, provides exposure for their ideas, and offers numerous opportunities to expand their networks. Learn more