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Entrepreneurs! Inventors! Submit Your Breakthrough Biz Ideas — The Minnesota Cup Competition Opens March 25



  Entrepreneurs! Inventors! Submit Your Breakthrough Biz Ideas — The Minnesota
  Cup Competition Opens March 25

 Largest statewide new venture competition in the nation kicks off ninth year

Business Wire

MINNEAPOLIS -- March 25, 2013

Have the next innovative business idea? The ninth annual Minnesota Cup
competition — the largest statewide new venture competition in the country —
opens for entries on March 25. The Minnesota Cup supports and accelerates the
development of breakthrough business ideas from across the state to build the
vibrancy of Minnesota’s business community. Minnesota residents have until May
17  to submit entries on the Minnesota Cup website to compete for $200,000 in
prize money.

The competition is free to enter and encourages entries from a wide range of
businesses, entrepreneurs and inventors in six divisions — Energy/Clean Tech,
General, High Tech, Life Science/Health IT, Social Entrepreneur and Student.
Entrepreneurs advancing in the competition will have the opportunity to
advance business ideas, gain exposure, learn about resources available to
entrepreneurs, be paired with mentors, meet members of the Cup’s review board
— and win cash prizes if their idea is judged to be among the best entries.

“We are proud to report that more than 7,000 Minnesotans have participated in
the Minnesota Cup since we started the competition in 2005,” says Scott
Litman, co-founder, Minnesota Cup. “In fact, finalists from just the last four
years have gone on to raise more than $60 million in capital to support the
development of their ideas, create jobs and broker numerous business
partnerships, collaborations and distribution agreements.”

Last year’s High Tech category and Grand Prize winner, PreciouStatus, has
raised more than $1.5 million in capital to date. "The Minnesota Cup program
was the best thing that I could have done to push my business forward. The
whole competition— the connections I made, the advice I received — was unlike
anything else I have experienced in my career," said Julie Gilbert-Newrai,
CEO, PreciouStatus. “I was paired with an outstanding business mentor who
helped me think through all facets of my company, and helped develop a solid
pitch presentation for potential investors. And, that mentor is now chairwoman
of my PreciouStatus board of advisors.”

Submissions must contain a description of the product or service, explanation
of the market size or opportunity, a sales and marketing overview, brief
operating plan and high level financial projections and assumptions. After the
May 17^th deadline, Minnesota Cup judges will select the 8-10 best entrants
from each division to participate in a semifinal round in June. Those
semifinalists will have the opportunity to be paired with an experienced
mentor to provide feedback on their summary business plan and investor
presentation, to be submitted by July 26  for the finalist round.

In August, three finalists from each division will be chosen to present their
ideas for the division-winning round. Each division winner will be awarded
$25,000. (Two exceptions: the student division award is $10,000, and the
social entrepreneur division award is up to $20,000.) One runner-up in each
division will receive $5,000.

Then, on Sept. 11, 2013, winners from each division will compete for an
additional $40,000 grand prize, and all winners will be celebrated at the
Minnesota Cup Awards event that evening at the University of Minnesota’s
McNamara Alumni Center. There, the audience will vote on the best business
pitch, and will award an additional $1000 prize.

Host sponsors include Wells Fargo and the University of Minnesota. Other lead
sponsors include Carlson, General Mills, Digital River and UnitedHealth Group.
Supporting sponsors include Agricultural Utilization Research Institute,
Cleantech Open, The Collaborative, Department of Employment and Economic
Development (DEED), Eide Bailly, Fredrikson & Byron, Gopher Angels, Gray Plant
Mooty, Leonard, Street and Deinard, LifeScience Alley, Lommen Abdo, Lurie
Besikof Lapidus & Company, Magnet 360, Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, Messerli
& Kramer, Minnesota High Tech Association, Minnesota Venture Capital
Association, Mosaic, Proto Labs, Social Venture Partners, Split Rock Partners,
StarTec Investments, TECHdotMN and Twin Cities Business Magazine.

“The talent and spirit of entrepreneurship of the Minnesota Cup participants
make this competition a success every year,” said Dave Kvamme, lead region
president for Wells Fargo’s Minnesota Great Lakes region. “Wells Fargo has
been a host sponsor since the Minnesota Cup began, as this opportunity fits
well with our dedication to serving small business owners and helping them
succeed financially.”

The Minnesota Cup is an annual competition that seeks to support and
accelerate the development of the best breakthrough ideas from across
Minnesota. For more information and to enter, please visit
www.breakthroughideas.org.

Contact:

Haberman for Minnesota Cup
Jennifer Weismann, 612-716-0556
Jennifer@habermaninc.com
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