Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Walz selected to advance in Minnesota Cup

Candi Walz (MPP '09) was recently selected as one of 70 teams to advance in the Minnesota Cup for her project, Let's Talk Kids: BrainBuilders, A Playing and Learning Kit, that was part of the Social Division of the contest. The Minnesota Cup is an annual competition that seeks to support and accelerate the development of the best breakthrough ideas from across Minnesota.

Excerpts from the June 9, 2014 press release follow:

MINNEAPOLIS — June 9, 2014 — The Minnesota Cup announced today that it has advanced 70 teams of Minnesota-based entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators to the second round of the 2014 competition. A new record total of nearly 1300 participants submitted entries to the tenth annual Minnesota Cup, which is the largest statewide new venture competition in the country. The following semifinalists, in seven divisions, will now compete for a share of $300,000 in prizes, as well as the opportunity to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.

Thirty-four percent of the tenth annual Minnesota Cup entries came from women-led teams, while a total of 45 percent included entries with at least one female team member — the largest representation of female participants in the competition’s history, due in part to two new programs launched earlier this year by the Minnesota Cup and the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship to encourage more women to get involved in entrepreneurship, as well as the competition.

The Minnesota Cup’s semifinalists were chosen from a wide range of small businesses, entrepreneurs and inventors who entered in the following divisions: Food/Agriculture/Beverage, Energy/Clean Tech/Water, General, High Tech, Life Science/Health IT, Social and Student. These semifinalists will now have the chance to put together a detailed business plan with the help of the competition’s mentor network, take advantage of a free one-month PRO membership to Cafe, Inc., meet members of the Cup’s review board, as well as attend events organized by Cup partners.

The 2014 semifinalists will be honored on June 18 at a reception at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management by contest organizers — including Minnesota Cup co-founders Scott Litman and Dan Mallin, review board members, mentors and partners, in addition to past Minnesota Cup finalists and winners.

“Minnesota has long been an incubator for innovation, and the Minnesota Cup harnesses that innovative spirit with the help of our extensive local business network,” says Minnesota Cup co-founder Scott Litman. “Our goal is always to find the great ideas of the future and help transform them into the next successful, Minnesota-based companies. And this year’s strong applicant pool is no exception — we’re so excited to see what will develop through the summer.”

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