We are so excited to share that we will be participating in the MN Cup startup competition!
It is the biggest statewide business competition in the United States with $500k+ in available seed money. This year there were 1,661 entrants and we made it into the top 10 for the general category. When I saw the 'Congratulations!' email light up my phone the kids and I totally did a little happy dance!
Rob, Nick and I attended the kick-off event and did a elevator pitch with the other semifinalists a week later at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management Campus and were in awe of the amazing innovation happening in Minnesota. I have an overview of the companies in our division below, but you can see the full list here.
We will spend the summer refining our business plan with two incredible mentors, attending various events and workshops, and practice pitching our light bulb idea (we’ll be ready for you, Shark Tank!). On top of all this, division winners receive $30k and the overall winner receives $50k.
Here is an overview of the other awesome companies in our General division. Note all the women led businesses and patents! Way to go MN!
Patent-pending automatic fingernail clipper that is carefully engineered to prevent skin from coming into contact with the trimming mechanism and collect nail clippings in a drawer. What a game changer for those with a disability or the elderly, especially! Currently in pre-sell.
Digital sewing pattern website that crowd sources patterns from designers and will soon launch a patent pending paperless sewing system. Yes, I said paperless! Imagine not having to print, tape, or cut sewing patterns out before using them. Mind blown.
A disposable moisture wicking liner that sticks inside any Hat, Visor, Helmet or Hard Hat. These guys have truly been hustling the last few years (I read one of the co-founders personally fixed over 700,000 liners after a production issue on their first run – pretty amazing!) and seeing it payoff with over $1.8 million in VC funding already. Shop now.
Patent pending portable ramp designed with a pivot to allow maneuverability, convenience, safety, and ultimate transport innovation all in one portable delivery ramp. Greater health outcomes for drivers and greater savings for companies is a win, win for both employers and employees. Founder Michael Lopez is great! Currently in the first production run.
Baby mat designed to make events like going to a restaurant (or even just dinner at home!) less stressful for parents by keeping the baby entertained and their toys clean. The Founder served 10 years in the US Army and started her business with a good idea and a desire to have the flexibility to work from home with her young kids. I totally relate and am so excited to see it! Currently in proto-type stage.
An immersion travel company that offers realistic cultural exchanges for the traveler in geographically isolated parts of the word to provide a sustainable avenue to generate modern income through ecotourism for the host culture. I love their tagline ‘Two cultures coming together to make one footprint’ and the photos certainly show a life-changing experience. Plan a trip now.
Innovative, patent-pending razor handle & in-shower shave station, creating a special shave experience in a club just for women. I loved Founder/CEO Tracy David’s high energy pitch – and so excited to see more! They are in prototype stage and will be launching a crowd-funding campaign soon. You can sign up for emails to be in the know.
Waterproof life jacket for your phone that features a patent pending zipper - and is so airtight not even a germ can enter! Many companies claim their phone cases are waterproof, but their case is third party tested for water resistance and extreme temperatures. Founders Mel & Vic are breast cancer survivors and very fun women. Shop now.
New patent pending in-line skates that use spherical balls instead of wheels and has an internal braking system that makes stopping easier. Founder Henry Cervantes is a California native who is collaborating with the University of Minnesota to invent and build them because Minnesota is where Roller Blades were invented! In sharing this product with my Aunt I found out one of the Roller Blade inventors was my cousin’s high school teacher’s son ;) So Minnesotan! In prototype stage.
Looking forward to a busy and productive summer with so many amazing local entrepreneurs! Follow us on Instagram to join us on this journey.