Dave and Carolyn Cleveland Present the Minnesota Cup
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Welcome to the Minnesota Cup

Student Division

The Student division of the Minnesota Cup seeks out, supports, and celebrates Minnesota's most innovative and promising young entrepreneurs. Entrants must be full or part-time undergraduate or graduate students attending a college or university in Minnesota and who are between the ages of 19 and 30 and have less than 5 years of work experience.

Student Division Hosted by:
Student Division Supported by:

Awards and Benefits Include:

Student Division Winner:

Student Division Runner-up:

  • $5,000 in seed capital

All finalists:

  • Featured in a supplement that is included in the December issue of Twin Cities Business magazine.
  • Division Finalist Training - "Winning Investment Presentations" by Spoken Impact.
  • The opportunity to receive pro bono legal services from the University of Minnesota Law School's Business Law Clinic.
  • Detailed feedback of their final written entry and oral presentation.
  • The opportunity to present their plan to a review board of esteemed business leaders.

All semi-finalists:

  • An invitation to attend a semi-finalist reception at the Carlson School of Management.
  • The opportunity to be paired with a University of Minnesota alumni mentor with extensive entrepreneurial experience.

All entrants:

  • Opportunity to learn about resources available to entrepreneurs and attend events organized/promoted by the Minnesota Cup.
  • Networking with Minnesota Cup supporting partners and other entrepreneurs.
  • A chance to improve the entrepreneur’s pitch given the required elements of the initial entry, which also represent a basic outline for a business plan.
  • A valuable experience that will help all entrants as they work on their ventures.

Review Board for Student Division:

  • Pam Bishop - Entrepreneur Senior Program Officer, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation
  • Robert Bodor – Director, Business Development, Proto Labs, Inc.
  • Brian Clark – Sr. Director, Innovation and Business Development, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement 
  • Jordan Fineberg - Global Business Manager - 3M Transdermal Drug Delivery Systems
  • Brian Gustafson - Senior Director, Portfolio Management, Tonkawa
  • Cate Heaven – Corporate Attorney, Leonard, Street & Deinard
  • Franz Hofmeister - Founder, Brands Across America President/CEO, Quaker Bakery Brands
  • Steve Klick – Serial Entrepreneur
  • David Moe – Sr. Manager, Distributor Development, The Toro Company
  • Aditya Narain - Chief Financial Officer, GE Capital - Fleet Services
  • Lloyd Sigel – Founder, Lloyd's Barbeque Co.
  • Edward Bolton - VP of Culture, Proto Labs, Inc.


  • Magnet 360
  • Leonard, Street and Deinard
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Mosaic
  • Mojo Minnesota
  • General Mills
  • MHTA
  • The Collaborative
  • MVCA
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • Spoken Impact
  • Startec
  • Messerli and Kramer
  • TECHdotMN
  • Split Rock Partners
  • Eide Bailly
  • Fredrikson Byron
  • Social Ventures Partners
  • Lommen Abdo
  • Gray Plant Mooty
  • Twin Cities Business
  • Haberman Associates
  • Kenyon
  • lurie Besikof lapidus
  • Maslon
  • Positively Minnesota
  • Proto Labs
  • Clean Tech Open
  • Gopher Angels
  • AURI
  • Ecomagination
  • Division of Energy Resources - Minnesota Department of Commerce
  • Digital River
  • 301 Inc. Emerging Brand Elevator
  • Stoel Rives LLP
  • SixSpeed
  • Grain Millers