Entrepreneurs from across the state competing in the 2013 Minnesota Cup Energy & Clean Tech division will have access to the following benefits and awards through the new agreement between Minnesota Cup and Cleantech Open:
- Discounted rate for all Minnesota Cup participants attending specific Midwest Cleantech Open events.
- Minnesota Cup Energy & Clean Tech semi-finalists will have the application fee to the 2014 Cleantech Open Accelerator waived. This is approximately a $140 value per team and would also include a discounted ticket to the Midwest Innovation Summit in October 2013.
- Minnesota Cup Energy & Clean Tech semi-finalists from the past five years will have the application fee to the 2013 Cleantech Open Accelerator waived. This is approximately a $140 value per team.
- Minnesota Cup Energy & Clean Tech division winner will gain a full tuition scholarship for the 2014 Cleantech Open Accelerator. Their application and participation fees will be waived assuming the start-up meets the criteria for the accelerator program. This is a value of approximately $140, plus $475 per team member.
"The ultimate goal of this agreement is to create the greatest number of opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect and engage with the ecosystem that supports their ideas," said Scott Litman, co-founder, Minnesota Cup. "We do not view Minnesota Cup and Cleantech Open as competing programs, rather another way for entrepreneurs to develop valuable partners and gain access to capital."
Cleantech Open is similar to Minnesota Cup in offering prizes and additional benefits to entrepreneurs with big ideas that tackle energy and environment issues. One way the two programs differ is their geographic concentration. Minnesota Cup is a statewide competition and Cleantech Open is national accelerator program. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to enter both opportunities.
"A company can be successful in both Minnesota Cup and Cleantech Open," said Gregg Mast, Minnesota State Director, Midwest Cleantech Open. "We hope this agreement encourages more companies to pursue both opportunities to increase their exposure, benefits and chances to succeed."
The application process is very similar for both programs. Entrepreneurs interested in Minnesota Cup have between March 25 - May 17 to enter the 2013 competition. For more information and to enter, please visit www.breakthroughideas.org. Cleantech Open's early bird application deadline is April 10, 2013. The final entry deadline for Cleantech Open is May 1, 2013. For more information and to enter, visit www.cleantechopen.org.