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Next round announced in largest statewide new venture competition in the U.S.
Grand prize winner of $40k award to be announced Sept. 11 at University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center

MINNEAPOLIS - August 20, 2013 - Fifty-seven teams of semi-finalists in the ninth annual Minnesota Cup -- the statewide entrepreneurial contest that supports and accelerates the development of Minnesota's newest and most innovative business ideas -- worked throughout the summer to hone their groundbreaking business ideas. Today, the top three ideas in each of the six divisions in the Minnesota Cup -- Energy/Clean Tech, General, High Tech, Life Science/Health IT, Social Entrepreneur and Student -- will advance to the finalist round, and will compete for a share of $200,000 in prize money and the opportunity to bring their entrepreneurial vision into focus.

The Minnesota Cup congratulates the following finalists:

Energy/Clean Tech Division
Garden Fresh Farms
Rowbot Systems

General Division
Cinch Chix
Kidblog, Inc.

High Tech Division
Cognitive Games for Health
SMART Signal Technologies, Inc.
When I Work

LifeScience/Health IT Division
Preceptis Medical
Rx Function, Inc.

Social Entrepreneur Division
Customs Made, LLC
Minnesota Valley Action Council

Student Division

Finalists will present their business plans for the division-winning round in an oral presentation to a panel of judges on August 27. 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. The winners of each division will be announced following the live presentations on August 27 and will then compete for the grand prize.

On Sept. 11, the six division finalists -- and the world -- will learn who will take home the $40,000 grand prize. All winners will be celebrated at the 2013 Minnesota Cup Awards event that evening at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center. There, the audience -- including x, y, Minnesota Cup review board members, business mentors, past winners, media and other members of the Minnesota entrepreneurial business community will vote on the best business pitch -- and will award an additional $1000 prize. The Minnesota Cup Awards event will be hosted by Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand?

"Every year our competition grows tremendously -- and this year is no exception. This spring, nearly 1100 people entered -- that means more than 8,000 Minnesotans have participated in the Minnesota Cup since we started the competition in 2005," says Scott Litman, co-founder, Minnesota Cup.

"We're proud to point to our successes, including last year's High Tech category and Grand Prize winner, PreciouStatus, which has raised more than $1.5 million in capital to date," continues Litman. "Our other finalists -- in 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."

Host sponsors of The 2013 Minnesota Cup competition include Wells Fargo and the University of Minnesota. Other lead sponsors include Carlson, Digital River, General Mills and UnitedHealth Group. Supporting sponsors include Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cleantech Open, The Collaborative, ecomagination, Eide Bailly, Fredrikson and 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 Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources, MN Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota High Tech Association, Minnesota Venture Capital Association, The Mosaic Company, Proto Labs, Inc., Social Ventures Partners, Split Rock Partners, StarTec Investments and TECHdotMN.

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, please visit

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