Minnesota Cup will award $40,000 to a grand prize winner who displays the most innovative idea in the state. One of the 18 finalists for the most “innovative” idea is aquaponics. Which is interesting because it was first recorded 600 years ago by the Aztec Indians!
The entrepreneurs vying for the grand prize in the heated competition for the Minnesota Cup just passed one more milestone, as 18 finalists were announced in preparation for the Sept. 11th award ceremony.
Now in its ninth year, the Minnesota Cup will award $40,000 to a grand prize winner who displays the most innovative idea in the state. The top three ideas in each of the six divisions (energy/clean tech, general, high tech, life science/health IT, social entrepreneur, and student) will advance to the finalist round, and compete for a share of prize money.
Finalists range in terms of innovation, and include aquaponics company Garden Fresh Farms, teacher-centered tech tool Kidblog, and medical device firm RxFunction. A list of finalists can be found here.
The competition is designed to bring out the best and brightest minds in Minnesota, and to help budding entrepreneurs to make connections within the business community.
Co-founder Scott Litman notes that the competition grows tremendously every year, and this spring, almost 1,100 people entered. More than 8,000 Minnesotans have participated in the Minnesota Cup since the competition began in 2005.
“We’re proud to point to our successes, including last year’s Grand Prize winner, PreciouStatus, which has raised more than $1.5 million in capital to date,” Litman says, adding that other finalists 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. Minnesota Cup announces finalist round.
This method of “modern” farming combines the best parts of fish farming and the growing of plants without soil. With new space-age machinery aquaponics may not be recognizable to a modern aztec but the results can be quite surprising. Triple and quadruple yields are not uncommonly being reported.