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A stem cell research company won this year's MN Cup

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A Minnesota competition to find the state’s best startup of 2016 has declared its winner.

StemoniX was the MN Cup's Life Science/Health IT division winner a few weeks ago. Thursday, the stem cell research company won the grand prize and was named the "best breakthrough business idea of 2016."

The company creates organ cells from skin cells. And according to the news release, "is revolutionizing the production, growth and manufacture of human heart and brain cells for drug toxicity and efficacy testing."

So what'd StemoniX win?

The company got $30,000 for winning the Life Science/Health IT division. Then for winning the grand prize, it got another $50,000 in seed capital and other benefits to help build its business.

“Winning the MN Cup has been a long-held dream — we can’t quite believe it came true tonight,” Ping Yeh, the CEO and founder of StemoniX, said.

The biggest MN Cup yet

MN Cup is already the country’s largest statewide competition of its kind.

And this year, 1,500 entrepreneurs participated – more than ever before. The amount of prize money this year has also set a new record: $405,000.

There was also a new youth division this year for entrepreneurs 18 and under.

Other awards

Asiya – The company designs sport and activewear for Muslim women, and won awards for being the top woman-led business, and the top minority entrepreneur with the most innovative business concept.

Sezzle – They won an award for having an innovation that shapes the future of financial services or life insurance through technology.

FanSchool – The startup won the most innovative education technology that builds 21st century skills.

Farmhouse Market – Took home a prize for an innovation that improves the lives of low-income seniors.

Another $12,000 in in-kind prizes were given to four Food/Ag/Bev Division teams: SelfEcoBolton BeesFar North Spirts and True Dough.

For more information, click here.

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