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Got a good business idea? Put it in the MN Cup competition

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Entrepreneurs in Minnesota can put their business ideas to the test in the annual MN Cup competition.

MN Cup is a resource center for entrepreneurs in the state, offering educational programs and events to help them launch their business ventures, according to the MN Cup website.

It also sponsors the annual competition, which is now in its 11th year, for entrepreneurs to make a pitch for their business concepts. The winners receive seed money to help bring their ideas to reality.

The organization, which began accepting applications Monday, will award $327,000 in prize money this year, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

There are seven divisions, and the winner in each of them will receive $30,000. A grand prize winner, chosen from the division winners, will receive an additional $50,000, the Pioneer Press reports.

The competition is designed to inspire entrepreneurs to get started on their ventures, help them develop a solid business plan and provide numerous opportunities to expand their networks, the group said.

Last year's grand prize winner was Mankato-based 75F, whose cloud-based HVAC management software is designed to save on energy costs, said the Pioneer Press.

More than 9,000 Minnesotans have participated in the competition over the first 10 years, according to MN Cup.

Businesses are eligible if they have less than $1 million in annual revenue. The deadline to apply is May 8, and the online application is available here.

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