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Accelerator Programs

Businesses in Minnesota have access to several long-standing not-for-profit organizations  that use a network of experienced investors and business developers to help emerging companies successfully commercialize their innovation.

Each program provides training, professional connections, and an annual competition for financial prizes in a very supportive environment. 

The Minnesota Cup is coordinated by the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. The program supports emerging entrepreneurs from across the state through events, educational programming, and an annual new venture competition that provides tools, resources, and support to launch and accelerate the development of your new venture. The Minnesota Cup is the largest statewide venture competition in the country. 


Cleantech Open Midwest hosts the regional operations within the national Cleantech Open. The Midwest organization covers 13 states and is aligned with the national organization to find, fund, and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that have led to businesses in the seven fields: Energy Generation; Distribution & Storage; Energy Efficiency; Chemicals & Advanced Materials; Information & Communications Technologies; Green Building; Transportation; Agriculture, Water & Waste. The Midwest program has worked with over 90 start-up companies that have gone on to raise over $20 million in external capital.

Cleantech Open Midwest headquarters is located at the University of St. Thomas Schulze School of Entrepreneurship in St Paul.

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