Minnesota Cup Selects Education and Training Finalists at Pitch Night

August 23, 2019

The following article is from the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Just like pumpkin spice season, Twin Cities Startup Week has started to creep into the summer. Case in point: Minnesota Cup held the finals for its education and training division Wednesday night.

The event was presented by ECMC Group and featured the division's 10 semifinalists pitching three slides in three minutes to a live audience.

The three finalists were:

  • Homi, which connects students seeking jobs with alumni from their school;
  • SayKid, which makes a stuffed robot equipped with Amazon's Alexa to teach kids social and language skills; and
  • Spark Training Solutions, which creates training programs and software for the railroad industry.

The teams will pitch against each other against this September, where the division winner will receive $30,000 and the chance to pitch at the Minnesota Cup finals on October 14, during Twin Cities Startup Week.

To compete, teams must meet two criteria – they have to be Minnesota based and they have to have revenue under $1 million.

But just because sales haven't yet exploded doesn't mean these companies haven't established themselves. Homi already has a slate of investors, including current and former executives from banks like Wells Fargo and Barclays. SayKid has sold out of the first run of its platform. Spark Training has been retained by a number of railroads.

The food, agriculture and beverage division was scheduled to compete Thursday night, while the impact ventures division competes on Friday.


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