AMES, Iowa - The grand prize Minnesota Cup startup competition was held
on October 9 at the University of Minnesota’s McNamara Alumni Center. During this final round
of competition, winners from eight categories, such as student, high tech, and impact ventures,
vied for the grand prize of $50,000. The grand prize winner was MicroOptx, a company with a
solution to glaucoma.
Along with the grand prize, awards including runner-up, best woman-led business, best minority-led businesses, and best veteran-led business were given. KinoSol SBC, an Ames, Iowa startup, took home the honor of best woman-led business. The cash prize for this award was $25,000.
Three of the four KinoSol cofounders are women, all of whom have a passion for international development through the provision of entrepreneurial opportunities. The women of KinoSol include Elise Kendall, Ella Gehrke, and Mikayla Sullivan.
The Minnesota Cup is the largest statewide startup competition in the United States. This competition has been held for the past thirteen years, with a primary goal of connecting fellow entrepreneurs.
Breakthrough ideas from over 1,300 entrepreneurs were submitted for this year’s competition. Key to selecting finalists was the entrepreneurs’ ability to make their ideas a reality.
KinoSol’s team is comprised of Iowa State University students and alums. Its mission is to end food waste, sustainably. KinoSol launched in September 2014, and began delivering its first product to regions worldwide in January 2017. KinoSol’s first product is the Orenda, a solar-powered food dehydrator with a storage component, designed to help families in developing regions to preserve additional food and nutrients.
KinoSol - SBC