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The Minnesota Cup, an annual competition that supports the development of “breakthrough business ideas” has added a food category. And it’s going international.
Minnesota Cup and LifeScience Alley are collaborating on a foreign-shores division in search of fledgling firms of less than $1 million in revenue with a Minnesota connection.
The statewide entrepreneurial competition also will launch the food, agriculture and beverage category for its 10th annual competition, which begins in March 2014.
Minnesota Cup backers also announced a record new prize total — $300,000 — for next year’s winners. The new division, focusing on food products and processing technologies, farm innovation and more, joins other Minnesota Cup divisions: energy and clean tech; high tech, life science and health, IT, social entrepreneur and student. More info: www.breakthroughideas.org.
• Magnet 360, the fast-growing marketing-and-technology firm that has raised about $5 million from investors, including founder Skip Gage, has expanded its New York office and expanded to Chicago and San Francisco to serve existing clients and attract new ones, said Managing Partner Scott Litman, also a founder of the Minnesota Cup competition. Litman reports that Magnet 360 has nearly 100 employees and will achieve sales of about $25 million this year.
• The corporate holiday-giving news releases are flying in over the transom.
It’s all good, particularly when it leads to sustainable relationships. Once again, Cub Foods will distribute 1,500 free turkey meals to formerly homeless families and clients of People Serving People, Simpson Housing Services, Project for Pride in Living and St. Stephen’s Human Services on Tuesday at People Serving People downtown. Business and government officials will lend a hand.
And Minneapolis-based Core Distribution, which designs and distributes Perfect Sense flashlights and stylus pens to Target stores, will donate 50 cents for each $3 item sold, up to $250,000. The charity is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “We believe that companies have an obligation to give back to the communities that support them,” said Core CEO Mitchell Kieffer.