Past Winners

2018 Finalists

Twin Cities Engineering Consulting- Best Business Plan and Overall Winner

Where are they now? 

Twin Cities Engineering is taking orders for their EnduraMark recyclable and reusable marker and they are seeking help getting into large office supply distribution.

Messy Dog LLC

Where are they now?

Messy Dog continues to provide positive reinforcement dog training at their facility in the Old Town neighborhood in Mankato.

O - Cam- Best Pitch Winner

Where are they now?

Sherif and his partners are using the funds from the Big Idea Challenge to develop a functioning prototype of their camera and app.

Mobile Restock

Where are they now?

Michael continues to run Mobile Restock selling cell phones to a wide variety of customers while finishing his degree.

Cubic 3D LLC

Where are they now?

John presented his business at Big Ideas and at 1Million Cups Mankato.  At 1MC, a developer offered him inexpensive space to do his additive manufacturing work.  His business is operating in the Mogwai Collaborative in the Hubbard Building near the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Ag/Food/Beverage Division


Coconut Whisk Baking Co. - Ag/Food/Beverage Division Winner

Where are they now?

Bella and Myles started selling their baking mixes at Hy-Vee after winning in the Big Ideas Challenge. They sold out of all their product in their first two weeks on the shelves. They have expanded to Hy-Vee in Lakeville, MN and were vendors at the 2018 Twin Cities Veg Fest.

Bella was featured on the cover of River Valley Woman Magazine November, 2018.

They continue to donate 5% of their profits to animals and kids in need.


2017 Finalists (H5)


Lauren Kramer, Katie Lloyd, Anthony Rathammer, Caleb Johnson and Ryan Hoehn

Where are they now? The Hub was built and opened by Dain Fisher in April, 2018 next to the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship based on the work done by this student team.  Based on the team’s recommendations, it was opened as a Food Truck court and park.


Messy Dog:

Alex Oldenburg

Where are they now? Messy Dog is an operating dog training and grooming business one block from the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.


Primate Longboards:

Jackson Jones

Winner of Best Plan and People’s Choice by Primate Longboards

Where are they now? Primate Longboards was sold and Jackson continues to create with wood. His current business, Fingrprint, produces custom signs and other commercial products.  Wooden Spoon, a Mankato bakery, and UNRL, a clothing company founded by a Minnesota State University Mankato student, are both clients.



Shahari Chowdhury and Connor Martin

Where are they now? Webytor provides website services to businesses in Mankato, MN and Bangladesh.  The Hub food truck park and Mogwai Collaborative use their services.  They are housed in the Hubbard Office Building.


ProtoTec Solutions:

John Ruprecht

Where are they now? Prototech rebranded as Cubic 3D in 2018. They sell 3d printer filament, lease and service 3d printers to local companies and also do production and prototyping 3d printing.  They are housed in the Mogwai Collaborative within the Hubbard Office Building.

2016 Finalists

Dream Closet - Kylen Felts

Major: Marketing

Where are they now? Dream Closet is an active student charitable organization on the campuses of Minnesota State University, Mankato and Winona State University.

HomeFresh Personal Chef Services - Hannah Thompson

Major: Dietetics

Where are they now? Winner of the People's Choice in 2016, Hannah continues as a personal chef and active businesswoman.  She was featured on the cover of River Valley Woman magazine in 2018.

Iron Range Maker Space- Andrew Hangemon

Major: Engineering

Where are they now? Winner Iron Range Maker Space has an 11,000 square foot facility operating in Hibbing, MN.

Northwood Industries - Kody Henning

Majors: Accounting and Finance

SeaJay Enterprises/ - Charles Jennings 

Major: Finance

Where are they now? Charles works as a programmer for and continues to develop in his spare time.

2015 Finalists

Mankato Pediatric Respite - Katie McDonald and Megan Chase

Majors: Nursing

TeleTox, Inc. - Fuad Gazal, Cynthia Ovadje, Emmanuel Adeyemi

Majors: Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Math, and Environmental Science Majors

VikasEd - Christina Tchatchouang, Ebrothie Charles Thiemele

Majors: Counseling & Student Personnel and International Business Majors

Gym Life - Anthony Ulrich and John Engelhart

Majors: Finance and Computer Science 

911 Emergency Help - Mohammed Shahid

Major: Marketing