Eligibility for General & Ag/Food/Beverage Divisions:

  • Participants must be current, full or part-time, Minnesota State Mankato undergraduate or graduate students or recent alumni within two years of graduating. Open to any major.  
  • Teams may include 1-5 people and may include non-Minnesota State Mankato students as long as the team consists of at least 2/3 current students or recent alumni.
  • Teams can only win a Big Ideas prize twice, after which, they are no longer eligible. Teams may re-apply as many times as desired if they have not won two or more cash prizes.
  • Participants must follow rules and abide by all deadlines to remain eligible. At least one member of each team must attend at least one rehearsal.
Participants agree that if they win first place, they will continue as a semifinalist in the Minnesota Cup.

Eligibility for High Tech Division:

  • Participants must be businesses or start-ups in the southwestern Minnesota region. Could be students or non-students. 
  • Southwestern region counties are: Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Lac qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, Sibley, Swift, Waseca, Watonwan, Yellow Medicine (https://mn.gov/deed/data/regional-lmi/southwest-lmi.jsp
  • Teams must not have received $50,000 or more in angel investment or venture capital.
  • Teams must have been in business for less than three years.
Teams must have made less than $50,000 in sales.