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 are no longer eligible to compete in the Big Ideas Challenge once they have won a cash prize. Teams may re-apply as many times as desired if they have not won a cash prize. 
  • Participants must follow rules and abide by all deadlines to remain eligible. At least one member of each team must attend both rehearsals.
  • 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.