Naiku wins the Minnesota Cup High Tech Division


Four Minnesota Cup high tech division finalists were recently selected from an initial list that started back in March and grew to over 100 entrants in less than 60 days.   Moments ago, the judging committee announced their number one pick for the “ultra competitive” category:

Naiku, the makers of an educational assessment SaaS, has won $25k cash,  services and validation as they proceed to compete for the grand prize on Sept. 8th at McNamara Alumni Center.

“It’s been really fun for us…we’re happy to have made it this far in such an intense area,” said CEO Corey Thompson (middle). “With school right around the corner, the timing is perfect.  We’re ready to scale.”

Many past division winners have gone on after their to find success; shortly after last years victory, Duluth-based Geacom closed on 812k (in addition to a current $2.2m raise) for a life saving telecommunications device called Phrazer.   2009 division winner 8thBridge (formerly Alvenda) secured $5m from Split Rock Partners after their coronation and similarly captured a $10m second round of financing.  Flight tracking technology firm Mobiata, winner in 2008, was recently sold to Expedia — although they were no longer a Minnesota-based company (MI).

QONQR, the geosocial game of world domination, was selected as the runner up, and will receive $5k cash.

This years competition is a first of its kind for the high tech division — having selected four finalists vs. the typical three — but its also worth noting that all three general division finalists could have essentially fallen into the high tech category as well.

In this vein, Anser Innovation (PetChatz) was announced earlier today as the general division winner. “We are honored to be a part of this and to have won the division,” said co founder and CEO Lisa Lavin. Former Carlson Marketing CEO, Jim Ryan, landed the runner-up spot for PickPointz.


  • HarriettPorter

    I'm very proud to be a graduate of CEMBA and always thrilled when other Carlson friends are successful! Well earned….will be fun watching you grow!