PreciouStatus wins the 2012 Minnesota Cup Grand Prize


Julie Gilbert-Newrai

After a long and intense day of pitches from six division finalists, judges have announced that the High Tech division winner PreciouStatus has won the 2012 Minnesota Cup business plan competition.

Best Buy executive turned tech entrepreneur Julie Gilbert-Newrai initially founded the company 18 months ago in response to her own need — having simultaneously birthed a child while supporting her hospitalized husband during a death defying brain hemorrhage.

“It was during those months that I learned firsthand how difficult communications with loved ones can be during times of crisis,” she explains. “…and the more I looked at the system at large, it became obvious how broken it was.” At the core of PreciouStatus is a mobile application platform that allows daycare providers, hospital and elderly care facilities, to interact with family members and loved ones real-time throughout  to relieve ongoing stress and concern.

Eight years in, the Minnesota Cup awards cash, mentorship and a host of supporting services to emerging businesses from across the state. It’s the longest running and largest business competition in terms of prizes awarded and plans reviewed — over 6,000 since inception.

This years High Tech division drew over 100 applications in March, which was narrowed down to 11 semi-finalists in June and then three in August.  PreciouStatus joins the ranks of previous grand prize tech winners such as Alvenda (now 8thBridge) and Naiku.

In addition to the $25k gained from winning the High Tech Division, PreciouStatus yields an additional $40k in cash — a relatively token amount considering that the startup raised $1.2m in July (now capitalized to $1.4).  PreciouStatus is currently scaling nationwide with the help of distribution partnerships and revenue sharing.

“I was shocked when we won the High Tech Division and now the Grand Prize?! I feel incredibly blessed and quite fired up about the future thanks to the Minnesota Cup,” said Gilbert-Newrai after receiving her award.