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.