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Extension > Leadership and Civic Engagement Alumni > March 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

Opportunity: MN Cup for Minnesota Entrepreneurs

Calling all entrepreneurs! The MN Cup is happening. Considered a "venture competition," aspiring entrepreneurs are supported to launch and accelerate the development of their new ventures.

Past participants in the competition have gone on to successfully launch businesses, raise capital and create jobs in Minnesota. Let's show them some great ideas coming from all parts of the state.

Welcome and thank you for your interest in MN Cup! We're looking for aspiring entrepreneurs who mean business. Whether you are at the point of inception or have already created a company, MN Cup is here to provide support for the next breakthrough ideas in our state. Entering its 11th year, MN Cup has worked with over 9,000 entrepreneurs and awarded over $1,000,000 in seed capital.
Rules to apply: Your company needs to be based in MN and have less than $1M in annual revenue. Past participants of MN Cup are welcome to enter if they have not reached the finalist round of the competition. Semifinalists and entrants are encouraged to reapply.  
The application will remain open from March 23 to May 8, 2015. Applicants will have the ability to edit their submission until 11:59 p.m. on May 8th. Entries may be submitted individually or as a group of up to four people. Participants will self-select their division. For a detailed description of competition divisions, please click here. 
Top entrants will be notified on June 8th of their advancement to the semifinalist round. Eight division winners will be chosen from the semifinalist pool. Division winners will present their ideas to a prestigious panel of executives, investors and notable entrepreneurs who will choose the 2015 grand prize winner. The contest will culminate with an awards event on September 11th at the University of Minnesota. 
Division winners will each receive $30,000 and various other benefits. The grand prize winner will receive an additional $50,000 in seed capital and mentorship from the state's leaders in finance, accounting, legal, marketing and management support services.  
If you have any questions during the application process, please contact MN Cup at 
Good luck!
MN Cup

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Opportunity: Community Innovation Grants

Are you looking to do something great in your community? The Headwaters Foundation for Justice and the Bush Foundation want to help make it happen.

What is this about? From the website:
Community Innovation Grants support communities to use problem-solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions. We think of this as civic research and development, allowing communities to develop and test new solutions to community challenges. Grants range from $500 - $10,000.
The deadline to apply is midnight on May 15, 2015. So try something new and bring something great to your community.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Opportunity: Skills Symposium by IAP2 USA

2015 IAP2 USA Skills Symposium
Wednesday 27 May through Sunday 31 May, 2015
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

This year the International Association for Public Participation USA is supplementing the annual North American conference with an exciting five-day training event that will deliver a smorgasbord of learning. The 2015 Skills Symposium features a wide range of workshops of varying duration and topics exploring skills, tools, and techniques that support effective public participation. This training will be undertaken in a rich learning environment, with activities that build a creative and supportive space for participants whether they spend a day or the whole week at the event.

Here’s the information and registration link – register early to get the courses you want. Any courses that haven’t hit their minimum numbers by April 27 will be cancelled, so hurry and register!

Special offer from University of Minnesota Extension: For those of you in Greater Minnesota, Extension is offering 10, $100 stipends to reduce your costs to participate in the Symposium.
  • Eligibility: Minnesota residents who live outside of Ramsey, Hennepin, Washington, Anoka, Carver, Scott, or Dakota counties
  • Support: $100/person, limit one per person; first come, first serve basis; available until all 10 stipends are gone
  • Special registration process: If you wish to seek this financial support, please choose the course(s) you want using the link below but submit the following information via email at
    • Name, address (including county of residence), phone and email
    • Selected course name and date
    • A statement that you are requesting this stipend
    • Our team will reply whether or not there is a stipend available and record your payment information

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Learn: Millennials in Adulthood by Pew Research

On it's one year anniversary, we thought we would highlight this generational profile of Millennials across the nation provided by Pew Research. Click this link, Millennials in Adulthood, to learn about how Millennials are living. Included is information on demographics, perceptions of politics, religion, and the economy, and how they self identify.

In Minnesota, Millennials now make up the largest part of the population (28%) and will soon make up the biggest part of the state's workforce. For more Minnesota specific information, check out Minnesota Compass' Insights article 6 surprising trends about Minnesota's millennials.

As leaders in communities, nonprofits, business, and government, it is important to understand how Millennials work, volunteer, and live their lives.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Opportunity: Garden Planning Grant

Hunger is an issue facing many communities throughout the state. The organization Open Your Heart is trying to address this by providing grants to determine the feasibility of garden programs providing food to food shelves or other programs that distribute food to hungry people. If this is something your community wants to consider, click here to find out more about applying for this grant that is in the range of $1,500 to $3,000.

The due date for grants is March 15 so check it out now!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Student researchers available for Greater Minnesota

Are you, your organization, or your town working on economic development, sustainable agriculture and local foods, human capital development, inclusion, the environment, natural resources, clean energy, tourism, or resilient communities? With so many items listed, the answer has to be "yes."

Be excited because University of Minnesota's Community Assistance Program announced its call for applications to have student researchers support your work in Greater Minnesota.

The grant allows rural communities to hire a student to work on a project defined by the community during the summer of 2015.

Applications are due March 15.

For more information and to apply, see this page.

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