UMD Startup Cup

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Judging Criteria Past Winners History

The 2020 event is canceled due to the COVID-19 Health Concern

This event is open to all UMD students who have an innovative business idea. Entrepreneurs are able to pitch their idea to a panel of Duluth business professionals with the opportunity to win money to help fund their business idea.


The Startup Cup UMD Entrepreneurship Challenge, formerly the UMD Shark Tank Competition, is powered by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) and the LaBounty Center for Entrepreneurship, established in 2008 as a result of a generous gift provided by Roy E. LaBounty, founder of LaBounty Manufacturing and a long-time supporter of UMD. Administered by the LSBE's dean's office, the new Center promotes entrepreneurship and business development initiatives throughout Northeastern Minnesota.

Roy LaBounty was an entrepreneur and prominent business leader in Northeastern Minnesota for many years. He was the founder and former president of LaBounty Manufacturing in Two Harbors, Minnesota. In 1999 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards event. Mr. LaBounty died in November 2007.

The current initiatives include sponsoring a student internship at the Center for Economic Development, sponsoring faculty research in entrepreneurship, and the UMD LaBounty Entrepreneur Competition.