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Life Sciences Startups: Apply for Walleye Tank Pitch Competition

Walleye Tank logo over landscape background of a lake

Update: Consistent with Governor Walz’s guidance to protect the health of Minnesotans, we have decided to cancel the spring 2020 Walleye Tank.

The winter Walleye Tank competition will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on December 11, 2020, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Attention life sciences startups: the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic are now accepting applications to the spring 2020 Walleye Tank.

The twice-yearly pitch competition, set to next take place on April 28 at the University’s Carlson School of Management, is designed to invigorate Minnesota’s entrepreneurial ecosystem around the life sciences. Walleye Tank invites entrepreneurs from across the state to pitch their life sciences-related startup companies in front of an expert panel of judges while competing for prizes and clinical consulting support.

Interested startups should apply by March 27. Guests can also register to attend the event as an audience member.

Walleye Tank participants will have the opportunity to connect with an audience of investors, subject matter experts, service providers, job seekers, and mentors who can help them accelerate the development of their product or service and grow their business.

Participants will compete in one of four divisions:

  • Junior Anglers: Entrepreneurs in the early stages of business development. (First place receives $500)
  • Mid-Level Reelers: Incorporated companies in the early stages of fundraising with a minimum viable product. (First place receives $1,000)
  • Professionals: Established life science businesses with active sales and fundraising. (First place receives $2,000; second place, $1,500)
  • Nonprofits: New, innovative health care organizations. (First place receives $250)

Alongside the cash prizes, winners from all four divisions will receive clinical consulting support in subjects such as defining the problem their innovation helps solve, fitting the innovation into clinicians’ day-to-day work, and addressing preliminary safety and efficacy concerns. Division winners will also receive guaranteed placement in the semifinals round of MN Cup, a statewide pitch competition hosted by the U’s Carlson School of Management.

In addition to the public competition, Walleye Tank participants will attend mentorship opportunities, pitch coaching, and a networking reception. These activities will further help participants forge valuable connections that support their company’s future success.

Walleye Tank is supported by UMN’s Medical School, Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship within the Carlson School of Management, and Technology Commercialization Venture Center, as well as the Mayo Clinic Office of Entrepreneurship. Additional support is provided by Medical Alley and the Collider Foundation.

Kevin Coss

Kevin Coss

Kevin is a writer with the Office of the Vice President for Research.

coss@umn.edu

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