New College Student Pitch Challenge, Powered by GreenSeam Futures and Hosted by MNSU’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    October 4th, 2023

    Southern Minn. & Northern Iowa — Undergraduate college students from southern Minnesota and northern Iowa are invited to compete in the FutureSolvers Cultivation Challenge, an agricultural pitch challenge offering more than $14,500 in cash prizes. Student teams will be presented with a scenario depicting an economic challenge facing our region and will compete to develop the most innovative and entrepreneurial solution. Competitors must rely on skills of critical thinking, teamwork, networking, and a business acumen to craft a winning pitch.

    “This new program presents an exciting opportunity for students to tackle the challenges facing our ag economy. We are thrilled to partner with MNSU and welcome college students from across the GreenSeam region to participate,” said Sam Ziegler, Director of GreenSeam Futures.

    “The future of agribusiness in our region depends on new ideas and innovation. Who better than the next generation of college students to provide that spark—our next future solvers,” said Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Director Dr. Shane Bowyer. “In my opinion, the best thing about the FutureSolvers Cultivation Challenge is that it will help students develop the skills needed to be successful in a changing and evolving ecosystem.”

    Registration opens Oct. 1, 2023, and closes Oct. 9 at 1:00pm. The cost to register is $50 per team, however, teams that fulfill the application requirements will receive a $200 stipend when their application is accepted. Six teams will be selected by judges to compete in-person at Minnesota State’s College of Business on Nov. 17. The in-person event will include a luncheon, remarks from industry professionals, and networking opportunities. Final pitches will be streamed live, and audience members in-person and online will have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award.

    This will be a fantastic resume builder and a chance to put your skills in front of business leaders. Parents and mentors, please share this with students you know.

    To apply or for more information, visit Questions can be directed to Shane Bowyer by emailing or calling 507-389-5437.

    About GreenSeam Futures:

    GreenSeam Futures is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to be the gateway to southern Minnesota for resources to educate, launch, and grow tomorrow’s ag and food leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. It was created in 2022 to build upon the foundation of agricultural talent development laid by GreenSeam. GreenSeam Futures’ primary focus is fostering creative and meaningful collaborations between the agricultural community and educational institutions of Southern Minnesota, working hand-in-hand with the Educational Institution Partners to benefit both students and the ag community. Minnesota State University—Mankato and South Central College are the first of these partners. GreenSeam Futures’ planned programs and services are divided into four categories: (1) work-based learning support; (2) public-benefit research; (3) classroom-business partner projects; and (4) the GreenSeam Gateway.