Ames-based Kinosol won $25,000 from the Minnesota Cup on Oct. 9 for being the best women-led business, according to a news release Wednesday.
According to the release, Kinosol competed in the Minnesota Cup—the largest statewide startup competition in the United States—last weekend at the University of Minnesota’s McNamara Alumni Center.
During the final round of competition, winners from eight categories such as student, high tech and impact ventures competed for a grand prize of $50,000.
The grand prize winner was MicroOptx, a Minnesota-based company with a solution to glaucoma.
With the grand prize, awards including runner up, best women-led business, best minority-led business and best veteran-led business were given.
Kinosol won the best women-led business and $25,000.
Three of the four Kinosol cofounders are women—Elise Kendall, Ella Gehrke and Mikayla Sullivan—who are working to end global food waste.
Sullivan said it’s wonderful when women are recognized in business because often times, women are viewed as less qualified than their male counterparts.
“They often feel like they don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved and having the support of their communities, strong women and those who champion for equality, are key to equalizing the balance between the number of male and female leaders,” Sullivan said. “It will subsequently help grow the entrepreneurial community and solve some of the worlds largest challenges. It takes a balanced team to accomplish great things.
“No one male or female can do it on their own.”
KinoSol launched in September of 2014 and began delivering its first
product—the Orenda—worldwide in January of 2017. The Orenda is a solar-powered food dehydrator with a storage component, designed to help families in
developing regions to preserve additional food and nutrients.
Over 1,300 entrepreneurs submitted ideas for this year’s Minnesota Cup. The key to selecting finalists was the entrepreneurs ability to make their ideas a reality, according to the release.