Ole Cup

Ole Cup:  Saturday, April 23rd, 2022

The Ole Cup is an annual student entrepreneurial competition conceived by Brad Cleveland ‘82. The competition, which is open to all St. Olaf students, was delivered in a live, online virtual format for 2021. Students submitted a video pitch, and engaged in live, virtual judging and feedback. Watch the 2021 event recording here.

First prize: $10,000 – Gro-Wall (Aidan Schoff, ’21)
Second prize: $5,000 – Pageio (Darlene Radichel, ’23)
Third prize: $3,000 – Joggr (Soua Yang, ’23 & Abdou Ghanim, ’23)
Social Impact prize: $5,000 – Sakha Sive, ’21 (Sivuse Mbingo, ’21)

The winner of the Ole Cup automatically qualifies for the semi-final round of the Minnesota Cup student division where the winner (of the student division) is awarded $30,000, and can compete for the Minnesota Cup Grand Prize of $50,000.

The Ole Cup Social Impact winner automatically qualifies for the final round of the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge, where they will compete with teams from all over the globe for up to $50,000 in funding.

This year, the Northfield Enterprise Center offered a Northfield community prize of $500 to the Ole Cup team of their choice. We are pleased that the community of Northfield is supporting our student entrepreneurs!


Ole Cup 2022 – Information & Requirements
  1. Any individual or group of First-Year, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior students enrolled at St. Olaf at the time of application.
  2. Applicants must be in good academic standing and have maintained professional conduct as a student.*
  3. At least one member on the team must be between the ages of 19-30 on April 23, 2022.
  4. The idea needs to be economically viable and it cannot violate or infringe on the copyright or intellectual property of another.

*Good academic standing means a minimum GPA of 2.0, not on academic probation or academically dismissed according to the Registrar’s Office. Professional conduct is vetted by the Dean of Students Office.

Get started by watching this video introduction to entrepreneurial resources at St. Olaf.

Ole Cup Tracks

The 2022 Ole Cup will consist of two parallel tracks: Business & Social Impact, and Arts Entrepreneurship. Any student interested in entering Ole Cup will need to express interest in Fall 2021. All students interested will have the opportunity to participate in a J-term intensive program, designed to help students take their venture from idea to plan. The two tracks will include separate programming specific to their track in addition to combined programming that encourages student collaboration between the tracks. Students are highly encouraged to participate in the J-term program to build their venture for Ole Cup.

Additional detail on important dates and deadlines are forthcoming.

Coaching & Support

Students who might be interested in participating in the Ole Cup are encouraged to connect early in Fall 2021 with Margaret Bransford, the Associate Director for Entrepreneurship and Outreach. Margaret provides 1-1 coaching and group programs to help students develop and refine their business ideas. From ideation, to market realities, to financial forecasting, she is here to help students as they develop their ideas.

View previous Ole Cup competitions, and learn more about past participants, including winners and judges: 2014201520162017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Use this tutorial on presentation fundamentals  and the Business Plan Basics template for additional guidance.

If you have any questions, please contact Margaret Bransford, bransf1@stolaf.edu.