MN Cup helped Minnesota mom get on Shark Tank

Beth Fynbo owns "Busy Baby"

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — A Minnesota small business owner has made it to the big leagues, bringing her company to Shark Tank earlier this month.

Beth Fynbo of Oronoco had a small idea a few years ago that she hoped would lead her here.

An army veteran and now mother of two, Fynbo thought of the Busy Baby Mat at a lunch date with her girlfriends and their one-year-olds.

“The babies spent the entire time dropping and throwing and reaching for the salt and pepper,” she recalled.

From there, her idea for a placemat that suctions to tables and attaches to toys was born.

Four years later, her company has fulfilled tens of thousands of orders all across the world.

Fynbo says MN Cup, an annual and free business competition for any aspiring or growing business owner in Minnesota helped bring her dream to life.

“If you just have an idea but you haven’t really made progress or taken steps to turn it into a company, apply. If you have been operating a business for a few years but you just haven’t reached that revenue cap, apply,” said MN Cup Director Jessica Berg.

Applications are now open for any Minnesota entrepreneur hoping to get connected with tools, resources and financial support.

“We really want wealth and job creation and opportunity to stay here in Minnesota,” Berg says. After all, she says, innovators and go-getters are in every part of the state.

“I’m really excited about the future for Busy Baby,” Fynbo smiled.

Fynbo did not end up making a deal with one of the Sharks. She now runs Busy Baby with her brother.

MN Cup applications close April 16th. You do not need to have an entity formed or be earning revenue to apply.

All Minnesotans and Minnesota-based businesses earning less than $1 million annual revenue are eligible.

MN Cup has given away $4 million in non-dilutive seed funding since 2005, and plans to award at least $400,000 this season.

The event will be held virtually due to the pandemic.

Find key dates and register by clicking here.

For more information or to apply, click here.

Find out more about MN Cup by clicking here.

To watch Fynbo on Shark Tank, click here.

Categories: Business, Local News, Minnesota News