The Latest from Two 2016 MN Cup Winners

We check in with startups Vugo & Asiya

By Melissa Kjolsing
Wed, 2017-02-01 10:55

Vugo Invited to Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS)

Automobili-D Program MN Cup’s 2016 High Tech Division winner, Vugo, was nominated as one of 50 startups to participate in the Automobili-D program.

Vugo provides rideshare advertising for everyone. There are more than 500,000 rideshare drivers in the United States alone. Vugo is the first and largest ad network to provide this service — it can change buying decisions right before purchases by crafting personalized messages to passengers.

Startups for the program were curated by Techstars Mobility and allowed Vugo to stand shoulder to shoulder with automakers and suppliers at the North American International Auto Show — the largest auto show in the world. Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit, focuses on the rapidly changing mobility and transportation industry. The event had the economic impact of two super bowls and possibly the biggest tradeshow in the Midwest with over 800,000 people attending last year, including President Obama.

Asiya Surpasses Kickstarter Goal

MN Cup’s 2016 Social Division winner, Asiya, crushed its Kickstarter goal with 859 backers pledging $38,159.

Asiya provides culturally appropriate activewear. Its innovative fitness fashions and fabrics are easy to move in, to play in and to compete in. ASIYA honors and encourages Muslim women of all ages — young girls, tweens, teens, mature women — to experience a new level of confidence, cultural integrity, comfort and health.

Asiya plans to use the Kickstarter funds to manufacture its first line of sports hijabs — including fabric procurement, cutting and sewing, and packaging requirements.

What’s next for this impact startup? “We plan to initiate marketing and sales efforts,” shares Jamie Glover, co-founder of Asiya. “We’re focused on spreading awareness of who we are and what we’re doing among Muslim and sports communities, with the goal of becoming a key provider of sports hijabs to enable more Muslim girls to play sports.”


Melissa Kjolsing is the director of the Minnesota Cup, an annual entrepreneur competition at the University of Minnesota.