Thursday, April 25, 2013

IDEA Competition Announces Four Winners for 2013

BEMIDJI, MN – April 24, 2013 – The IDEA Competition announced the names of four 2013 winners on Wednesday, April 24th at the IDEA awards banquet held at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, Thief River Falls.  Each winner receives $10,000 in cash to advance their business idea, plus additional specialized technical assistance. 

The 2013 Winners are:

* Brian & Coreen Berdahl, Red Lake Falls, for Spot-Knot – a fast, easy, and economical on-the-spot slip knot tie device that is the only one of its kind in the fishing industry.

* Dr. Jack V. Lundbohm, Roseau, for Stand Alone Game Calls – an elk hunting call that allows an elk hunter to hunt alone while remotely operating a call that is set up in a second location.

* Tim and Jenny Slukynsky, Warroad, for Lamplighter Hockey – a hockey stick weight that overcomes the weaknesses of other hockey stick training tools on the market today.

* Jerry Titera, Bagley, for Hubmaster Inc. – an innovative tool that helps remove the tapered wheel hub from bobcat skidsteers for routine maintenance and repair.

The main goal of the IDEA competition is to assist promising local entrepreneurs in the commercialization of innovative products, processes and deliveries by connecting them to the best resources available, along with access to the capital it takes to launch a successful venture. 

The IDEA Hall of Fame added Mark Larson, president and chief operating officer of Digi-Key Corporation, and Ron Stordahl, founder and chief executive officer of Digi-Key Corporation.  The IDEA Hall of Fame was established to recognize the accomplishments of the region’s legacy innovators—those within the region who have inspired others with their entrepreneurial vision, leadership and achievement.

In the previous three years, 17 innovators from throughout northwestern Minnesota have received IDEA awards. Their combined economic impact includes:

  High potential innovations identified, funded, and assisted: seventeen

  Jobs created or retained as a result: forty-two

  Job creation projections: fifty or more

  Total combined sales revenues: more than $5 million

  Number of loans approved: thirteen

IDEA sponsors are 360◦ Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence, Arvig, Bremer Bank of Crookston and Warren, Leonard Street and Deinard, Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Headwaters Regional Development Commission, Northwest Regional Small Business Development Center, and University of Minnesota Crookston.  IDEA was made possible through a generous grant from the Blandin Foundation.