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2014 IDEA Competition Winners Announced
Celebrating Innovation in Northwest Minnesota
The IDEA Competition announced the names of three 2014 winners on Wednesday, April 24th at the IDEA awards banquet held at the Sanford Center, Bemidji. Each winner was awarded $10,000 in cash to advance their business idea, plus additional specialized technical assistance.
Brian & Coreen Berdahl, Red Lake Falls, for Reel-Deal – a line spooling device that quickly and easily transfers fishing line from a standard size line spool to a fishing rod.
Cindy Krankkala, Thief River Falls, for Addy-Olly, LLC – an innovative play yard mattress cover that meets the highest standards of child safety.
Robert Cloose, Bagley, for CR Data Solutions – a software product that will revolutionize installation and testing of fiber optic splices.
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.
In addition to announcing the winners of this year's competition, Don Ricke, founder of TEAM Industries, was added to the distinguished list of IDEA Hall of Fame inductees. The 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. Read more about Don Ricke.
IDEA sponsors are 360◦ Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence, Arvig, Border State Bank, Bremer Bank of Crookston and Warren, Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc., NID Inc., Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Northwest Regional Small Business Development Center, Ultima Bank Minnesota, University of Minnesota Crookston, and Wells Fargo Bank.
More about IDEA...
IDEA assists the most 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.
Keynote speaker for the evening was Edie Ramstad, owner and founder of Weave Got Maille, a business which manufactures and sells chainmaille jewelry supplies. In less than two years of being in business, she has established customers in 56 countries for her rapidly growing venture.
Her manufacturing facility is located on the outskirts of Ada, population 1,707, next to corn and soybean fields. The business opened in January 2012 and surpassed its five-year sales goals within the first six weeks of operations.
Edie was recently highlighted in a study of northwest Minnesota businesses who have successfully used broadband to grow their business. Edie is a strong proponent for broadband, affirming that "broadband has enabled me to live here - where I want to live - and have an international business."