IDEA Competition Northwest Minnesota's competition for breakthrough business ideas
looking for the next great breakthrough business idea
Growing the economy of Northwest Minnesota by outfitting the next generation of homegrown innovators for success in the global marketplace.


Gold Level

Northwest Minnesota Foundation

Silver Level

University of Minnesota Crookston

360 Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence

Bremer Bank Crookston and Warren
Warren and Crookston

Northwest Regional Small Business Development Center

Bronze Level

Border State Bank

Minnkota Power Company

Ultima Bank Minnesota

Wells Fargo Bank





Bemidji State University

Northland Community and Technical College




2014 IDEA Competition Banquet

Celebrating Innovation in Northwest Minnesota

April 24, 5:00-8:30, Bemidji, MN

Plan now to attend the sixth annual IDEA Competition Banquet. Highlights of the evening will include the presentation of this year's IDEA Competition winners, honoring the memory of Don Ricke with an induction into the IDEA Hall of Fame, and a keynote address by Edie Ramstad.

2014 finalists are competing for one of three $10,000 cash awards to help them advance their business idea. This year's finalists include:

  • Addy-Olly, LLC - Cynthia J. Krankkala, Thief River Falls
  • Berd’s Innovations, LLC – Coreen Berdahl, Red Lake Falls
  • CR Data Solutions – Robert Cloose, Bagley
  • Gifts of the Grove, LLC – Marina Lovell, Laporte
  • Lamplighter Hockey, LLC – Tim Slukynsky, Warroad
  • Skyrocker Telescope – Donald Miller, Roseau
  • Szurpicki Lawn Services LLC - John Szurpicki, Bemidji
IDEA Hall of Fame: Don Ricke

This year, Don Ricke, founder of TEAM Industries, will be posthumously inducted into the IDEA Hall of Fame. Together with his son, David Ricke, Don founded and grew TEAM Industries,  a vertically integrated engineering and manufacturing company that has been providing good paying jobs in several rural Minnesota communities, and driving Innovation in performance and reliability-enhancing components for nearly half a century.

Event Details

April 24, 5:00-8:30
Sanford Event Center, Bemidji, MN.

Register now.

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. 

Check out our past winners.


Keynote Speaker

Keynote speaker for the evening will be 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."