Hankinson Invention Facing State Competition
By Landon Kafka - Daily News
Every business has to start somewhere and for Hankinson resident Bill Witt, that start is at his home and on the Internet.
Almost a year old, Bag‘em Outdoors started with a popular past time, waterfowl hunting.
Necessity is the mother of invention and where Bag'em found their niche in the sporting market was in the transport of decoys, a task many hunters find difficult and time consuming.
Witt and a couple of his outdoors men friends, who also happen to be engineers, were looking for a way to be more mobile, hostile, and agile while slipping in and out of the numerous North Dakota waterways and sloughs.
The solution they came up with were racks and bags that can be mounted in trailers and on ATVs for easier hauling and placement.
As a new business, Bag'em outdoors entered the InnovateND competition. InnovateND, created by the North Dakota Department of Commerce, is an annual competition to identify and reward companies in North Dakota that demonstrate innovation, commercial viability, and investment opportunity.
According to the Department of Commerce, the InnovateND competition has awarded more than $250,000 to start up businesses in North Dakota since 2007.
Currently, Bag'em Outdoors is one of 28 businesses moving on to the third round of the competition, where they will provide business plans to the judging panel. From there, 20 teams will be chosen to compete in the final portion of competition. Five finalists will be chosen and awarded $15,000 to invest in their business. This will take place May 21-22.
Bag'emOutdoors information and products can be found at their website bagemoutdoors.com.
Hankinson Invention Facing State Competition - Daily News
Strong Field of Competitors Advance in Innovate ND
BISMARCK, N.D. - The field of participants in the sixth Innovate ND program has been narrowed from 75 to 28 teams. A final 20 teams will be selected in April. The final group will proceed to the oral presentations and judging May 21 and 22 in Fargo.
"We are very excited about the 75 ideas and 160 participants that enrolled in Innovate ND this year," Brandi Schoenberg, Innovate ND program manager, said. "This may be the most eager group of entrepreneurs that I've seen in the competition over the last few years. They are ready to learn what they can from our partners from across the State to get their business off the ground."
The following teams have been selected to advance into the next phase of the program. In selecting ideas for the final round, judges will look at five criteria: innovation, commercial viability, investment opportunity, entrepreneur team and quality of presentation. Two teams requested to remain anonymous.
Collapsible Urine Hat, Bismarck
My Guides, Dickinson
StopSensor, New Salem
Tank Guard, Bismarck
Zoovio, Inc., Mandan
BEAM Scientific, Grand Forks
Debt Gallery, Grand Forks
Marathon Fundraisers, Grand Forks
Modular Development Group, Grand Forks
MyQuub, Grand Forks
Next Gen Sales, Grand Forks
Power Evolved, Grand Forks
Solargy Lights, Neche
SunAir Power, LLC., Grand Forks
Bag'em Outdoors, Hankinson
BreadVault, LLC., West Fargo
Keen Innovations, LLC., Fargo
Krisara Engineering, LLC., Fargo
On-Site Locate, Fargo
Webcast America, West Fargo
Out of State
Yellow Dart Industries, Minn.
The 28 teams selected in this round will be invited to attend the Business Plan Boot Camp in Grand Forks on March 10. This event will help finalists develop their financial data and offer tips for pitching their ideas to Innovate ND judges in the final round. The five Innovate ND Idea champions will be awarded $15,000 each at the Innovate ND Awards Ceremony May 22 in Fargo. A winner in each of the five categories of competition will also be awarded at that time.
Nearly 600 participants and 400 teams have enrolled in the competition since 2006. Approximately 125 new businesses are operational or in the development stage as a result of the program.
Participants in any new businesses launched by Innovate ND will receive free technical assistance from the UND Center for Innovation, NDSU Research and Technology Park, DSU Strom Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Southern Valley Innovation Center in Wahpeton, IDEA Center in Bismarck, Bismarck State College Office of Innovation and Minot State University Severson Entrepreneurship Academy through the year.
Innovate ND is a statewide economic development initiative designed to help entrepreneurs turn business ideas into functional businesses. It is coordinated by the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the UND Center of Innovation and the NDSU Research and Technology Park. More information is available at InnovateND.com.
Forum Communications is the lead sponsor. Other committed sponsors for 2012 include Great River Energy, The Coteau Properties Company, The Falkirk Mining Company, Kadrmas Lee & Jackson, MDU, Bismarck-Mandan Development Corporation, Jamestown-Stutsman Development Corporation, First Western Bank and Trust - Minot, Marathon Oil, Otter Tail Corporation, North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, Solarbee, Agency MABU, ND Society of Certified Public Accountants, National Information Solution Cooperative (NISC), Odney, Basin Electric, Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, Steffes Corporation, North Dakota Chamber of Commerce Earth-kind, Amber Waves Electronics, North Dakota Youth Entrepreneurship Education Program, VCMentor.com and MAC, Inc.
For more information about the program contact Brandi Schoenberg at 701-328-5300 or InnovateND@nd.gov.