Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson announced five new Idea Champions at the sixth annual statewide Innovate ND program last night in front of a crowd of 130 people at the Ramada Plaza and Suites in Fargo. The 2012 Innovate ND Awards Ceremony was hosted by the ND Department of Commerce and the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber.
2010 Winner's Product Showcased on Good Morning America
Clint Howitz was one of five Innovate ND Idea Champions in 2010 with his online business, dogIDs.com. His ScruffTag Collars were showcased on ABC New 'GMA' Exclusive Deals segment by Tori Johnson on July 7.
Five Innovate ND Winners Awarded $15,000 Each
The North Dakota Department of Commerce Commissioner, Alan Anderson, announced five winners for the fifth statewide Innovate ND program this evening. A panel of 12 private sector judges made the final selections out of a field of 20 finalists. Winners each received $15,000 in cash and a valuable package of in-kind professional services to help them launch and grow their business.
IN THE ZONE" AWARD BACK AT INNOVATE ND COMPETITION Innovate ND to Hold Finalists' "Boot Camp" Event
BISMARCK, ND - For the second year in a row, Innovate ND will offer "In the Zone", a major award aimed at supporting and encouraging entrepreneurs with retail-based business ideas. The award is sponsored by Fargo-based Kilbourne Group, a company committed to inspiring and supporting the redevelopment of downtown districts.
The winner of the Innovate ND "In the Zone" award will receive 1,500 square feet of downtown Fargo retail space rent-free for one year. Doug Burgum, founder and chairman of Kilbourne Group, said the goal of the award is to encourage more retail entrepreneurs to locate in downtown renaissance zones across North Dakota.
"North Dakota has been somewhat insulated from the economic woes of the nation, yet challenges remain in finding business owners who are ready, willing and able to locate or launch a start-up in downtown renaissance zones," Burgum said. "We are hoping that this significant incentive prize will help inspire the next great retail innovator from North Dakota."
The "In the Zone" award is for innovative retail companies as well as those companies that plan to sell aggressively through the Internet and yet need a storefront or place for demonstrations for their products/services.
Kilbourne Group will select the "In the Zone" winner. Judges will review the following criteria: innovation; a winning business model; the ability to succeed as a "destination retail location" in a Renaissance Zone; and the ability to take their products/services beyond the local level to the regional, national and even global levels.
"We are very excited to have Kilbourne Group back on board with Innovate ND to offer this wonderful opportunity," said Brandi Schoenberg, Innovate ND program manager. "Last year's ‘In the Zone' winner, Outermost Layer, is seeing success in its downtown space. KotiKites, a 2010 Innovate ND finalist, also saw value in the downtown location of 102 Broadway, which is owned by Kilbourne Group."
Finalists' "Boot Camp" A Finalists' "Boot Camp" for Innovate ND's participants will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 12 at the UND Center for Innovation in the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center.
The Boot Camp will arm finalists with the necessary tools to successfully prepare financials, develop a business plan and pitch ideas to judges for final judging. Each participant will have the chance to give their "60-second elevator pitch", a component that they will be required to present at the Innovate ND finals on May 23-24.
Dr. Jeff Stamp, UND Entrepreneur-in-Residence, will be facilitating the Boot Camp and will be joined by other Innovate ND partners, past Innovate ND judges and investors.
About Innovate ND 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.
About The North Dakota Department of Commerce The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
For more information about the event, contact Brandi Schoenberg at the North Dakota Department of Commerce, 701-328-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to www.NDCommerce.com.
STRONG FIELD OF COMPETITORS ADVANCE IN INNOVATE ND
The field of participants in the fifth Innovate ND program has been narrowed from 58 to 23 teams. A final 20 teams will be selected in April. The final group will proceed to the oral presentations and judging May 23 and 24 in Grand Forks.
Fifty ideas have been enrolled in the 5th annual Innovate ND competition, involving 52 teams and a total of 92 participants. Twenty-two of the people enrolled participated last year and 10 of them finished in the Top 20.
People interested in enrolling in the Innovate ND program have an additional week to register. The deadline for enrollment has been extended to Nov. 19. The original deadline was Nov. 12.
Registration is available online at www.InnovateND.com. Enrollment in Innovate ND costs $250 and includes online entrepreneur education, business planning tools, and coaching and mentoring from successful entrepreneurs and proven business owners.
The top 20 entries for Innovate ND will get the chance to pitch their business idea to a panel of potential investors. Up to five $15,000 cash prizes are awarded, as well as a wide variety of business services and potential seed capital investments to launch their businesses.
"We have seen some terrific business ideas come through Innovate ND and many past participants in the program say it was very instrumental in getting them off to a good start," Shane Goettle, Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, said. "This program is a powerful resource for entrepreneurs." ###
NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sept. 27, 2010
Contact: Julie Fedorchak, (701) 391-1140
5th ANNUAL INNOVATE ND OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT Cash prize increased to $15,000
Lt. Gov Jack Dalrymple, North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle and a statewide network of partners kicked off the 5th Annual Innovate ND competition today in conjunction with Marketplace of Ideas in Fargo, highlighting a more generous cash prize and an expanded network of statewide partners.
Innovate ND is a statewide initiative designed to help entrepreneurs turn innovative concepts into viable new North Dakota business ventures. For a $250 registration, participants get access to a proven venture-building process and a chance to win one of five $15,000 prizes.
"North Dakota's economy is growing and we have a very positive business climate for start-ups," Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. "Innovate ND has been instrumental in the development of more than 100 businesses. We invite anyone with a business idea to take advantage of this initiative to help turn ideas into a viable new business in North Dakota."
Registration is available online at www.InnovateND.com through Nov. 12. The program includes online entrepreneur education, business planning tools and coaching and mentoring from successful entrepreneurs and proven business owners.
The top 20 entries will get the chance to pitch their business idea to a panel of potential investors. Up to five $15,000 cash prizes will be awarded as well as a wide variety of business services and potential seed capital investments to launch their businesses.
"This has been a very successful initiative that grows every year in its ability to reach people throughout the state who have business ideas," Goettle said. "Growing our state from within is one of the most effective strategies and Innovate ND has proven over the last five years to be great program for helping people get businesses off to a good start." (Click here for link to video clip of Goettle: http://bit.ly/2010InnovateND)
Nearly 700 participants and 350 teams have enrolled in the competition since 2006. Last year, 203 participants submitted 107 ideas.
The program is organized by the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the UND Center for Innovation and the NDSU Research and Technology Park.
Forum Communications is the lead sponsor. Cavendish Farms of Jamestown is also a premier sponsor. Partner programs include Marketplace of Ideas, DSU Strom Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Southern Valley Innovation Center in Wahpeton, IDEA Center in Bismarck, Bismarck State College Office of Innovation, Minot State University, Severson Entrepreneurship Academy and Sitting Bull College Entrepreneurial Center.
Clint Howitz of Fargo was one of last year's winners. His business, DogIDs, produces and supplies high quality personalized dog products to dog owners worldwide via the Internet. Howitz's business has been so successful he quit his full-time job to run his new venture.
"Innovate ND puts you in touch with all the right networks in the state for expert advice and support to begin developing your business," Howitz said.
Another 2010 winner Ryan Wanzek of ZoneMap said, "Innovate ND gave us the opportunity to get our business off and running. Any start-up should take advantage of the expert advice provided by Innovate ND to take their start-up to the next level."
ZoneMap, a Grand Forks startup, is a mapping system using satellite imagery, yield maps and a number of other resources to create a map for variable rate applications of fertilizer, seed, herbicide, or any other application an agriculture producer may use.
Other sponsors include Great River Energy, State Bank & Trust, Bremer Bank, North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, Montana Dakota Utilities, Weather Modification, Solarbee, Agency MABU, the Kilbourne Group, First Western Bank and Trust, ND Society of Certified Public Accountants, Bismarck Mandan Development Association, Dakota Growers Pasta Company, and Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corporation.