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When Larry Mosbrucker fell from a semi-truck and suffered a serious injury, he didn't know the event would propel him to develop StopSensor.

"I was working on a large farm and had this (positioning) problem all the time, unloading trucks 18 hours a day," Mosbrucker explains. "We had to jump off one truck to another. I said, ‘There's gotta be a better way.' We were dumping into a narrow pit; if we could hit it perfectly we wouldn't have to reposition."successstories_stopsensorprint.jpg

StopSensor is a device that aids semi-truck drivers in proper positioning when loading and unloading because it eliminates the risk and waste associated with getting in and out of the vehicle to check and adjust vehicle positioning. Mosbrucker developed a prototype of StopSensor and enrolled his business idea in Innovate ND, an entrepreneurial competition sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Commerce. According to Mosbrucker, participating in the Innovate ND competition (and the $15,000 in start-up funds that came with his subsequent win) kicked off a series of events that has made StopSensor a viable and growing business.

"It was an exciting time," Mosbrucker says. "I was one of five Innovate ND idea champions, and I won in agriculture and the advanced manufacturing category also. That was pretty exciting."

Mosbrucker also received a grant from the Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) to help develop StopSensor. Currently, Mosbrucker is taking export classes with support from the North Dakota Trade Office and developing distribution channels for his product. As far as market potential for StopSensor, Mosbrucker says the sky's the limit.

"I've worked in many industries, so I knew there would be a lot of uses for this, but it's gone far beyond that," says Mosbrucker. "Almost constantly I'm being told of different uses. I get companies asking, ‘Can you help me solve this problem?' Absolutely I can."

To learn more about the Innovate ND entrepreneurial competition, visit InnovateND.com.
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