Finalists advancing in Innovate NDThe sixth annual Innovate ND Social, Entrepreneurial Ideas Showcase and Awards Ceremony is set for May 22, at the Ramada Plaza Suites in Fargo. The event will feature the ideas of 20 of this year’s top finalists and conclude with the announcement of the 2012 Innovate ND Idea Champions. Winners will receive cash and in-kind prizes to help them forward their winning business ideas in North Dakota.
The sixth annual Innovate ND Social, Entrepreneurial Ideas Showcase and Awards Ceremony is set for May 22, at the Ramada Plaza Suites in Fargo. The event will feature the ideas of 20 of this year’s top finalists and conclude with the announcement of the 2012 Innovate ND Idea Champions. Winners will receive cash and in-kind prizes to help them forward their winning business ideas in North Dakota.
The social will begin at 4:30 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and Appareo Systems President and CEO Barry Batcheller will be featured at the event. Registration is available at InnovateND.com/Award and tickets may also be purchased at the door. The cost to attend is $20.
The top 20 teams in the competition will showcase their ideas during the business social and networking event, providing attendees the opportunity to meet contestants and ask questions about their business ideas.
New this year is the naming of a winner in each of the five categories of competition. Categories include: Valued-Added Ag & Advanced Manufacturing, sponsored by MAC, Inc.; Energy and Technology-Based, sponsored by Amber Waves Electronics; Retail-Based, sponsored by DogIDs.com; Women/Minorities/Rural Entrepreneurs, sponsored by Earth-Kind; and Youth Entrepreneurship, sponsored by North Dakota Youth Entrepreneurship Education Program.
The People’s Choice Award winner will also be named. Online voting for the award will run through May 18 at InnovateNDPeoplesChoice.com.
The following entrepreneurs and ideas have been selected to advance into the Innovate ND finals May 21-22. One participant requested to remain anonymous.
StopSensor, New Salem
Zoovio, Inc., Mandan
Marathon Fundraisers, Grand Forks
Modular Development Group, Grand Forks
MyQuub, Grand Forks
Next Gen Sales, Grand Forks
Power Evolved, Grand Forks
Solargy Lights, Neche
Bag’em Outdoors, Hankinson
BreadVault, LLC., West Fargo
City Zapp/Locality, Fargo
On-Site Locate, Fargo
Webcast America, West Fargo
Out of State
Gimme Hockey, Neb.
Yellow Dart Industries, Minn.
Background on Judging and Innovate ND
The 20 final competitors were narrowed from 74 teams that began the competition in October. In selecting ideas for the final round, judges look at five criteria: innovation, commercial viability, investment opportunity, entrepreneur team and quality of presentation. Twelve judges representing angel funds across the state will select the final five winners.
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 of Innovate ND. Other sponsors include Great River Energy, The Coteau Properties Company, The Falkirk Mining Company, Kadrmas Lee & Jackson, MDU, Bismarck-Mandan Development Corporation, James-town-Stutsman Development Corp., First Western Bank and Trust - Minot, Marathon Oil, Otter Tail Corporation, North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, Solarbee, Agency MABU, North Dakota Society of Certified Public Accountants, National Information Solution Cooperative (NISC), Odney, Basin Electric, Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, Jamestown/ Stutsman Develoment Corporation, Steffes Corporation, North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, Solarbee Inc., AE2S, Gray Plant Mooty, Marathon Oil, Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, Earth-kind, Amber Waves Electronics, North Dakota Youth Entrepreneurship Education Program, VCMentor.com, DogIDs.com and MAC, Inc.