IDEA Competition Announces Three Winners for 2014

The IDEA Competition announced the names of three 2014 winners on Wednesday, April 24th at the IDEA awards banquet held at the Sanford Center, Bemidji.  Each winner receives $10,000 in cash to advance their business idea, plus additional specialized technical assistance. 

The 2014 Winners are:
·      Brian & Coreen Berdahl, Red Lake Falls, for Reel-Deal – a line spooling device that quickly and easily transfers fishing line from a standard size line spool to a fishing rod. 
·        Cindy Krankkala, Thief River Falls, for Addy-Olly, LLC – an innovative play yard mattress cover that meets the highest standards of child safety.
·        Robert Cloose, Bagley, for CR Data Solutions – a software product that will revolutionize installation and testing of fiber optic splices.

2014 Winners: Robert Cloose, Brian & Coreen Berdahl, Cindy Krankkala

The main goal of the IDEA competition is to assist 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.

The IDEA Hall of Fame added Don Ricke, founder of TEAM Industries to its distinguished list of past inductees. The IDEA Hall of Fame was established to recognize the accomplishments of the region’s legacy innovators—those within the region who have inspired others with their entrepreneurial vision, leadership and achievement.

Ricke Family: Deb Matthews, David Ricke and Bea Ricke

In the previous five years, 20 innovators from throughout northwestern Minnesota have received IDEA awards. Their combined economic impact includes:

• High potential innovations identified, funded, and assisted: seventeen

• Jobs created or retained as a result: forty-two

• Job creation projections: fifty or more

• Total combined sales revenues: more than $8 million

• Number of loans approved: thirteen

IDEA sponsors are 360◦ Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence, Arvig, Border State Bank, Bremer Bank of Crookston and Warren, Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc., NID Inc., Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Northwest Regional Small Business Development Center, Ultima Bank Minnesota, University of Minnesota Crookston, and Wells Fargo Bank. For information about becoming a sponsor visit


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