One of our own wins at Innovate North Dakota

Congratulations to the Bakken Oil Business Journal’s Advertising team member Larry Mosbrucker of New Salem, ND. Larry is the brains and entrepreneur of Stop Sensor, and contestant in this years Innovate ND Program. Larry garnered the Idea Champion title, and won the Value-Added Ag and Advanced Manufacturing category. North Dakotans sure know how to work, and bring a new level of entrepreneurship to business. Congratulations Larry!

Read the full article here by ND Commerce

Innovate ND Awarded Cash Prizes

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.

A panel of 10 private sector judges made the final selections out of a field of 20 finalists on Tuesday afternoon before announcing the five winning teams that each received $15,000 in cash and a valuable package of in-kind professional services to help them launch and grow their business. Cash prizes were made possible by the generosity of private sector business.

“Innovate ND is an exciting program that highlights hardworking innovators of North Dakota’s first-in-the-nation economy,” Lt. Gov. Wrigley said. “Our economic future is in the hands of creative, problem-solving individuals with a promising idea and the commitment to building their business right here in North Dakota.”

The five winning entries, unranked, are:

    • Equinox Analytics, Bismarck, ND
    • StopSensor, New Salem, ND
    • Theratainment, Fargo, ND
    • Webcast America, West Fargo, ND
    • Zoovio, Mandan, ND

The winners of the category awards and the winner of the People’s Choice Award were also named.

The winner of the People’s Choice Award went to Gimme Hockey. This is an idea a website for players and hockey camp organizers for promotion, selection, registration, payment, and review. An online database gives prospective customers the ability to sort camps based on the following criteria: skill level, gender, age, date, location, price, and/or name. More than 2,000 total votes were cast. For the fourth year, the $500 cash award was sponsored by the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce.

Category winners each received $500 each provided by industry sponsors. The winners in each of the five categories are:
Value-Added Ag and Advanced Manufacturing – StopSensor, New Salem, ND
Energy and Technology Based – Solargy Lights, Neche and Grand Forks, ND
Retail-Based – Bag’Em Outdoors, Hankinson, ND
Youth Entrepreneurship – Video Promoting ND, Argusville, ND
Women/Minorities/Rural Entrepreneurship – Collapsible Urine Hat, Bismarck, ND

“Our goal with Innovate ND is to help entrepreneurs turn business ideas into functional businesses,” Anderson said. “To date, nearly 800 people with 400 ideas have participated in the program and 125 new businesses are operational or in the development stage as a result.”

Partners from across the state provided technical assistance to 74 teams and 160 participants in the competition this year.

All finalists completed an extensive written summary and made an oral presentation in front of the panel of judges. In selecting winners, judges looked at five criteria: innovation, commercial viability, investment opportunity, entrepreneur team and quality of presentation. The People’s Choice Award was determined by online voting and the category winners were determined by the sponsor of the category.

Innovate ND was launched in November 2006 by the governor and was coordinated by the Governor’s Office, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the UND Center for Innovation, and the NDSU Technology & Research Park. Forum Communications was the lead sponsor for Innovate ND. Participants paid $250 to enroll in the program.

The program was made possible by more than $200,000 in private-sector contributions and in-kind professional services donations as well as appropriated funds from the Department of Commerce. For more information, see

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