Stittsworth Meats Earns $10,000 Cash Prize
Three winners were announced as the 2017 IDEA competition winners and one is from Bemidji. The winners were recognized at an awards banquet on April 25 at the Beaux Arts Ballroom at Bemidji State University.
Mychal Stittsworth, Bemidji, for Stittsworth Meats, Chiara and Travis Bolton, Hubbard County, for Bolton Bees and Todd Sandwick, Fosston, for DeanUltraThinRetainer all won the top prize.
Each winner will receive $10,000 in cash to advance their business idea plus additional specialized technical assistance.
Stittworth worked to bring a means of USDA inspected slaughter to Northern Minnesota through the use of of a USDA approved Mobile Slaughter Unit (MSU). It will enable any local farmer no matter the size to sell their meat in a retail setting. The MSU has the capability to go where the livestock live therefore reducing the stress on the animal and increasing yield and quality of the meat.
Bolton Bees provides hard bees to backyard beekeepers, creates local, distinct, raw and location-specific honey; forms partnerships with solar companies to create pollinator friendly habits.
DeanUltraThinRetainer solves problem seen in standard acrylic Hawley retainers and does so by making use of pre-existing, time-tested materials.
The IDEA competition assists promising local entrepreneurs in the commercialization of innovative products, processes and deliveries by connecting them to the best resources available.
The 2017 runners up are Keila McCracken, Bemidji, for Bare Cloth; Russ Karasch and Robert Monahan, Park Rapids, for Squarrel Cooperage, LLC; Jeremy Leffelman, Bemidji and Joel Anderson, Solway, for Raptor Rack.