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Sixteen IDEA winners advance to second round

Sixteen ideas with the potential to be profitable business ventures were recently advanced to round two of the IDEA Competition. Round one of the competition closed Nov. 30, and judges reviewed all submissions in December.

Sixteen winners, whose names were not released, were chosen from a field that started with 66 registrants.

"We received applications from all over the region - Roseau, Argyle, Williams, Fosston, Warroad, Bagley, McIntosh, Leonard, Goodridge, Waubun, Leonard, Bemidji, Thief River Falls and Ada, among other communities," said Michelle Landsverk, project coordinator. "We were extremely pleased with the quality of all the applications that we saw this year. Northwest Minnesota is truly a region of innovators."

The 16 winners will now advance to the second round, for which they will have to submit more detailed plans, which are due by Feb. 15. From there, a panel of judges will select the finalists who will compete in the last round. The final judging will take place May 4. As many as five winners will each receive $10,000 to advance his or her innovative idea.

The main goal of the IDEA competition is to assist the most 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 Competition is a project of Ingenuity Frontier, a collaboration of partners joined by a common purpose -- to grow the economy of Northwest Minnesota by outfitting the next generation of homegrown innovators for success in the global marketplace.

Innovators who missed this year's entry deadline are encouraged to continue refining their business ideas and enter the competition next year in September.

For details on the competition, visit the IDEA Web site at