NOTE TO MEDIA: Impacks, Mezclada, Piivately and Trimyxs are spelled correctly.
For additional information, contact: Nick Tietz, Founder and CEO of ILT Studios, at 651-755-3524; or Leslie Dingmann, Business Development Director of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, at 320-493-9003.
5 area innovators are finalists for the West Central Trailblazer Challenge on April 13
- CLOUD, Minn. / April 11, 2022– Five finalists have been chosen to make their pitch April 13 to judges in the West Central Trailblazer Challenge, a new competition open to all West Central, Minnesota, residents with plans for a new company or businesses that have been incorporated for less than a year.
The finalist with the business idea judged to be best will receive $5,000 to help develop their companies. Each entrant, which could be a team of up to four people, submitted a one-page description of their idea and a short video.
The West Central Trailblazer Challenge was organized by the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, in cooperation with Greater Fergus Falls, the Greater Fargo/Moorhead Economic Development Corporation and St. Cloud’s ILT Studios, as part of their combined efforts to build a stronger entrepreneur ecosystem in the region.
“The West Central Trailblazer Challenge was created to equip entrepreneurs and innovators to disrupt the status quo and create meaningful change while creating more opportunities to address the biggest challenges across our communities,” said Nick Tietz, Founder and CEO of ILT Studios. “The five finalists are great examples of people with excellent ideas for blazing a new trail.”
The five finalists from the West Central, Minnesota region, who will make their April 13 pitch at ILT Studios in the Davidson Opera House at 113 Fifth Avenue South, are listed in alphabetical order:
Hummingbird Golf, from Collegeville, is a pioneering luxury golf brand that aims to revolutionize the golf luxury product industry by bringing thoughtful product engineering to the hand of every golfer. Hummingbird’s 6-in-1 golf multi-tool features include a ball alignment stencil, sharp groove cleaner, magnet, bottle opener, ball-mark repair tool and club-rest. Part of Hummingbird’s appeal is that its retail price of $19 bridges the gap between $6 plastic tools and $70 Swiss Army Knife tools, not all of which have Hummingbird’s features.
Impacks, from St. Cloud, is a platform designed to improve the back-to-school shopping experience for parents, while also supporting educators and classrooms. Impacks launched in 2020 and has run two pilots over the past two years, successfully bringing to market a customized, prepackaged school supply kit solution. Impacks is now developing a classroom subscription product that would become the “piggy bank” for the classroom: Impacks would be used to collect money from parents on a monthly or annual basis, and those dollars would accumulate in an account that educators could access through a mobile app to buy the supplies they need throughout the year.
Mezclada, from Vergas, is an online learning platform for beginning farmers – whether from a farm family or are first-generation farmers – that provides training and solutions to accessing land and capital for historically marginalized farmers. Unlike existing training programs that focus on technical skills, Mezclada helps farmers tap into resources by releasing limiting beliefs, mastering manifestation and understanding their human design.
Piivately, from St. Cloud, is a cyber security company built for mid-sized companies that are stewards of customers’ personal information and are currently dissatisfied with the fragmented landscape that lacks standards when it comes to securing personal data. Piivately’s solution is an end-to-end encrypted database as a service that can connect to existing infrastructure and solve the problem of customers’ data not being adequately protected. Unlike inhouse systems, Piivately has a comprehensive suite of features tailored to safeguarding personal information and proactively countering evolving threats
Trimyxs, from Moorhead, is the name of the first-ever universal push lawnmower attachment. The Trimyxs allows consumers to not only mow their lawn but also trim and edge all at the same time. This previously time-consuming chore is now made simple with the push of a trigger. The Trimyxs has been engineered with buyers in mind, created with three easily attachable parts that are compatible with most standard name brand lawnmowers (e.g., Honda, Cub Cadet, Ego, Troy-Bilt, Toro, etc.). The Trimyxs was designed to be simple, convenient and time saving.
The competition was open to entrants living in these counties: Becker, Benton, Clay, Crow Wing, Douglas, Grant, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pope, Sherburne, Stearns, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Wadena, Wilkin or Wright. Additional information about the competition may be found at: www.iltstudios.com/wctrailblazerchallenge2022.
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