Brookings Idea Competition winners announced
By Brookings Economic Development Corporation

Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) recently announced the winners of the annual Idea Competition. This year marked the tenth year of the contest, which encourages Brookings area residents and SDSU students to think about starting new businesses.

“The judges had a difficult time selecting winners this year because there were so many great ideas,” said Jennifer Quail, BEDC Director of Entrepreneur Support. “It is exciting to see such creativity in our community.”

Twenty-five people submitted a one page description of their product or business idea. The field was then narrowed to nine finalists who pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. The first place prize of $1,000 cash was awarded to Cody Butler for his idea, The PongleTM. The PongleTM is a thumb-sized piece of electronic hardware that attaches to any ping-pong racket. The hardware combines with a software component to create a ‘player-centric’ participation model showing the player nearby available tables to use and possible opponents of equal skill level. Visit www.facebook.com/ThePongle to follow Cody’s progress as he works to make the idea a reality.

Other prize winners included: $500 each to Wyatt Robins for Air Supply Aerial and Riley Thelen for BookBarter; and $250 each to Nate Lax for House Hub and Bob Hesse for Bobby Goat Mower. Other finalists included: Andrew Waterman, Carter Dykstra, Derek Christians and Kent Miller.

Winners will work with BEDC to develop milestones that will help take their ideas to the next stage of development, according to Quail. “Our goal is to encourage Brookings area residents to explore the possibility of creating new businesses around product or service ideas,” she said.

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