By: Casey Wonnenberg, KELO TV


Do you have an idea for a new business or gadget?

You could win $1,500 in a Brookings competition.

When it comes to ping pong, Cody Butler is not only looking to win this game, but also score a new business. Butler is working on a device that keeps track of a player’s score and connects him or her with other sport lovers.

“It allows me to see tables that I can use that are around me. It would also allow me to see opponents that I could possibly play,” Butler said.

With his Pongle proposal, Butler won $1,000 in last year’s Brookings Area Idea Competition.

“We look at this as an opportunity to spur economic development in the Brookings Community,” Director of Entrepreneur Support Jennifer Quail said.

The Brookings Economic Development Corporation is behind the competition. To take part you submit a one page paper about your idea. 10 finalists then pitch their plan.

“It’s a little like Shark Tank, but we’re a lot nicer,” Quail said.

In addition to possible financial support, applicants can also get other resources at the Brookings Economic Development Corporation.

“As far as entrepreneur support and business plan and market research,” Quail said.

With the extra help, Butler was able to partner with SDSU engineering students to make the Pongle. He hopes to soon start selling the devices.

“With working prototypes from the students, I could launch a Kickstarter campaign and try to presell 10,000 pieces,” Butler said.

Pieces that will hopefully help this ping pong player win the business game.

You can submit an idea until Tuesday, February 13.

For details on how you can take part, check out this this site.


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