Four of the N2TEC Technology Accelerator teams pitched their businesses to investors Monday evening July 27 at a Deal Dating event sponsored by N2TEC Institute and the South Dakota Enterprise Institute at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Sioux Falls. The event was the culmination of an 8-week intensive program designed to get these businesses organized and launched. During the 8-week program, the entrepreneurs worked with local mentors from industry, government agencies, and NGOs in Sioux Falls and Vermillian, South Dakota as well as the N2TEC Institute team to refine their business models, build their prototypes, and secure needed resources.
Ryan VanZee (left) started his Academic Improvement Corporation from a desire to motivate kids to do well in school and in life. A former athlete and school principal, Dr. VanZee, whose doctoral research was focused on student motivation, wrote the program "to include the major areas of cognitive psychology...and high levels of student connectivity to each lesson." His team has field-tested his interactive DVD and workbook in middle school, high school, and at college levels, all with positive feedback from both teachers and students. So far, he has already sold more than 150 units and is focusing on growing his market.
Brandon Bruder and John Warner (right) can tell you about the "gut-wrenching pain of losing animal" you've been hunting because they are expert bowhunters and they know that not recovering a wounded animal is a common scenario that plays out more than a half million times every year. The life-long friends have invented a patent-pending tracking solution that enables bowhunters to successfuly track their wounded game in any type of weather using their normal setup. With strategic alliances such as the National Field Archery Association and Bowhunting World Magazine and the support of the entire town of Yankton, SD, they are preparing to launch their first product through their company Bowhunting Science Inc. in January 2010.
Nate Edwards (left) believes that the future of golf course and driving range maintenance lies in robots. Coming to the Accelerator Program from Oregon, Nate's company, Edwards Robotics, will be offering a robotic solution that will save money and be much safer than current methods of recovering golf balls. Nate's 20 years of golfing experience and 8 years building robots helps him understand his customer's needs. He expects to be ready to see the first product in early 201
Scott and John Meyers are South Dakota natives who returned after a number of years in Minnesota and Norway where they tested a concept for a business that they started in Sioux Falls during the Accelerator Program. 9 Clouds is a social marketing firm that provides small and mid-sized businesses with the social media tools and capabilities they need to reach the Millennial demographic. Their employees are the demographic their customers want to reach. The Meyers brothers already have several customers and are looking at how to expand their model to other regions.
"We thought the program was extremely beneficial, professionally conducted and most of all that everyone involved seemed to have a true vested interest in helping us succeed," said John Warner of Bowhunting Science. "We learned a lot during the eight-week Accelerator program and truly do not know where BSI would be without having participated in it." N2TEC Institute will be announcing the 2010 program October 14 at the Innovation Expo where the Accelerator teams will be presenting their products.