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Idea Challenge Update

Posted by Christina on June 15th, 2014

The Idea Challenge is an annual contest the Eau Claire Area EDC hosts. Any individual in the community can apply with their new idea of a product or service. The idea can be anything from a brand new product idea to an enhancement for a current product. There is no limit to who can apply, an individual with no business experience has just as much of a chance to win as someone who owns a business. Currently the EDC is seeing a steady stream of applications submitted that have product ideas with high potential, and is on track to have another strong year of applications.

Once the EDC receives the Idea Challenge application, the EDC helps research and determine marketplace feasibility. Based on feasibility and what stage the idea is currently in, the EDC assists and outreaches to advance the product forward, including (but not limited to): securing financing, licensing agreements, research and development, patent research, and prototype manufacturing.

For example: This year, an individual submitted a general manufacturing idea and had no prototype or engineering background. The EDC saw a local avenue to market that could be a fit and, with just an idea, the EDC worked hand in hand with this individual. Within three months a manufacturer who had the capacity and capability to develop a prototype and bring the product to market was located and the individual now has a signed licensing agreement with that manufacturer.

In addition to the assistance provided, there are several prizes available. Top 5 contestants receive $500, 3 contestants receive $1,000 business service award, and the grand prize winner receives $5,000 towards reimbursable business expenses.
For more information or to submit your idea, visit