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Eau Claire business contest honors tech start ups

Eau Claire, Wis. - Two companies, including an online application provider, have won the 2006 "Creating Your Own Business" contest sponsored by the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp.

Winners in the micro business and emerging-growth categories, respectively, were STAGE5, LLC, an online application service provider of real estate appointment software, and KingBuilt.com, Inc., a producer of multi-oil combustion systems.

In addition to recognition, winning has other rewards. STAGE5 will receive a $2,500 cash award, discounted or in-kind services, and may also become eligible for a $5,000 low-interest loan. KingBuilt.com will receive a $10,000 cash award, discounted or in-kind business services, and it might become eligible for a $25,000 low-interest loan.

STAGE5 is seeking to meet a market need with its real estate appointment software called Bookashowing.com. The product connects real estate agents, their clients, and others involved in the home-showing process, captures any feedback from the showing process, and can be used to maintain detailed property transaction records.

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The potential use of KingBuilt.com's hydronic preheat system, applied in a multi-oil combustion burner, is broad-based and includes every facility that requires heating or process heat energy.

Among its line of products are a new method of multi-oil incineration that eliminates the need for frequent maintenance and burner overhauling, and works with fuels ranging from waste motor oils to "bio oils" like glycerin.

The selection panel for this contest, which has been held since 1986, was comprised of six Eau Claire area business leaders. The winning companies were honored during a luncheon hosted by the EDC, the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Entrepreneur Program, and Downtown Eau Claire, Inc.

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