07 Oct StrandVision, Arctic Cool win Eau Claire business contest awards
Eau Claire, Wis. — Two very different types of technologies — one virtual, one corporeal — were on display Friday as the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp. presented its latest business awards.
The “Create Your Own Business” contest was started in 1986 and given awards or special recognitions to 60 businesses. Winners receive cash awards and access to low-interest loans. Since 1986, the EDC has awarded $106,000 in cash awards and $246,000 in low interest loans.
StrandVision, LLC, a “digital signage company,” received an award in the Emerging Growth category. StrandVision, also operating as Online-Kiosks.net, markets a method for business customers to display constantly changing messages using computer or television displays to select target audiences. StrandVision, LLC will receive a $10,000 cash award, approximately $3,500 of discounted and/or in-kind business services and will also become eligible for a $25,000 low interest loan.
Owner Mike Strand won the same award in 1989 with a business plan for StrandWare, which developed bar code software industry. StrandWare was ultimately sold to Brady Corp. of Milwaukee.
Winning the Micro-Business category was Arctic Cool, LLC, which designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells garments that transfer body heat away from the wearer.
The mission of Arctic Cool is “to become the leader in the cooling garment industry by producing low-cost cooling garments, such as vests, headbands, helmet-liners, wraps, and blankets, with extended cooling ability, reusability, and mobility to customers in environments where heat-stress or muscle strain adversely affect performance and comfort,” according to an EDC press release.
Pennee Rogman is the owner of Arctic Cool.
Arctic Cool will receive a $2,500 cash award, approximately $2,500 of discounted or in-kind services and will also become eligible for a $5,000 low interest loan.
The Emerging Growth category is for small businesses that are still in concept stage or that have been in business for two years or less. Companies in that category should be or provide services to the manufacturing/technology businesses and have the potential for substantial employment growth. The Micro-Business category is for small businesses that are still in concept stage or that have been in business for two years or less. Companies in that category may include home-based businesses and non-manufacturing/technology related businesses that may serve a market beyond the Eau Claire area.
The Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp., a not-for-profit corporation, is a public-private sector partnership working to facilitate local job growth by working with local entrepreneurs, businesses, governments and businesses seeking to locate and create jobs in the Eau Claire area.
A third contest category recognizing new youth enterprises was not awarded this year, said Brian Doudna, EDC executive director. One entry was submitted but it did not meet EDC standards, he said.
The EDC received support in 2005 from area businesses, including W.J. Bauman Associates, LTD, The Bottom Line, Charter Media, Chippewa Valley B2B, Documation, LLC, E.O. Johnson Co., Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, j.olsen Typography, Patti’s Photos and Ruder Ware, SC.
¥ Click here for a related article on the Eau Claire business plan contest.