Business Students Showcase Innovative Product Ideas to Local Entrepreneurs

Bemidji State University marketing students presenting their original projects to local entrepreneurs

Bemidji State University marketing students presenting their original projects to local entrepreneurs

Bemidji State University marketing students held a mock trade show at Bemidji’s LaunchPad facility on Dec. 4.

In the beginning of the fall semester, students taught by Dr. Angie Kovarik, assistant professor of business administration, came up with new product ideas and used marketing concepts to develop details for their products. These concepts included concept testing, packaging and labeling, promotions, marketing mix, and Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis.

Student groups engaged in a friendly competition sponsored by Lucky Dogs for best overall booth, best logo and best presentation. LaunchPad, a co-working space and hub for entrepreneurial support for the Bemidji region, invited entrepreneurs and members of the Bemidji community to explore student’s academic work in trade show-style booths.

“This semester we received many positive comments from the entrepreneurs and community members. They were quite impressed with the confidence and professionalism that thestudents displayed,” Kovarik said.“Several stated that this was the best student trade show to date.”

Best Overall Award: It’s Possible, a product to help amputees continue to play sports that involve sticks or clubs, was created by Steven Johanss, Naomi Schiller, Margaret Donnay, Haley Soltis and Alex Stenberg. This product works by attaching to existing sports equipment and include adjustable hand grips and forearm support.

Best Logo Award: AllerKnow, a peanut testing device, was created by Matthew Kummet, Isabelle Morin, Graem Fenson and Alyssa Stumbaugh. This device can be worn around the wrist and taken with the user wherever they go. Disposable samplers take a small sample from the food to be analyzed and if presence of peanut protein is detected, the device will display a red screen and alert the user.

Best Presentation Award: MN Knives, a special cutting board to aid people with disabilities, was created by Taylor Vold, Morgan Stienessen, Madison Johnson, Kristen Petron and Kailey Springer. The cutting board offers a connective knife that allows the user to alternate blades, providing an easy clean and less hassle.


Bemidji State University, located amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,100 students, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and eight graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. BSU is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. The university’s Shared Fundamental Values include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and international and multicultural understanding. For more, visit or find us at BemidjiState on most of your favorite social media networks.