Students Pitch Products to Entrepreneurs During Mock Trade Show

Shoma Iwasaki presenting "Game Changer"

Shoma Iwasaki presenting "Game Changer"

On April 20 Bemidji State University students taking marketing classes with Dr. Angie Kovarik, assistant professor of business administration, held a mock trade show at Bemidji’s entrepreneurial support center, the LaunchPad.

In place of its weekly Entrepreneur Meet-Up, the LaunchPad invited entrepreneurs and members of the Bemidji community to explore student’s academic work in trade show-style booths where they pitched their products.

Students present their original products to prospective clients
L-R: Skylar Tillery & Alaina Hall

Though normally an annual event, this year’s trade show was the first since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. Kovarik said the event is an opportunity for students to showcase their original product ideas using marketing concepts.

“The mock trade show benefits students by giving them networking and presentation experience,” she said. “It helps them hone in on soft skills.”

Student groups engaged in a friendly competition sponsored by Entrepreneur Meet-Up members for best presentation.

The Sip Saver, a bracelet that can detect if your drink has been spiked with a drug, received the Best Overall award. The product idea was developed by Macy Strandlien, a marketing communication freshman from Shevlin, Minnesota, Spencer Shaver, an exercise science junior from Savage, Minnesota, and Daeja Nylund, a business administration freshman from Baxter, Minnesota.

Students presents to prospective clients
L-R: Deaja NyLund, Macy Strandlien, Rachel Munson, assistant director of communications and marketing, and Nancy Haugen, associate director of career services.

“The Sip Saver is a bracelet for men and women that helps reduce drug-induced sexual assault,” Strandlien said. “We wanted to create something that was very practical and discreet – available for everyday use so you never forget it.”

Student winners received gift cards and bluetooth speakers provided by the LaunchPad.

Additional product ideas included:

  • THA, a travel tool that helps students find accommodations while studying abroad;
  • Weed Off, an automatic boat wash to limit the spread of invasive species;
  • Game Changer, a sports jersey that changes color for efficiency;
  • Lunarra, a smart house device with multiple appliance integrations;
  • Infinity Inferno, a self-feeding fire place;
  • Kartskis, skis for shopping carts;
  • Snoboni, a self-driving all-terrain vehicle that can plow and smooth frozen lakes; and
  • Vator, a built-in, automatic car jack.


Student Trade Show Participants

The following students presented their original product ideas during the 2022 mock trade show:

Vator Christopher Afram Accounting Senior
Weed Off Alexander Bartley Mass Communication & Marketing Communication Sophomore
Weed Off Brenden Benike Business Administration Junior
Vator Brody Butcher Business Administration Junior
Game Changer Reegan Goulding Business Administration Sophomore
Infinity Inferno Nathan Gruhlke Business Administration Freshman
Lunarra Alaina Hall Exercise Science Junior
Snoboni Grant Hartmann Business Administration Sophomore
Infinity Inferno Elijah Huff Exercise Science Senior
Game Changer Shoma Iwasaki Business Administration Junior
Vator Adam Jensen Business Administration Junior
Weed Off Justin Keezer Business Administration Sophomore
Weed Off Jarrett Kondos General Studies Freshman
THA Madison Krumrei Exercise Science Junior
Vator Jackson Loschko Economics & Business Administration Junior
Snoboni Joshua McLain Business Administration Sophomore
Kartskis Sydni Miles Business Administration Junior
Weed Off Evan Mischke Business Administration Junior
THA Lizzy Mullen Business Administration Sophomore
Infinity Inferno Thorild Nelson Mass Communication Junior
Sip Saver Daeja Nylund Business Administration Freshman
THA Madelyn Opdahl Business Administration Sophomore
Game Changer Halle Peterson Business Administration Junior
THA Josie Poulsen Mass Communication Freshman
Kartskis Alexis Putzier Accounting Sophomore
Kartskis Lacey Restad Business Administration & Elementary Education Junior
Lunarra Kolu Roberts Business Administration Junior
Kartskis Meghan Roy Business Administration Sophomore
Sip Saver Spencer Shaver Exercise Science Sophomore
Sip Saver Macy Strandlien Marketing Communication Freshman
Infinity Inferno Conner Sullivan Economics & Business Administration Sophomore
Lunarra Skyler Tillery Business Administration Freshman
Snoboni Ryan Tomczak Computer Information Systems Junior
THA Claire Witte Marketing Communication Sophomore
Lunarra Ebube Zulu-Okafor Business Administration Senior