REDWOOD FALLS - For the first time in 56 years, it appears the next Minnesota Inventors Congress (MIC) Invention & Idea Show will not be in Redwood Falls.
The 2014 MIC will be moved to the Twin Cities, location and date to be determined. The change came about after Inventors asked for a larger test market opportunity with more exposure to industry experts, according to the MIC. More event partners are being sought, with plans to hold events in April instead of June, in order to enable more schools to participate, among other things, according to the MIC website.
The MIC recently received a $170,000 Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) grant to continue and expand its services to aspiring inventors. The grant will allow the MIC to improve its services for inventors, according to the MIC website.
The MIC has been sponsoring two annual shows at the same time, the Invention & Idea Show, and the Minnesota Student Inventors Congress.
Julie Rath, MIC board member, said many surveyed MIC participants asked to have the shows moved to the Twin Cities in order to save travel time and costs.
"It's really more of a conference than a community event. We regularly draw participants from 14 to 16 states," Rath said. "We're looking at bigger venues with more people and entities. If we're going to grow, we have to look at doing things differently."
Deb Hess, MIC Program Director, said she is having "fruitful" conversations with a number of organizations interested in partnering with the MIC in the Twin Cities metro area.
"We're not looking to partner with just anyone," Hess said. "It has to be a good fit with educational, business, industrial and entrepreneurial components."
The purpose of the MIC has been to help manufacturers find new products, knowing that new products lead to new markets that create new jobs. The MIC will continue to support aspiring inventors.
For more information, visit www.minnesotainventorscongress.org/invention-idea-show/
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).