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Finalists in I.D.E.A. WF Announced

This year's I.D.E.A. Wichita Falls competition is drawing to a close.  The annual competition allows entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas, and pump up the local economy.

And then there were six.

I.D.E.A. Wichita Falls judges will choose which of the six remaining companies will be this year's winner.

Here's the first contender...

"Austin Paige is the company name, but they are selling a product called eagle flats picante sauce.  And that's actually already available in area Walmarts and Uniteds," says Dr. Jeff Stambaugh, who's in charge of the competition and is the director of MSU's Munir Lalani Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.

Another food business, Keeno's Steakhouse Jerky, recently opened an emporium on Old Jacksboro Highway.

"He has this delicious-tasting jerky and he's looking to take that jerky state-wide and nation-wide," Stambaugh says.

The third food-type business caters to pets.

"And that's Two Sisters' Bakery and they sell a gourmet, organic, oat-based dog cookie," Stambaugh says.

They've already been in production and are now looking to expand their business.

Next up is Hillbilly Heaven.

"Their idea is to host recurring mud rallies," Stambaugh says.  "People pay big money to take their vehicles into mud pits and watch other people take their vehicles into mud pits and it sounds like a great time."

Another sporting event idea builds on Wichita Falls' well-established bike heritage.

"And that is to build a BMX track very close to historic Berend's Landing right there in the northern part of downtown and the idea there is people travel to participate in BMX races," Stambaugh says.

And last is a company called Night Logos.

"This gives an apparatus that you can plug into the receiver hitch and it has a customizable light that shines a customizable logo out the back," Stambaugh says.

The product also projects the logo on the ground underneath the vehicle, too.

Up next for the masterminds behind these business ideas: they'll make a presentation pitch to the competition judges April 16.

The winner will be announced the next day.

The winner will be announced at a luncheon at MSU, starting at 11:30 am the 17th.

Attendees will enjoy a steak lunch and a presentation by Steve Felice, the president and chief commercial officer for Dell computers.

If you'd like to go to the lunch, call Kathy McGowan at 397-4002.

Tickets are $20 each.
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