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Published May 22 2012

Innovate ND doles out awards to 5 idea-driven companies

FARGO – A videotape conversion company and a webcasting service were among five business ideas honored at the sixth annual Innovate ND Social, Entrepreneurial Ideas Showcase and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday.

Innovate ND, a statewide economic development initiative encouraging entrepreneurs to turn business ideas into functional businesses, honored 20 business team finalists at the event.

A total of 74 teams entered the competition when it started last fall.

Of the 20, the five that were named the Innovate ND Idea Champions were:

• Zoovio, by Mario Anderson of Mandan. Zoovio provides a digital conversion service of all formats of old videotapes to an Internet server accessible by computer, phone or television.

• Webcast America, by Mark Gilbertson of West Fargo. The business offers webcast and online streaming of live and recorded events.

• Stop Sensor, by Larry Mosbrucker of New Salem. The company provides a service to truckers and farmers that assists in the loading and unloading of materials by alerting drivers when to stop.

• Equinox Analytics, by Aaron Smith of Bismarck. Equinox Analytics uses image processing technology in mapping applications, such as engineering, natural resources management and more.

• Theratainment, by Ashley Hahn of Fargo. The company creates customized video games that help patients going through muscular rehabilitation.

Each champion won a $15,000 prize, in addition to in-kind professional services to help launch and grow their businesses.

Earlier in the night, attendants at the event heard remarks from Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, who said the entrepreneurial spirit of the finalists helps to make North Dakota’s economy strong and stable.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535