Students and recent alumni of Minnesota State University-Mankato shared their ideas in the final round of an entrepreneurial competition with the hopes of winning big.  
 
The Big Ideas Challenge encourages those pursuing the entrepreneurial path. Six different individuals and groups shared their project ideas ranging from dog training to oven cameras to reusable markers.
 
"It's an absolutely wonderful way to help young entrepreneurs to take that step in launching their business and also if they already have a business it helps them to kind of get out of their shell a little bit and get in front of people, talk about their business in a more substantive way than they might otherwise and it also encourages them to firm up their business plan," said the Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Dr. Yvonne Cariveau.
 
A panel of local judges decided the winner of the competition, EnduraMark. A company that sells a refillable dry erase marker that is environmentally friendly.
 
"I knew how much work we put into it and there's a level of when I think back at that, it makes sense. You earn some things and I knew we put in the level of detail and supporting work that needed to be done," said Benjamin Lundquist, and Integrated Engineering student.


"I've been talking to them, sometimes for years, sometimes it's only for a few months but in the course of that time we really get a chance to talk over their dreams and their hopes. I get a chance to coach them and their plans and their pitches and when they get up on stage and all the rough edges are gone and they present, I'm literally sitting back with my heart two sizes, too big, I'm very excited for them and I'm very proud of them," Cariveau added.
 
The next steps for members of EnduraMark will be to harness the connections they've made as they continue to improve and grow their endeavor.

--KEYC News 12