Shelf System Inventor Wins Entrepreneur Prize
The inventor of a modular shelving system has won the grand prize in the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation’s annual Idea Challenge. Dennis Kinsel, creator of the Kinsel System, was awarded $5,000, which can be used toward reimbursable business expenses. According to its website, “Kinsel offers furnishing solutions for both home and commercial spaces” including “a customizable, component-driven shelving system.” The Kinsel System was one of five finalists in the annual competition. The others were K.C. Noble with Tiny Noble Homes (customizable and affordable tiny homes), Kathy Stevens with N7 Café (nitrogen-infused coffee), Mary Zens with the Eau Chippewa! Tinman Competition (a triathlon), and Lawrence and Nick Scherrer with IceBark (an alternative to ice melt). The Idea Challenge was launched in 2007 to help local entrepreneurs who need assistant bring their dreams to reality. “Eau Claire’s entrepreneurial community has amazing ideas, commendable drive, and the resilience needed to pursue their dreams – and every year it is an honor to work with these individuals through the Idea Challenge,” said Christina Wasson, the EDC’s marketing manager. Previous winners of the idea challenge include Chip Magnet Salsa, Earthbound Environmental, and Gorilla Dumpster Bags. The contest, which is sponsored by Northwestern Bank, is now accepting applications for 2017. If you’ve got a bright idea, you can learn more at theideachallenge.com.