The UNI team believed that a technology solution could be found to identify and attract entrepreneurs so that EDO’s could engage them over the life of their business and that such an approach could improve business owner access to resources and their peers. Building upon the premise that all entrepreneurs want to secure cash grants if possible, the Dream Big Grow Here contests were developed as an attractive cash competition to engage entrepreneurs online, where they could then be connected with resource providers in their home communities and online. As it was developed over the first two years, it also became a powerful tool to foster collaboration between existing service providers and a marvelous way to celebrate small business in the state.

We established multiple success measurements for DBGH:

  1. to connect small business and entrepreneurs with regional economic development organizations,
  2. to encourage small business owners to use technology and to interact with one another online,
  3. to leverage widespread marketing and positive publicity for small Iowa companies,
  4. to enhance the supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state.

The use of an online contest to attract, learn about and engage large numbers of entrepreneurs is novel. Unlike business plan competitions which attract only small numbers of deeply committed entrepreneurs, Dream Big Grow Here attracts hundreds of entrepreneurs at different stages of business development and across many industries. The online pitches capture critical information about these entrepreneur’s plans for startup and growth which can be used by regional EDO’s to better serve them and others on an ongoing basis.

Recognition & Awards

  • Mid-America Economic Development Council's 2012 Annual Economic Development Award
  • University Economic Development Association Award of Excellence in Innovation & Entrepreneurship 2013

Last Year's Winners

Click below to choose a category of last year’s winners and entrants.


Are you in the technology sector in Iowa? Perhaps you are manufacturing the next big product? We made this contest just for you! The Manufacturing/Bio-science/IT contest is sponsored by VentureNet Iowa.


Enabling a massive generational transfer of knowledge in our companies.

Trace Steffen
Cedar Falls, IA
Beyond improving current paper-based practices, HowFactory resolves a fundamental disconnect between engineers who create processes and front-line manufacturing workers. We’re revolutionizing how you create, use and update standard operating procedures, digital work instructions, and training.
Executive Summary

HowFactory is subscription Software as a Service (SaaS) platform and app that allows companies to better capture, use, and collaborate on work instructions and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The company is focused on disrupting the inefficient, cumbersome, and costly processes involved in the industrial manufacturing process engineering field - while ultimately creating a powerful tool for any business in any sector to capture their critical business know-how.

In our initial target market of industrial manufacturing, HowFactory solves the problems of employee errors and costly rework due to poor SOPs/work instructions, lengthy employee training time, and the resulting slowing of production for manufacturers. As American manufacturing is being transformed by technology and reshoring, HowFactory is ready to be a key player in this major economic sector.

Beyond simply improving current paper-based practices, HowFactory constitutes innovation that resolves a fundamental disconnect between engineers who create processes and low to middle skill front-line manufacturing workers. HowFactory software is highly visual, incorporating pictures, videos, and digital assets currently absent from SOPs and engineering change notices (ECNs), which are the de facto curriculum for training manufacturing workers. HowFactory is a key tool that focuses on the human capital in manufacturing, and is part of the developing smart factory and visual factory movements.

HowFactory incorporated in 2014 by co-founders Kenny Stevenson and Trace Steffen. Both have long careers in industrial manufacturing, industrial education, technology commercialization, and business. They company is a Delaware C-Corp located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and is a graduate of the 2014 Iowa Startup Accelerator.

Business Plan

HowFactory plans with the Business Model Canvas, as taught at Stanford University, uses Agile software development, and practices Scrum for project management in all operations. All allow HowFactory to be adequately planful while acknowledging the need to be nimble and highly responsive to our market, clients, and today’s dynamic technological environment. HowFactory is happy to provide further documentation on any of the nine BMC areas upon request.

1. Customer Segments
HowFactory creates value for our initial market of manufacturing companies and the vendors who supply them. HowFactory is focused is on small to mid-sized companies (as defined by 100 – 500 employees) based in the United States. Conducting 120 customer discovery interviews and rigorous research reveals these companies in acute need of tools for knowledge management, employee training, and process improvement.

With vendors, our focus is on companies who supply more than one outside client – for example a paint company or makers of equipment required for other manufacturing processes. Vendors spend significant time supporting their clients – flying long distances to train and support the companies who use their materials and tools. HowFactory gives them a common, centralized place to store and share key educational assets and a way to open up a two-way communication between product users and product producers.

2. Value Propositions
For manufacturers, HowFactory solves the acute problems of process documentation, storage, and use, as well as employee training and collaboration on SOPs and work instructions. The most common practice is to employ an expensive consultant or use valuable engineering time to document SOPs and work instructions on paper, laminate them, and put them in a binder which is seldom used and sometimes lost. HowFactory delivers value beyond removing cumbersome paper processes. The HowFactory app makes digital capture extremely fast, formats automatically, and allows line workers and engineers to communicate process changes quickly.

3. Channels
HowFactory’s channels include
Online sales
Direct phone sales to established professional networks
Sales by vendors to manufacturers
Sales by consultants already in manufacturing doing various process documentation, training, and work instruction development tasks
Deployment across conglomerates (For example, one of our reference customers is held by the Ali Group which owns 76 brands, 55 manufacturing facilities, and employs 8,500 people)
Campaigns in social media, search engine marketing, and industry education
Trade shows and trade magazine advertising

HowFactory plans to use the “pull” tactics of sales by consultants, vendors, conglomerates, and online as they have the greatest return and scale best.

4. Customer Relationships
HowFactory has very established personal relationships with both the manufacturer and vendor customer segments built over the duration of both our co-founder’s careers. Kenny and Trace are particularly well-connected to the Department of Defense (DoD), manufacturers in industrial coatings (architectural and corrosion protection), robotics, automotive, and the companies in the supply chains for tier one manufacturers. Strong relationships also exist with organizations like the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, The Society for Protective Coatings, and NACE International.

These relationships are largely maintained through LinkedIn, electronic communication like email and newsletters, and personal interaction at trade shows and on the phone. Due to the “small world” nature of both of these communities, relationships are not particularly costly to maintain but are very important to the overall business plan.

5. Revenue Streams
HowFactory is based on a subscription SaaS model. This proven sales model allows customers limited trials and starting subscriptions just by entering a credit card number. HowFactory can bypass many of the lengthy sales cycles encountered by traditional enterprise software in this way. HowFactory service levels will be determined by three factors: The number of processes, data needs, and number of administrators.

Service levels are:
Manage up to 3 active processes or steps (1 GB data) - Free
Up to 50 active processes or steps (includes 5GB data) - $50/month
Up to 100 active processes or steps (includes 15 GB data) - $100/month
Up to 500 active processes or steps (includes 40 GB data)- $250/month

For larger clients who want to host data on site:
Unlimited processes or steps (includes 100 GB of Data) - $500/month
Unlimited processes or steps - $12,000/year (includes 500 GB of file storage on our servers, or unlimited on yours)
$10,000 on-boarding fee (still being validated)
Each additional administrator $100 / month

HowFactory offers customers existing SOP uploading service at an hourly cost and has partners that can provide media or process consulting, with HowFactory receiving markup.

6. Key Resources
HowFactory’s key resources are:
Intellectual property: Software code, user interface layouts, system behavior, trademark and brand, graphical elements, and contracts
Developed business relationships with reference customers and a large, deep, personal network of potential customers established over decades
Team members and employees: Management team of experienced business professionals; software developer; graphic designer
Formerly established internship program with University of Northern Iowa as a talent pipeline
Office space, computers and software, a/v equipment, and other material
Commercial relevance grant from IEDA; investment capital from Built by Iowa, Iowa Startup Accelerator and friends and family; and applications in process for Iowa Demonstration Fund among several others

7. Key Activities
HowFactory’s activities include:
Software development meeting the needs of clients directly, developed with agile methods
Working closely with reference customers in our closed beta/early adopter pool
SEM and organic marketing to attract customers
Trade events - in the industrial manufacturing space, trade shows and other industry gatherings are highly important
Working with equipment integration packages to take advantage of hardware
Creating and growing integrator-based distribution agreements

8. Key Partners
HowFactory’s key partners include:
Vendors serving manufacturers - these partners, while also customers, leverage sales to and relationships with the companies they serve. Their use of HowFactory reduces risk and uncertainty and optimizes sales.
Reference customers and beta sites - these partners help develop the HowFactory software beyond the MVP stage by providing real-world use, feedback on software performance, and ever-improving product/market fit. They also provide word-of-mouth promotion and valuable connections to peers.
Consulting firms - these partners provide complimentary services in process documentation, and optimize and economize sales. They promote and support clients’ use of HowFactory software and their familiarity with customer segments improves product/market fit.
Industrial software and hardware integrators - these partners help HowFactory acquire knowledge of our customer segments, awareness of competitors, help optimize sales, and support clients.

9. Cost Structure
The HowFactory team has a deep talent pool of industry expertise and technical talent focused on value creation. The focus is building a “low touch” sales model that does not require long lead time or direct onsite contact with customers. Continuing to build channel partnerships is a top priority. Additionally, HowFactory will drive to understand the key features and user stories that create value. That is best done with personnel directly in facilities during the early stages of development.

Our Passion
Both HowFactory founders Trace and Kenny have worked in training in industrial manufacturing for over a decade. During that time we have seen how our clients have struggled to train their employees and manage the corporate knowledge that is essential to the success of their businesses.

As industrial educators the ability to easily create and distribute SOP’s and training knowledge in this way will be a game changer for the companies that we serve. Solving problems through knowledge and technology is what we have dedicated our careers to. HowFactory allows us to impact our industry in the largest possible way.
Funds at this time will be used for software development and business development - specifically marketing and sales. During the next few months, we will devote the majority of our resources to developing the software, testing server and hosting systems at scale, working directly with our reference customers, validating our sales channel, and building our sales funnel.

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"A fork in the road"

Ethan Davidson
Rüster Sports
Des Moines, IA
Rüster Sports was founded in 2009 by professional triathlete and industrial engineer TJ Tolalkson. We produce two staple products, a bicycle travel bag the meets the airlines’ dimensional requirement for checked baggage avoiding bike fees and the world’s fastest wind-tunnel tested triathlon bicycle.
We are unique because we produce and sell the world’s most aerodynamic triathlon bicycle frame. The differentiation between Dimond and current top brands is the frame construction that omits components that would otherwise create a significant amount of aerodynamic drag. The style of frame is referred to as a beam bike and is visually different from a more traditional double-diamond frame construction. We make money by selling direct to consumers at premium prices for a technologically superior product that out performs the competition.

The bicycle industry is a 6 billion dollar industry in the U.S. alone, with a vast majority of the major players operating overseas. Our direct competitors manufacture overseas in an attempt to keep manufacturing costs down, while we manufacture in the Iowa to keep innovation high and development fast.

The sport of triathlon itself has seen continuous growth since its introduction. In 2012 for example, adult participation increased 9.4% from 2011 to 113,579 and overall participation increased 12% from 2011. The 2012 USA Triathlon Report documents participation surpassed 550,000 members in 2012[1]. In the year 2011, 1.9 million people completed at least 1 triathlon event.
We are applying for the Dream Big Grow Here contest because we want to align our marketing efforts with the level of product we manufacture. To date, all of our growth within the industry has happened organically. In 2014 we grew from four employees to ten employees, starting as a speck on the map in the triathlon industry and ending the year as a top quartile best-represented bike brand at the IRONMAN World Championships. Our products regularly attract attention in featured articles on industry websites and exposure in the largest circulating triathlon magazine. It is time we invest some money in marketing to grow the reach of our brand message and create a contagious brand with which people want to be associated. A grant from the Dream Big Grow Here contest would afford us a marketing budget to explode our budding industry presence.

Over the past eight months we have been working tirelessly to finalize a product that is key in furthering our aerodynamic dominance in the triathlon industry. Our engineers have developed a front fork to complete our triathlon frame set that performs and looks like no bicycle fork before it. We believe the correct execution of a product launch is critical in order to capitalize fully on the work that has gone into our new fork. This fork is the final "missing piece" to create a irresistible and compelling story to drive sales. Athletes have been anticipating the launch of this fork for half of a year and it is imperative that we exceed their expectations.

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Livin' the dream one design at a time.

Becky Ramaeker
Ramaeker Enterprises, Inc
Knoxville, IA
We are dreaming big, growing local and we need a new home. We are a family owned and operated, home based, screen printing, embroidery, and sign business and we are bursting at the seams. We bought some land and we plan on breaking ground this spring.
Ramaeker Enterprises, Inc. is a fast growing apparel decoration and sign business located in rural Knoxville, Iowa. We have some very simple goals.
• Be profitable
• Deliver quality products
• Provide exceptional customer service
• Grow our market share

So, how do we plan to do this? Who is Ramaeker Enterprises, Inc.? What does our future hold?

Who we are:
Ramaeker Enterprises, Inc. is a family owned and operated screen printing business, managed by Tom & Becky Ramaeker. We are a home-based business. We started the business in 2002, the same year our first grandchild was born. We started very slowly, getting a job here and there from friends and acquaintances. We both had full-time jobs. Tom worked at a local lumber yard, so we targeted small contractors in the beginning for jobs. This was perfect match for us, small orders that gave us the opportunity to learn the trade. Becky worked for an IT company, so the art side of screen printing was a nice reprieve from the stressful corporate world.

For the past 3 years, or so, we have been self-employed, leaving those real “day” jobs behind. We now have four grandkids. We are a family business so from time to time we have had all three kids, two son-in-laws and two grandkids help out (two grandkids are still in diapers, so not much help from them).

Our business has grown to now include 10 full and part time employees.

Where we have been:
We started in our garage with a used printing press and a brand new mini-oven to dry the t-shirts. Everything fit in the garage, but who wants to work in a garage meant to park cars? We only lasted there about 6 months until the spring of 2003 when we added a 576 square foot addition for the print shop. The garage became a garage again (we’ll come back to the garage, it seems to be a recurring theme). We worked hard developing a steady customer base in our community, mostly small businesses and school sports teams.

We found that finding customers to buy t-shirts is pretty easy, who doesn’t like t-shirts after all? We worked hard at improving the quality of our products, we had a lot to learn. We planned our growth carefully. When we needed new equipment, we worked until we had the cash to pay for the next item we wanted. By doing business this way we had little or no financial risk looming over our heads. We couldn’t do everything, but we were learning to do what we did very well and developing strong customer relationships.

Three years ago we decided to take the next big step in our business journey. We added another 864 square foot addition on to our house. Up to this point we only had a manual printing press. We had now decided to take the plunge and purchase an automatic printing press, which automated much of the printing process. We had to save our pennies a long time to be able to purchase this with cash, but we did it! This was a major milestone for us. We still have the manual press, so now we can run both presses every day. The auto gave us the opportunity to bid on larger jobs, giving us a larger market share.

As it goes with businesses when you add equipment and customers, you have to add employees, so again we ran out of room. We’re back to the garage story. Our office now resides in our “garage”. We had another major remodel permanently closing up the garage to make for a modern office space. We still run out of room from time to time when we receive large shipments, so we purchased an 8’ x 26’ trailer that serves as our external warehouse.

To meet our customer needs we have expanded our product offerings. We started with a plan to just offer screen printed items, but there is so much more out there. We offer custom embroidery, rhinestone decoration, sign work, design services and promotional products. We learned to be flexible meeting our customer’s needs.

We strive for excellence in everything that we do, and stand behind the products that we produce. We believe in giving back to our community. We recently donated 1,000 shirts to our local Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser. We recently had a volunteer work day for our employees. We volunteered to work at a Habitat for Humanity house. It was a great team building day.

Where are we headed?
We are at the next major milestone in our business. We are out of room again….no more garages to convert! We have decided to take a giant step forward and build a commercial building. We purchased commercial property last summer and are hoping to break ground on it this spring. We are in the final stages of planning and will be seeking financing in the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to save enough pennies for this new building. We have a history of proven profitability and business growth. Our new facility will be 7200 square feet, leaving us with some room to grow.

Our plan is to expand our printing capabilities by adding another automatic and manual press to our production area within a year or two. We are adding a retail space in the front of the building so that we can have some pre-print items for sale at our location. We are expanding our sign printing area to better house our 60” wide format printer.
\We have recently added a sales and marketing staff person to help us grow our sales. Our core customer base are local businesses and organizations. In the past couple of years, we have been targeting businesses outside of our area, but it is hard to do with the staff that we had.
We plan on growing our business outside our area, focusing on high school apparel, brewery apparel and events, such as runs, bike races (on and off road) touring events, music, concerts and local restaurants. We cater to our local businesses first and foremost focusing on quality service and great prices.

We have recently added a sales and marketing manager to balance our processes, to increase sales and widen our market share. This will help us expand outside our current local market by entering into larger metro markets, such as the Des Moines Metro, Ames, Iowa City and much more. This manager has experience in sales, marketing, advertising, social media management and the service industry which has afforded her a large network of established relationships. These dynamic relationships will help us increase our client base and sustain our growth well into the future.
Our short term strategic marketing plan will entail targeting specific demographics to create niche markets. This plan will focus on larger school districts, brewery apparel and events, such as runs, bike races (on and off road) touring events, music and local restaurants. This will bring us into a sustainable long term marketing strategy that can be changed and tweaked to meet our growing clients’ businesses as well as our own.
A primary goal is to cater to locally owned businesses first and foremost, focusing on quality service and affordable prices. We don’t just “do” t-shirts, we create a brand, a marketing medium for these local businesses that is sustainable to them and affordable to their businesses.
We have outgrown our space! The land is all paid for. We need help with building costs and new equipment.
With a new building there are so many things that the grant money can be used for.
There are a couple of new things that we will need very soon after moving into our new facility.
• We need a new phone system. Currently we use “off the shelf” phones, they work, but there is a better way to manage our telecommunications.
o Estimate for a new phone system is $5,800.
• We will also be building or purchasing a permanent table for our sign shop. Currently we do most of our sign work on 6’ foldable tables. We need a more efficient workspace, and the table is part of that solution.
o Cost of a 48” x 132” work table is $500.
• We need additional software for our new and existing staff members.
o Cost of additional licensing for our art software is $500.
o Cost of each additional license for our production management/accounting software is $1000 per user, we need at least two additional licenses.
• The building itself is a huge investment.
o Estimated cost of the building is over $300,000.

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Solving an industry problem: Identifying Salmonella type for a fraction of the cost!

Jordan Shaw
BioBacTrac, LLC
West Des Moines, IA
BioBacTrac’s new DNA-based method can identify specific strains of Salmonella for a fraction of the cost of other methods – the traditional ones are inaccurate and expensive, and the existing molecular ones are even more expensive and still can’t differentiate the 2,500+ types.
BioBacTrac is opening a microbiology laboratory focused on implementing a novel molecular method used for the identification of Salmonella serotypes (the specific sub-strain). The SISR (pronounced “scissor”) method is unique because it focuses on a section of the Salmonella genome recently discovered to contain the information coding for the specific serotype.

Older, traditional tests used to type Salmonella are highly subjective and therefore can be quite inaccurate. They’re also expensive as they use a large variety of reagents, which are becoming harder and harder to find. New molecular tests work great for most generic bacterial identifications and have reduced cost (although, some tests are still really expensive) and turnaround time, however they still lack the resolution needed to successfully differentiate between the more than 2,500 types of Salmonella. The few existing molecular methods that stand a chance of identifying the strain of Salmonella can cost hundreds of dollars per test!

SISR can successfully identify the Salmonella type for a fraction of the cost of the other methods. A low cost solution allows industry, food manufacturers, public health officials, research scientists, and others to test more often, resulting in more and better data -- food plants will be able to more effectively remediate Salmonella contamination, public health officials will be able to conduct traceability exercises and control outbreaks faster, and scientists can gain a fuller picture of their research. Poultry, egg producers, and pet food are some of the main industries that are affected by Salmonella.

Salmonella is the leading food borne pathogen resulting in $3.7 billion in medical costs each year. Annually, there are 1,000,000 cases of Salmonella infection, resulting in 19,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths (USDA). More accurate and effective Salmonella typing can help speed up outbreak investigations, resulting in faster and more precise recalls, which should help reduce the number of illnesses and death.

According to the scientist who developed the method, there are approximately 50,000 tests to be performed in the US each year. Furthermore, the international market is even larger. She said “If I was a commercial lab, I’d be swamped with business!” Many requests are coming out of the large poultry exporting countries in South America. Emerging countries lack access to reliable serotyping services. The SISR method is currently offered by only three land grant universities (whose missions do not include being a commercial service laboratory).

BioBacTrac’s goal is to become the only 3rd party commercial testing lab to offer the SISR method in addition to regular food microbiology testing. Food testing will be a $5.6 bn business in North American in 2018, up from $3.45 bn in 2013 (FoodQualityNews.com). The traditional food testing lab operates on a service model where customers submit a sample, request desired analyses, and pay per service. Typical differentiators include tests offered, pricing, data services, and customer service. For SISR, we've simplified the sample submission process. BioBacTrac will provide a "sample submission kit" that will be sent to the customer. Because this test needs only the Salmonella DNA and not the live culture, the customer can put a few drops of the sample on a special card, which kills the organism, making it safe to send through regular mail or parcel services, without hassles from Customs. Customers will then submit sample information via the website, and pay per submission. Once the sample arrives at the lab, it will be processed and results sent to the customer electronically.
I am applying because it has been my dream to open my own lab that can disrupt the traditional food testing market by offering novel methods and outstanding customer service. There are many tools available to businesses today that could streamline processes and increase customer satisfaction, yet are not being utilized by the other players in the field. Having my own lab will allow me to be agile and take advantage of these tools. The "Dream Big Grow Here" money will primarily be used to purchase lab equipment and then fund a marketing campaign for clients in South America and in the US.

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Building Optimization & Integration

Jason Hall
Moxie Solar
North Liberty, IA
Moxie Solar is continually pushing technology's impact on marrying renewables and building optimization.
Moxie Solar is currently an industry leader in solar Photo-voltaic design, installation, service and monitoring. Moxie Solar, (formerly Greenhall Industries, an energy efficiency consulting company) also offers free energy assessments for residential, commercial or agricultural buildings to offer money/energy saving options such as LED Retrofits which we sell, install and process all rebates for the customers we serve. Recently building thermostats have taken gigantic strides forward in intelligence and functionality. For example some models are smart, and over time adjust automatically to the occupants behaviors or can sense when inhabitants leave the building immediately switching to "away mode." Selling and installing smart thermostats will catapult Moxie Solar to the fore-front of marrying energy efficiency, with renewables and technology. We no longer would just sell solar, or just sell lighting products. We would now sell a package of technological energy management, efficient equipment where necessary and solar. It wouldn't even make sense not to sell the package as it will always save the customer more money and provide them a better return on investment over time. This is important for 3 main reasons:
1) This business model minimizes a customer's upfront cost while maximizing long term savings. This is candidly the only way solar should be sold in most situations.
2) Many solar companies are currently being propped up by State and Federal incentives that can be taken away at any time and this imperative diversification significantly reduces risk of that reliance almost overnight.
3) Evolving to this model makes Moxie Solar perhaps the most competitive solar company in the country. Nobody selling just one of these core products; a solar company, a lighting company, an HVAC company, can even come close to competing with a Moxie Solar that can offer all three in a package.
4) And finally, the smart thermostats are data collectors, where Moxie Solar can receive reports that will make us aware of additional sales opportunities. For example, the smart thermostat might sense that a building a/c unit may not be working optimally and will present an opportunity for the customer to consider purchasing a newer more efficient unit that will save them money in energy consumption.
Every new endeavor requires additional workforce, training, inventory and marketing costs. Moxie Solar would immediately invest the funds as the seed money needed to build this new business model.

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DeFord Spray Foam & Coatings

Caleb DeFord
DeFord Spray Foam & Coatings
Aplington, IA
We provide spray foam and coatings services to the people of Iowa. We've experienced steady growth through each year of operation and are transitioning to expand our services to new market segments and to increase our current share of existing markets. Vote for us!
Company and industry information:
DeFord Spray Foam & Coatings, LLC provides spray foam and coatings services to the people of Iowa and the surrounding states. We are based in Aplington, Iowa and we are experienced, competent, fully licensed and insured.
DeFord Spray Foam & Coatings provides both open-cell foam and closed-cell foam and we apply spray foam roofing, spray foam insulation, and coatings for a wide variety of clients. In just over 4 years of business we have surpassed 1 million dollars in sales with consistent growth each year.
We are committed to more than just customer satisfaction, we want excellence in every aspect of our work. We pride ourselves in providing creative and innovative solutions to our customers needs. We guarantee our work to be free of defects and provide superior after-the-sale service to correct any errors resulting from mistakes or miscommunication.
Spray foam is a unique product. Unlike conventional building materials, it is manufactured on-site as it's being applied. Mistakes by the applicator or errors in the processing equipment can result in a system failure for the building owner. To ensure each customer has the quality of products and workmanship they deserve, we are dedicated to keeping up with industry changes and new product developments along with keeping each team member up-to-date with thorough, specific training in their area of work.
There are many spray foam businesses that aren't familiar with spray foam. They aren't experienced, they aren't properly educated, and some don't even carry insurance. Because a spray foam company has the equipment to spray foam doesn't necessarily mean that they have what it takes to do the job right. Operators like this hurt our industry. Because spray foam is a relatively new player in the building industry, many customers are not familiar enough with spray foam to be able to discern between a faulty product and a faulty producer of that product. Due to the mistakes of some operators, spray foam has been the target of undue criticism from building science professionals and building owners. DeFord Spray Foam & Coatings seeks to combat these industry disgraces by providing professional, knowledgeable service to our clients and by promoting and pursuing industry credentials to validate our stance as a reputable provider of spray foam services. As spray foam's market share continues to grow its modest holdings in the insulation and roofing markets, the building industry is becoming better educated and informed, but there are new spray foam companies starting every week who don't have the education they need to properly manufacture and apply spray foam to the diverse demands of the spray foam marketplace.
DeFord Spray Foam & Coatings joined the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) as a means to demonstrate our commitment to the industry and to influence policy in government regulatory agencies for the benefit of our customers and of the industry as a whole. We also are pursuing SPFA accreditation to certify our position at a reputable operator in the industry. Certification costs are over $1,500.00 for each company with further charges for each employee added to the certification list, and these costs do not include the time required to prepare for and take the written and field examinations. As more employees join the company more certifications must be completed. Keep in mind, this is "certification" not training. Employees must be trained through written guides, class room time, and on-the-job instruction. Only after their training is finished, can an employee apply for certification. If a company commits a violation of the standards of the SPFA, their certification will be stripped and their name removed from the SPFA list of certified contractors. The benefits of this spray foam contractor certification program to consumers is obvious. It allows a prospective customer to validate the claims of a spray foam company, and to ensure that they are doing business with a reputable company who cares about service excellence.
A significant challenge to our company and most spray foam companies in general is market place awareness. There are several spray foam companies in the state of Iowa, but few if any have a dominant advertising presence in the state. Many of our customers have reported having a difficult time finding a spray foam company in their service area and others report having a difficult time finding a spray foam company who will respond to their requests for estimates.
DeFord Spray Foam & Coatings wants to take advantage of this limited time opportunity to secure a position of marketing superiority through brand awareness and dominance in the minds of consumers in the state of Iowa.
DeFord Spray Foam & Coatings applied for this grant in order to take part in a business competition to sharpen us in our marketing and customer relations skills and talents and to expose us to potentially helpful business relationships with other members of our marketplace.
We want to take our business to the next stage, and the financial reward for success coupled with the possibilities of self-improvement through competition motivated us to apply for the Dream Big Grow Here contest.

If DeFord Spray Foam & Coatings is awarded any grant money, we wish to use the money to invest in:

• Improving our employee competency and professionalism through training programs and materials. We also need to create an employee training program to assist in the training and hiring of new employees and to prepare them for eventual certification by our trade organisation, the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance.
• Improving market place awareness of our company and service offerings. Our intent is to focus primarily on web marketing through SEO improvements, website updates (our website video needs updated to reflect our business name change from DeFord Insulating Company LLC to "DeFord Spray Foam & Coatings), and paid advertising on industry websites. Our secondary marketing focus is on outdoor advertising to increase awareness in our service areas.

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It's ALL about building memories!

Gert Coetzer
Le Mars, IA
The JAG Grill is a 3 in 1 BBQ Apparatus: You can use it as a Fire-Pit, a Grill or an Eating Table combined in ONE. Material includes Stainless Steel, Metal and wood. We call it the JAG Grill!
This 3 in 1 apparatus will allow the whole family to enjoy time together around the Fire-Pit. The JAG Grill allows all members of the party to prepare their own food and eat right there on their wooden tables. Other features like a side door to clean the grill, individually grilling surfaces that you use to adjust your heat and adjustable legs are a few "nice to haves" that the JAG Grill will bring to you.
The most important thing that we want to promote is that life is short and it's all about building memories!
We are selling a 6 and 8 seater JAG Grill online through our website: www.jaggrill.com.
We are from a small town, Le Mars and believe quality will be remembered long after price is forgotten and therefore offer an investment to our customers
We would like to showcase our unique products to the rest of the world during an annual NBBQA conference. This opportunity will allow us to offer our product to potential buyers (national & international) and more people that believe in building memories will hear about the JAG Grill. The cost of a booth for this week will be $2,500 and travel cost will be around $1,500. We would like to use the remaining $1000 for brochures and other marketing material. This opportunity will ensure that we get the product to our customers and will help us getting a step closer to our dream " Giving America the opportunity to build everlasting memories through our product"!

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Helping Seniors Lead Healthier and Happier Lives

James Leffler
Cedar Falls, IA
YitterBug is an internet-based communication platform that enables retirement communities to share engaging content with residents through their TV’s. Our dream is to improve the quality of life for seniors by addressing issues of social isolation and depression.
YitterBug is a communication platform that goes way beyond simple information sharing and technical wizardry. Depression and social isolation are serious issues for seniors that lead to a steady decline in overall health and well-being. We want to reverse that trend by encouraging seniors to engage with the world around them. As a result they will become more active, feel a greater sense of self-worth, stay healthy, and have more fun. We also anticipate a reduction in the cost of care for patients and providers.

Yitterbug lets communities share engaging content with residents via their TV using a proprietary internet-based system that is managed through an online portal. All content is designed and created by our team and is pre-loaded into the system for use by the retirement community. Content is created using a combination of animated slides and video. An easy to use scheduling system helps the community easily program content for viewing like a regular TV channel. It is important to note that YitterBug is not about the technology. Rather, the technology exists only to support content creation and sharing.

The content ranges from activity announcements to gamification models that encourage residents to work together to achieve a prescribed goal. A simple example of the content is a "Share Your Favorite Recipe" slide. This animated slide will feature a picture of the resident, a description of the dish, and information about a cooking class they will be leading at a later date. In addition to benefiting from the social recognition, the resident will feel valued as a result of teaching something to other people. This scenario also creates an opportunity for other residents to benefit from learning something new and interacting with one-another.

This example is one of many ways in which carefully crafted content can have a positive impact in senior's lives. Yitterbug also allows communities to create "channels" so they can customize the content for residents across a variety of care needs. For instance, content shared with Independent Living residents may differ from that of Assisted Living residents.

We have established a partnership with Western Home Communities (a leading not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community) and researchers from the University of Iowa College of Nursing. As a result, we will be able to develop and evaluate an on-going stream of new content and test its impact and efficacy. Since YitterBug was designed in partnership with Western Home and using feedback from a variety of other senior care professionals, we are confident that it meets an important need for retirement communities and the people they serve.

As we develop content over time and load it to the system, communities will be able to easily choose and customize what they want to share with their residents. They will also be able to provide feedback and submit ideas for future content.

In addition to the engagement content, communities will be able to use YitterBug as a basic information sharing platform for their residents and staff. Many communities serve hundreds of residents spread across multiple facilities. Having the ability to easily share important information across their campus will save time and money. Menus, activity announcements, weather alerts, health tips, and more can all be easily shared with residents using our beautiful, pre-made templates. For staff, they will be able to share HR information, provide "just-in-time" training, recognize staff members, and more.

There are currently around 50 million people over the age of 65 in America. By 2050, that number is projected to increase to almost 90 million. Additionally, the number of people over 85 is going to nearly quadruple by 2050, from 5.8 million to 19 million. According to the Department of Health & Human Services, 70% of people over 65 will use some sort of Long Term care. With those numbers in mind, it comes as no surprise that the Aging Services Sector is expected to grow over 5.1% annually to $408 billion by 2021.

While there are a number of new and established companies offering communication platforms, their focus is on entertainment, simple information sharing, and patient - doctor communication. There is a gap in health information technology designed specifically to solve the problem of social isolation and depression among seniors in long term care settings. Through its strategic partnerships, Yitterbug is uniquely positioned to fill this gap.

Thanks to relationships created by our partners at Western Home Communities, this spring we are launching a beta version of YitterBug in select Continuing Care Retirement Communities in key markets (Iowa, Texas, and Colorado) around the country. In exchange for a significant up-front discount, we will have the ability to test and refine the YitterBug in a variety of locations.

Our plan is to be market ready by the end of 2015, at which point YitterBug will be available on a subscription basis. Subscriptions will be billed annually and are based on the number of residents connected to the system. Our marketing model includes a variety of digital and direct mail marketing, as well as in-person sales. In addition, we are in early discussions with an established and respected retirement community vendor that is interested in offering YitterBug as a value-add to their existing clients.
We are working with the University of Iowa's College of Nursing on applying for an SBIR grant to help fund on-going research. While we are confident in our ability to submit a successful grant, funds received through Dream Big Grow Here will help cover the initial research costs of completing a comprehensive Literature Review and Environmental Scan. Funds may also be used in part to cover the cost of hiring additional developers as we continue to develop the system.

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Mock Medical Education Surgical Instrument Kits

Dari Fehr
Mock Medical, LLC
Terril, IA
MockMedical, is the first and only company to market “training and educational surgical instrument kits” directed at surgical students. Our target market is surgical students, at educational institutions offering the surgical curriculum is a well-defined, and extensive market.
MockMedical, has applied for a utility patent on educational-grade surgical instruments. There are no current competitors in this market. We offer two
sets of the most widely used instruments; a 60-piece Minor MockKit set selling to students at $250, and a 90-piece
Major MockKit set selling at $350. In this first year of operation, we have added 17 new specialty kits, which have produced a nice addition to our current line. The surgical healthcare industry is growing at the rapid rate of 25% each year.
Distribution; MockMedical, LLC uses primarily direct marketing. Since the products are very durable and
compact, the kits may be easily shipped from a central location, direct to customers via UPS and USPS.
The fact that MockMedical, LLC ships direct to the customer is a huge asset by saving time and extra cost of
going through a distributor.
Surgical Technology, in specific, has been a growing market over the past years due to the fact hospitals are replacing higher paid surgical nurses with a more specifically trained surgical technologist or surgical assistant.
There are currently 510 schools across the nation that offer Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, at an
average class size of 40 students, gives MockMedical, LLC a potential target market of over 20,000 students in the
ST and SA field alone. Total target market for MockMedical, LLC, including PA, Surgical Nursing, Continuing Education classes, Simulation Labs and First Assistant schools is well over 52,000. This figure does not include online courses in which MockMedical,LLC will be a definite advantage for at-home learning. These figures are based only on students that complete the program AND elect to take the certification exams. At the present time, it is estimated that almost 30% of the students drop out of the course—although these students would have previously purchased at MockKit upon entrance to the program.
This money would be used for new product development as well as travel to additional tradeshow in order to reach new customers !!!

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Lil' Sidekick eliminating an age-old problem "the drop game"!

Amelia Vohs
You and Yours LLC
Polk City, IA
Lil' Sidekick is an exclusive all-Iowa manufactured product that solves an age old problem and makes parents lives easier!
You and Yours LLC was founded in the summer of 2013 by Amy Vohs, a mom that had had enough of buying unsafe, and ineffective products for her child. Her main problem was her son Jaxen, was a " habitual chucker" and threw everything she game him- within seconds of giving to him. After several failed attempts with products that were currently on the market she went on a mommy mission to solve this problem once and for all! By the fall of 2013 she had successfully launched her first innovative product- Lil’ Sidekick at the premier ABC kids expo in Las Vegas. Since that launch just over a short year ago Lil’ Sidekick has eliminated the drop game for her son and for over 8000 parents!

Lil’ Sidekick is an exclusive all-Iowa made product that saves parents from having to pick up lil’ ones’ items 100 times off the floor! It is the first toy saver to provide the extreme versatility to secure any item from a small crayon to a large stuffed animal. It quickly attaches to strollers, high chairs, car seats, baby carriers, grocery carts, and more! Lil’ Sidekick is also the only strap that is manufactured out of FDA approved plastic material that makes it easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and kids love as a teether! To date we have helped over 8000 parents world wide to once and for all eliminate the drop game!
~We are in over 70 retailers throughout the nation.
~Have been coined a “must have accessory” by top media outlets.
~Plus are now exporting to South Korea and Japan!

Not only are we proud of our product, but we are so proud that we have managed to manufacture a product not over seas but right here in our home state of Iowa!

It started by having designs and 3D printing created for us by students in the Industrial Design Department at Iowa State University. From there we worked hard to secure all our other resources right here in Iowa! Using the guidance of Iowa Small Business Development, Engineering from Cedar Rapids, Tooling from Monticello, and even the packaging is printed right here in Des Moines! Not to mention where all the manufacturing magic happens, at Guttenberg Industries in Guttenberg, Iowa!
Our dream is to continue to grow and create safe, functional products that makes life easier for parents, and to do it right here in the state that we love!

We are at a critical point of growth and would use the funds to fund orders for big box stores we are in talks with like Buy Buy Baby. Also increase Production, and brand awareness to really take us to the next level and do it all WORKING LOCALLY! Thank you, We love this life!!

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Worksite HAWK: Remote day time job site monitoring and night time security solution.

Keith Niehaus
Crossroads Manufacturing
Clarksville, IA
Solar and cellular electronics technology has converged in the Worksite Hawk to provide remote job site monitoring during the daytime and security at night. The result is improved productivity and the protection of property from theft. The mobile trailer system can be deployed wherever it is needed.
The first Worksite Hawk prototype was created in just 3 months and the first sale was made 4 weeks later. The manufacturing system is now in firmly place and there is a proven need for our mobile security/monitoring solution. Next we need to build product awareness and with the help of the Dream Big grant, we will hit the road to do face to face demonstrations to jump start sales.

The Worksite Hawk provides remote video monitoring using trailer based solar power, cellular modem and other electronics with a camera that provides 360-degree pan, tilt and zoom. During the daytime the boss can view productivity from his computer, tablet or smart phone. At night the camera is fixed on equipment and materials and provides email/text alerts (and activates a strobe light) if there is an intruder.

We are unique in our combined solution - power usage (solar generation and battery storage vs draw), technology (integration of the camera, modem, video analytics, internal heater, etc), trailer design (footprint dimensions, mast functionality with internal secured wiring, etc). Some of these are more important than others but it really is the combination of all of these elements with an affordable price that is key.

We sell primarily through equipment rental companies when we can match them with customers. If no distributor is available, we sell or rent direct. We are currently building our distributor base and have a successful marketing plan in place to create leads with end-users.

Feedback continues to reinforce both our solution and our price point. We are entering the market at a good point. Technology for solar powered equipment as well as cellular bandwidth has allowed us to create a better and less expensive solution than our competitors. This has been reinforced by customers who are shopping other options as well as manufacture reps with market knowledge. It was also identified in market research done by Advance Iowa.

The market size is huge and growing. According to New York Times, "The National Association of Home Builders, a trade group, estimates that the annual cost of theft to the industry has reached $5 billion." There are regular new stories of equipment and materials theft. The Worksite Hawk also provided productivity benefits of monitoring employees.

Our business model utilizes very low overhead and we only need one sale per month to cover costs.
We just attended the World of Concrete Show in Las Vegas and have sales trips planned south and east. We have numerous inquiries in the southeast and the Dream Big grant would allow us to do a two week sales trip to that region to provide demonstrations to create sales. We know these first sales take a little more effort but soon word of mouth and seeing our units deployed will help create additional interest - and sales.

In a nutshell, we have built a better mouse trap. It is priced better and does more. The Dream Big grant will help us fund our ongoing efforts to get the word out. The sales trip will put us in front of dozens of equipment rental companies and their customers. We sold our first unit last year after just four weeks of on and off demonstrations. There is excitement and momentum is building - we would appreciate the funding to help us educate and inform our potential customers!

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DOLLUP BEAUTY {a cosmetic accessory company } Cedar Rapids, IA

Nikki Hynek
Swisher, IA
A classic style, understated luxury and simply smart innovation are the distinct qualities that characterize the short heritage of Dollup Beauty--a unique cosmetic accessory company on the forefront of contemporary cosmetic case designs with their revolutionary new makeup clutch, the Dollup Case.
{ about us }
Dollup Beauty, founded my makeup maven and Iowan Nikki Hynek, recently launched their first-of-its-kind patent pending makeup clutch, called the Dollup Case, that redefines the classic cosmetic case with a modern organizing twist, blending a compact clutch purse design and portable vanity features with an innovative customizable magnetic palette to fit women’s beauty routines on-the-go.

Hynek, whose makeup work has been featured in Time and Seventeen magazine, was inspired to design a makeup case for herself when she was frustrated by the minimal choices for carrying her cosmetics, as she often did her makeup on-the-go. Hynek set out to find a way to carry her own makeup in a convenient, organized and compact space that could be easily be transported, instead of tossing her makeup into the bottom of her handbag or into a bulky cosmetic bag.

“By combining my background as a professional makeup artist, with insight into streamlining professional makeup kits, and knowledge of women’s expressed desires for convenience and portability, I was inspired to create a case that offered functional utility, organization and a sleek design that worked for every woman’s busy lifestyles,” said Nikki Hynek, Founder and Creator of Dollup Beauty.

{ our launch }
Hynek debuted her new cosmetic accessory company in September, 2014, on-air with the home shopping channel ShopHQ. The success of her launch has led to many national retailing opportunities including Von Maur, Alcone Beauty Boutique in New York, and numerous salons and spas throughout the US, as well as becoming a reoccurring brand on ShopHQ.

{ our market }
Dollup Beauty aims to be a pioneer of modernization in the cosmetic bag and accessory category by offering the 91% of women who already carry a beauty product in their handbag and the two-thirds of women who apply makeup on-the-go, an organized and secure, yet highly innovative, way to safely transport their makeup. The Dollup Case also offers environmentally conscious women the choice to reduce traditional package waste by purchasing cosmetic refill pans, thus also encouraging large cosmetic brands to provide eco-friendly purchasing options.

{ our future }
Dollup Beauty hopes to be a brand internationally synonymous with all that is desired in prestigous cosmetic accessories and chic organization.
With our focus on the future, we are excited about the ways and opportunities that Dollup Beauty can grow. In our six-month projections, we have identified specific ways to encourage Dollup Beauty's revenue and distribution. Particularly, our focus will be on exhibiting at trade shows, hiring a pr partner and increasing our marketing potential. The money we would receive would be carefully allocated towards our growth efforts and would be applied towards the opportunity that could best scale Dollup Beauty.

Thank you for your consideration!!

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Military Loyalty Rewards Program

Aaron Serrano
Military Cost Cutters
Davenport, IA
Connecting veterans and military friendly businesses via our Loyalty Rewards Program on our web and mobile platform. Veterans receive our patent pending mobile veterans ID and the participating businesses receive online and offline marketing and analytics.
Military Cost Cutters is the first Loyalty Rewards program for veterans and thru our technology we are providing veterans with a mobile ID that provides a means of verification to utilize in saving money at participating establishments as well as assisting with military members that have a physical military identification card. What we provide the military friendly business is online advertising as well as offline traffic, analytics on customers, and most importantly the means of comfort validating a military member. A business's small investment of $1.65 a day provides them a hands off program where they can not only retain but attract customers via our push notification system. Our overall user market of veterans and businesses is 24 million and we are currently in 4 states.
As a startup capital needed to grow and increase foot print can be a barrier. I look to this program as a great resource and opportunity to help bridge that gap. With over 200k veteran’s alone in Iowa, we are looking to provide them with the best opportunity available to save money and provide traffic to these local stores. We would utilize this money to expand with hiring of additional personnel as well as marketing and app enhancements needed to set up future businesses

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gifasent - forget selfies. send gifs!

Garret Meier
Ames, IA
Start a conversation with gifasent, the most entertaining new way to chat! Gifasent gives every message an animated GIF for laughs and inside jokes!
Existing apps serve only as messengers. They carry text, or an image between users, but the burden of entertainment still falls on the users themselves. With gifasent, we aim to make conversations constantly hilarious. Rather than force users to carefully choose their words or images, gifasent does all the work. The messaging space is extremely vibrant with new skins on old designs popping up all the time. Gifasent stands out with a unique format that puts conversations first. The social, mobile industry is experiencing huge expansion with users growing into the millions for apps monthly.
The gifasent format also allows for unique and easy monitization in the form of sponsored content. We already have the capability to allow for gifs and conversations solely focused on sponsors.
A social platform startup is a field Iowa is lacking in, and gifasent looks to put Iowa on the social media map!
Currently, the gifasent app is built and available on Android and iOS.
We are currently searching for opportunities to market and spread the word about the awesome gif-messaging format. Unfortunately, many of those avenues require financial investment, and being run by two college students, we have very little financial ability. With a grant from Dream Big Grow Here, we would be able to put gifasent in the eyes of many more potential users, and it would allow us to spend time devoted to publicizing the application.

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Smart lamps today, home robots tomorrow

John Raid
Cedar Rapids, IA
Ruminate makes smart lamps. They learn when you would like them on. They watch your house while you're gone. They send you notification when someone comes home. They tell your Nest you're home. They tell you your parents aren't home. They connect your digital life with your analog life.
The smart home really isn't smart. Smart light bulbs are really pretty dumb. Ruminate has set out to change that. We handcraft lamps that go in your home. If we stopped right there you would have a very nice lamp that saves you energy. If you choose to hook it up to your wifi it starts to make your home truly smart. There's no configuring this motion detector to turn on that light or setting up a scene just to get "automatic" light. Ruminate just works, learning as you turn it off and on. The more lamps you have, the more information they use. As you hook them up to other innovate products that all grow in value. Your Nest thermostat can get updates that you're home even if you're downstairs and the Nest is upstairs.
We believe Ruminate has an outstanding idea solving problems people don't even know they have today. We believe the smart home of the future needs to get a whole lot smarter. We believe that knowing your kids are home after school is out is worth a whole lot more than just a smile. We believe that in order for technology to be simple, someone needs to think really hard. You might even say they need to Ruminate.

We're going to spend the money getting the word out that Ruminate means to think.

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Revising the way sports teams, colleges and entertainment venues communicate with fans

Jason Kristufek
Cedar Rapids, IA
Fanstreamm helps sports teams and entertainment venues create personal and sustainable relationships with fans to grow revenue through personalized interactions.
Right now, roughly 43 percent of sports and entertainment tickets go unsold or unused. A big reason why is because they collect data on only about 10 percent of the people of use a ticket. After speaking directly to more than 250 of the potential 1,200 customers in this market, Fanstreamm learned that a great way to make inroads into the empty seats is through group sales. Yet, organizing a group is a tremendous pain, and teams and venues collect data on only the group leaders. Fanstreamm is creating a solution that eliminates the need for reimbursement and makes organizing a group very easy. At the same time, teams and venues now collect data on every group ticket holder. Fanstreamm makes money by charging the teams and venue a one-time $5,000 set up fee and then taking 7 percent of each transaction. Each new customer we acquire is an estimated $23,000 in annual revenue for Fanstreamm.
Fanstreamm is applying to gain input and mentorship on running a small business in Iowa that is looking to grow rapidly. The funds will be used to enhancing the immediate business development efforts to gain more clients.

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Increase small town manufacturing & help bring the unique I-TOW Trailer to market

Megan Sease
Double - Take Sales, LLC
Hartley, IA
Mfg. by Double-Take Sales, LLC. The (6'L x 4'W) I-TOW Trailer is a unique, light-weight aerodynamic enclosed trailer for up to 1,000 lbs of weather-proof storage or cargo. 1.5" or 2" hitch, fuel-friendly, great for power-wheel chairs, business equipment or family travel. 100% IA Owned/Mfg.
I-TOW manufacturing options:
6'L x 4'W or 5'L x 4'W
Our cargo trailers offer a 1,000 lb. capacity
Weight: approx. 525 lbs. depending on accessories.
Powder-coated heavy-duty welded frame.
1,000 lb. torsion axle. License plate holder. Tail-lights. 3/4” green treated plywood flooring with optional d-ring tie-downs (4) and optional removable carpet. Fully "road ready."

The tongue can be uniquely flipped up by pulling a pin where the tongue meets the trailer. This option allows for easier storage in small spaces. Our heavy-duty lockable latch on the door allows for cargo security. Consumer choice of molded cover colors available. We keep black, light gray, and dark gray 6' covers in stock. Our trailers are light-weight and aerodynamic making them fuel friendly.

What makes them unique is they can be pulled by any car, not just trucks & SUV’s. This makes them ideal for family travel, small business, government entities, or individuals wishing to safely transport large, heavy items such as a power-wheel chair.

The buyer just needs to add a 1 ½ or 2” ball hitch to their vehicle. The trailers may also be used as a mobile storage unit.

Options & accessories: Choice of door: passenger-side or driver’s-side swing door; ramp door; EZ-lift coil spring ramp door (for easy opening & closing); or dual swing door. Door opening: 53”H x 46”W. Black fenders.
Spare tire mounting bracket on the side of the trailer. Swivel jack – as shown below (small wheel on the jack) allows for easy moving of the trailer for just about anyone.
A heavy duty coiled spring ramp door for the I-TOW Trailers to allow for easy opening and closing for individuals with strength or mobility issues.

Use the trailer for tailgating
Create a custom bicycle trailer to pull your support vehicle during Ragbrai!
Camp with your trailer. Purchase a Mopar vehicle tent to attach and you're tent camping in style. Your trailer could accommodate an air mattress overnight.
Mopar vehicle tent product #82212604 available for purchase through us & online.

SALES Direct from Double-Take Sales to consumers by phone & email.
From Double-Take Sales as a wholesaler to dealers by phone & email.
In the future, we would like add an online only sales option direct to consumers

Target Market: Individuals seeking safe, waterproof storage or transportation for their important investments, personal belongings or equipment. Target Market for Trailers: Family travel. Hauling corporate or small business equipment including electrical equipment, small mowers, power wheelchairs and scooters. School transportation of musical instruments, athletic equipment and other extracurricular items. Hauling camping gear, bicycles, small ATV’s, hunting and fishing gear. DJ or band equipment, and contractor tools.

There are not many products exactly like ours available in the market at this time. Aside from UHaul & Northern Tool & Equipment, the makers of similar products are small businesses like us. Many trailers in the market are not manufactured as well as ours and many leak water at high interstate speeds.

Our roto-molded cover provides a sleek aerodynamic look and the waterproof feature sets us apart. Because our trailers are one solid piece, they do not leak water at high interstate speeds or in high-wind.

Our barriers to enter the market include:
The high cost of single trailer manufacturing; manufacturing that is a distance from large metropolitan areas with more available consumers. High cost of shipping & delivery; lack of brand recognition in the market.

The Market:

Trailer Superstore (www.trailersuperstore.com) in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania features a Homesteader (4x6) enclosed cargo trailer; marketed as a luggage trailer (listed $1,699.00).
Northern Tool & Equipment (www.northerntool.com/shop/tools): LittleGiant TreeHaus Camper Tent & Utility Trailer (listed $3,149.99)
Zaloudek’s Marine (www.zaloudeksmarine.com) 4’x6’ Mini Wagon
Team Trailers Plus (www.teamtrailersplus.com) Carry On 4x6’ (listed $1,195.00)
U-Haul (4x8’) Cargo Trailer Rental (www.uhaul.com)
Yuppie Wagon (www.bestbuydealer.com)

Glider Trailers
Other Cargo Trailers

There are many enclosed trailers available in the market, however, our sleek design is highly attractive and eye-catching. Customers literally do a “double-take” when they see our product and want to ask questions about it. There are not many light-weight weather proof trailers that can be easily pulled by any car, including small economy cars. These trailers can easily be moved around by one person in grass or on pavement. The optional swivel jack on the front of the trailer makes maneuvering the trailer easier than ever.

The only option we know of that is readily available to consumers to transport heavy power wheelchairs is to spend $25-$40K adapting a van to their needs; or to have their expensive electrical wheelchair on a rack on the back of their vehicle, covering their investment with a tarp. This option can often create too much "hitch weight" for a small vehicle to safely handle.

In the future, we would like to have a web designer professional provide creative direction on our website & assist us in making online orders possible.

Tradeshows - Attended the Chicago Abilities Expo, Schamburg, IL – June 2014 Created brand awareness to consumers and created business relationships with dealers. This Expo attracts thousands of individuals in the Midwest that are living with a disability.

It is our hope in the future to attend additional local, regional & nationwide tradeshows, fairs and expos. We believe this may be one of the best paths to enter in the market, better product & company placement on search engines. The cost of these shows is often cost-prohibitive.

Facebook Online – (DBA) Double-Take Trailer Sales. We purchased online advertising on Facebook to build brand awareness and a base of followers for future “specials” or product updates & product releases. This advertising was delivered directly to the consumer via their “newsfeed or the “live-feed” of their own Facebook page. We targeted individuals in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri ages 25-64 that had a variety of interested listed above under Target Market for Trailers. We also included Veterans, individuals who support organizations for Veterans, and individuals who following a variety of wheelchair sports.



Our advertisement on Facebook ran from July 21 – Aug 10, 2014. We reached 4,810 people.

Brochures & Mailings: Providing interested parties our I-TOW product brochure in person at a tradeshow or by direct mail. We are target individuals with power wheelchairs & motor scooters with brochure; however, it may also used for other interested in our trailers.

Direct mail to increase product awareness and keep individuals & dealers interested in us and top of mind.

Online Advertising: We list our trailers for sale online on Craiglist.com. We have used Ebay.com in the past.

We continually work to bring our website up closer to the top of Google, Bing, and Yahoo search engines by making our product name, location, and phone number available to search in many areas online.

Blogs & Publications: We reach out to individuals that operate blogs directed to our target consumers. Currently we are reaching out bloggers who write about camping or new trailer products.

Networking at industry events.

Cold Calls: We have been reaching out to companies in the Midwest through cold calls.

Thank you for taking the time to review our I-TOW product.
Seeking to increase our inventory of on-hand trailers. Also need to streamline the manufacturing process. We presently make trailers one at a time. If we could keep more parts on hand and put together several trailers at a time, our cost would be less, and profit margin greater. Manufacturing cost per trailer is approximately $1,800.00 which can be cost-prohibitive for a couple of entrepreneurs just starting out. $10,000.00 would help increase our on-hand inventory of trailers and parts, allowing us to have more choices available for the consumer. The grant would also give us the means to attend more trade shows.

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