e-Labs

Giving Entrepreneurs a Laboratory

Rob Fuglie
by Rob Fuglie | Apr 03, 2013
| 2 Comments

Summary:

With JJ Hill Library as a supporting organization, build a working laboratory for inventors and entrepreneurs to design and build new products/projects. More than money, entrepreneurs need tools and materials to take the first step: vision to tangible prototype. They need tapes and glues, welders and drills, building materials, etc. This can be partnered with MN companies like 3M, Northern Tool, etc. The materials can be scraps, allowing entrepreneurs to give new life to other people's trash. It doesn't take a lot, it takes space and access to tools. Most entrepreneurs are not going to develop a new "app", the next killer software, or the personal computer. They will develop the next plate scraper, the next zip lock bag, the next hose reel. They don't need money TODAY. They need a place to make vision happen so they can sell, get a customer, make things WORK! This organization can be a partner outlet for SCORE, SBDC, SBA, VA, the Universities, etc. For something to take root it has to be more than idea, and no amount of business plan development or funding will fix not having a product and/or customer. Give entrepreneurs a place to create, to build, to design and engineer. Make vision tangible, make it sellable, make St. Paul a destination for anyone wanting to "Build a Dream"….

About You

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About You

First Name

Rob

Last Name

Fuglie

City

Chanhassen

County

Carver

Country

United States, MN, Carver County

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

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About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Fergus Foods, LLC

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

City

Fergus Falls

Organization Country

United States, MN, Otter Tail County

Your idea

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Title of your idea

e-Labs: Giving Entrepreneurs a Laboratory

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

With JJ Hill Library as a supporting organization, build a working laboratory for inventors and entrepreneurs to design and build new products/projects. More than money, entrepreneurs need tools and materials to take the first step: vision to tangible prototype. They need tapes and glues, welders and drills, building materials, etc. This can be partnered with MN companies like 3M, Northern Tool, etc. The materials can be scraps, allowing entrepreneurs to give new life to other people's trash. It doesn't take a lot, it takes space and access to tools. Most entrepreneurs are not going to develop a new "app", the next killer software, or the personal computer. They will develop the next plate scraper, the next zip lock bag, the next hose reel. They don't need money TODAY. They need a place to make vision happen so they can sell, get a customer, make things WORK! This organization can be a partner outlet for SCORE, SBDC, SBA, VA, the Universities, etc. For something to take root it has to be more than idea, and no amount of business plan development or funding will fix not having a product and/or customer. Give entrepreneurs a place to create, to build, to design and engineer. Make vision tangible, make it sellable, make St. Paul a destination for anyone wanting to "Build a Dream"….

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Traditional incubators focus on operating needs: office, phone, etc. These things are not needed in 2013. What is needed is a space to produce and refine products. This is the earliest stage. This helps entrepreneurs go from vision to product. There are few opportunities for this assistance. Everyone will hep with a business plan. But who helps with product development and refinement? How do you get voice of customer reactions with no prototype? What good is a business plan with no product? What good are investment dollars with no customer or product to sell? E-labs makes the vision tangible, gives the concept physical shape and form. Come to E-Labs, "Build a Dream"...

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

E-Labs connects the community entrepreneurs to businesses, libraries, higher education, and a network of other early stage innovators. This network can help get ideas BUILT. The resulting difference in St. Paul: creating a community of entrepreneurship by leveraging existing community assets. People, ideas, learning, production, business, community, economic development. 99.9% of businesses don't need a stadium, they need a start. They don't need funding (yet), they need a supporting community. They don't need an office or a phone, they need help taking their concept from napkin to revenue. This is something St. Paul can DO entrepreneurship, create community, create jobs, and bring together community assets from every corner of the City to create new value.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

It doesn't take the launch of a billion dollar company, it takes 1 "million dollar" idea to get to market. Every community has excess capacity and underutilized capacity. It is a church kitchen that only gets used 6 times a month, the empty warehouse, the technical college with tools, the business with antiquated equipment, a lumber yard with scrap, a recycler with metals and plastics, a bunch of people with ideas. Giving someone a start does not cost much. They don't need to quit their day job. They need to be able to ask questions in a safe environment, build on their idea, and get connected. They likely have a phone, can build a website, work from home… but they don't have capacity to produce. Any community has enough available assets to make production happen~ they need a product.

llhjl hlhj said: In the business you really have to deal with every situation available if required. - Adam LaFavre about this Competition Entry. - 2533 days ago read more >
Lois Josefson said: This is a worthy concept. The JJ Hill venue suggestion fits with the historical mission to support business development and growth. ... about this Competition Entry. - 2846 days ago read more >

Rob Fuglie updated this Competition Entry. - 2846 days ago

Rob Fuglie updated this Competition Entry. - 2887 days ago

Rob Fuglie submitted this idea. - 2887 days ago