The Melni Innovation Group was voted the Entrepreneurial Idol for the State of Idaho and awarded a $10,000 cash prize from Idaho National Laboratory, as well as web site assistance from Valice, Inc., at the recent Idaho TechLaunch 7.0 competition.
Competing against seven other companies from around the state, a panel of judges composed of representatives from the private sector, angel investment companies, and financial institutions, selected The Melni Innovation’s electrical connector technology as the technology in the State of Idaho in which they would most likely invest.
Similar to a Chinese finger trap that “traps” a victim’s fingers in both ends of a small, woven bamboo cylinder, Melni Innovation has developed The Melni Electrical Connector whose patented technology, when the connectors’ end caps are twisted, make it virtually impossible for electrical wires to release. When the product’s electrically-conductive spiral is tightened around wires, cable, or other elongated elements, it produces a more-than-secure spiral connection, which results in sizable time and material cost savings to the user – and a marketable product for the inventor.
“Participating in Idaho TechLaunch again brought back good memories of another successful Techlaunch ‘win’ for our small company,” said Carolyn Harrison, partner in The Harrison Group, the licensing and marketing/sales firm representing Melni in its commercialization path. “In 2006, we were involved in winning TechLaunch 3.0, when we represented Optimal Solutions Software, a now-successful start-up company in Idaho Falls, who competed and won the event in Sun Valley.”
The Idaho TechLaunch competition again brought together Idaho university students, science and technology companies, government agencies, economic development professionals and business investors for two days of competitions focused on technology commercialization. Attendees saw how academia, business, finance and R&D come together to take a concept from R&D to the marketplace.
This year’s TechLaunch Conference was organized by Idaho TechConnect, Inc.; Idaho National Laboratory, one of the nations’s ten Department of Energy national laboratories; and was sponsored by Perkins Coie; Idaho Economic Development Association; Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization; Idaho Power; Bannock Development Corporation; Grow Idaho Falls, Inc.; and Rocky Mountain Power.
According to Nancy Bergmann, chairwoman of the TechLaunch 7.0 event and INL Economic Development and Technical Assistance program Manager, “The Melni Innovation Group’s true success has come from assistance the Company received from many throughout the state of Idaho. This includes public and private organizations, such as the Idaho Small Business Development Centers, Idaho TechConnect, Idaho TechHelp, and the Boise Angel Fund. I am pleased that INL could dedicate support from the INL’s Technical Assistance Program to assist Melni.”
The Melni Innovation Group will use the much-needed $10,000 infusion of funding to manufacture “testable” prototypes for distribution to potential licensees.