Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Inventors Congress

Bob Starr thought that there was an opportunity to harness the creative talent of local farmers and tinkerers in the Redwood Falls, MN area, hoping to be able to keep young people at home. He started the Minnesota Inventors Congress (MIC) 50 years ago in 1958 to help bring together inventors, manufacturers, marketers and the general public. This year’s annual event will be held June 8, 9 and 10th in Redwood Falls. It is the oldest annual inventors convention in the world.

In 1976 MIC added a Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame, honoring over 50 inventors from the state who have changed life for everyone for the better. An exhibit of these inventors is located in the Redwood Area Community Center that I wrote about yesterday.

I asked Deb Hess, Executive Director of MIC, what had been the local impact of bringing thousands of inventors to Redwood Falls each year. She was quick to point out Carl Oja who first exhibited at the Inventors Congress in 1964, “He came here with what he called the Quad Cane, a four pronged cane. He moved here with his family in 1967 and his company Activeaid, Inc. employs 38 people here today.”

I loving hearing of innovative ideas like this as I travel around the USA. It inspires me to learn of different ways that people are trying to reinvent their communities to be able to keep their young people home.

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