“Through the whole process, I actually began to see my design turn into a prototype, and now my prototype might actually become a patented reality. By the end, I was so happy that I had chosen to take a chance on myself and do something that brought my engineering and hooping life together.”
“I thought of this product two years ago—I wrote it down and kind of forgot about it for awhile. And I realized that if I didn’t do it, I’d always regret it, so I just decided to pursue it. The competition is a great outlet for anyone interested in innovation and development. The experience gives you the tools to develop the idea and the confidence to continue.”
Ladder Cat: A device for safely lifting loads up the entire span of an extension ladder.
“You don’t realize until you do a project like this how much the real world and industry standards drive your design. As of right now we have one main application that we designed it for, but as we progress and move our design further, we could consider more features that would allow it to be more cost effective and efficient for a home user.”
— Mike Sracic
“I learned that there’s a lot of unseen work that goes into building a prototype. You have to look up standards and make sure everything fits together properly. You can’t design something that you can’t build.”
— Dan Goesch
What advice would you give to someone entering this contest next year?
“Get a head start. Be free to continue changing your invention so that it improves. We started off with a design that was very different from this, and we continually changed it to make it better and more usable.”
— Logan Hamel
“Don’t give up. You’ll hit a lot of roadblocks and you’re going to want to make a lot of compromises that are going to get away from the design that you want to do. But just keep at it, and you’ll eventually figure out a solution.”
— Elliot Haag
Innovators: Dan Goesch, Elliot Haag, Logan Hamel, Mike Sracic and Dave Tengler, $2,500 Tong winner
This entry won second place in the Schoofs Prize for Creativity.