Presenting the Entrepreneurial Spirit 2009 Grant Finalists, Part II

In this second part of the brief finalist introduction, we present you the other 25 finalist for the Seventh Idea Cafe Grant (a.k.a. The Entrepreneurial Spirit 2009 Grant). We have sent questions to all finalists, asking them to provide more information about themselves. Look for their Q&As here, on the Idea Cafe Blog. Pick your favorite business idea, and vote--your votes will determine the winner.

Idea Cafe Regulars are welcome to ask questions in the comment section of the respective finalist Q&A, once the Q&As start appearing on our blog.

Attention To Detail Gifts
Sun City, CA
Attention To Detail Gifts takes gift giving to a whole new level. In fact, we do what the competition is unwilling to. You may ask yourself why we're so passionate about gift giving and how we can make such bold claims. Let me take you to the beginning. Springing from a desire for us to bounce back after my mother was in a car accident with a drunk driver, we knew we had to be! We started with a $100 investment and began taking our custom fruit baskets to any business that would give us the time of day. We worked and worked at it and are now blessed to provide over 400 gift baskets, vibrant flowers, and decadent chocolates to clients. So what do we do that the competition is unwilling to? Attention To Detail Gifts provides: * Same day shipping * The sender's personalized message * Package tracking * Reminder service * 24 hour gift advice * A post delivery confirmation call All Free Of Charge. We have been featured in a local paper and even Oprah Winfrey has been the recipient of one of our gifts. We are blessed and so passionate about giving back. Last year, I received an award from Congress for volunteer work in the comminity. With this much change created from a $100 investment, imagine what basket fulls (pun intended) of change will be created with $1000!

Friendly Fungus Farms
Virginia Beach, VA
I am growing oak log shiitake mushrooms and organically grown leaf lettuce to sell @ the local farmers markets and locally stores and restraunts. shiitakes will also be grown for medicinal purposes.

Spring Fever Outdoor Living Center
Gretna, NE
Spring Fever is out to change the way our community gardens. We carry ergonomic tools, rare seed and plants, pottery from around the world and quality embellishments to adorn any style of garden. We also provide landscape design and install landscapes and hardscapes of all styles.

Better Bodies 4 Us
I design Circuits, which are strength and endurance training stations, to meet the needs of women between the ages of 25 and 54 and student athletes between the ages of 12 and 18. It's my purpose to motivate, encourage and educate as many women and student atheletes as possible., LLC.
Tampa, FL provides a national, searchable venue allowing SMB's to advertise there products and services 24hrs a day with the added attraction of posting a video Commercial (Vmercial) for Free.

Environmentally Conscious Organization (e.c.o.), Incorporated
New York, NY
Environmentally Conscious Organization (e.c.o.), Inc. is a design and licensing firm, dedicated to improving outmoded, outdated and wasteful food packaging. e.c.o. is marketing its first product, the ‘Green Box’ (US Patent 7,051,919), a pizza box manufactured from 100% recycled material. The top of the ‘Green Box’ breaks down into convenient serving plates, eliminating the need for disposable plates. The remainder of the box converts easily into a handy storage container, eliminating the need for plastic wrap, tin foil or plastic bags. The perforations and scores that create this functionality allow for easy disposal into a standard-sized recycling bin. Made from a standard pizza blank, the ‘Green Box’ requires no additional material or major redesign and can therefore be produced at no additional manufacturing cost. e.c.o. owns the utility patent on the ‘Green Box.’ Check out a video demo of the ‘Green Box’ at and our website at
Canal Fulton, OH
Provide safe training, information and supplies for safe bicycle riding aimed at children 3-6 years of age. I would like to focus on the Strider balance bike as the main product.

Eagle International Tents
Clearwater, FL
We are an agency that designs and manufacture all types of portable structures for disaster relief, sporting events,etc. We target and offer special pricing for non profit and relief organisations.

True Believers Comics & Gallery
Santa Fe, NM
We not only are a retail space for comics, books, DVD rentals, and related schwag--we act as a community center for locals, a safe place for kids of all ages to hang out. We also support local art and reading events.

Can Do It Ceramics
Yuma, AZ
My mom had orginilly had this business for over 10 years. She gave it to me due to her failing health. We sell Greenware, Bisque pieces, paints, brushes, we have our own kilns for firing and teach adult and childrens classes. We are the only ceramic business in town now.

Toledo, OH
Aunt Kathy's is a manufacturer of unique blend of BBQ sauces,dry rubs,lemon pepper fish fry mix and vadalia relish. I beleive Aunt Kathy's has found their niche in the food industry by developing a DIET BBQ sauce. Low sodium low calorie low carbohydrate will be great for Diabetics and low carb diets.

Northglenn, CO
FeedTheBull is a platform for the investment community to benefit from the collective intelligence of the members by sharing, commenting and collaborating on the news that affects the stock market. It is a place that gives the investors a voice by allowing them to submit, vote, and comment on articles that influence the stock market. By allowing the investors to exchange ideas and talk with each other on articles that have such a large influence on the stock market, we are giving power back to the investor.

Pandora Trips
San Mateo, CA
Pandora Trips helps people make the most of their vacations by designing for them custom vacation itineraries. The customer fills out an online form indicating travel dates and a series of answers about his or her travel interests, goals, etc. We (and by this I mean me, as I am the only employee right now) conduct research in order to find and pass along activities/venues that best match our customers' interests. I will deliver to them a professional, custom itinerary in 4-days (or 24-hours if the customer chose the expedited options). It will include a personal trip map, descriptions, tips and more.

Evergreen Data Management LLC
Marquette, MI
Evergreen provides document management services by digitizing hardcopy information into knowledge libraries that are stored securely using triple layer encryption for our clients. Our service adds value to our base of small business clients by reducing operating costs, while remaining compliant within their regulatory governance environment, and making back-office procedural life easier.

Headwaters Bamboo Rod Company
Hillsboro, OR
We make fly fishing outings an adventure by providing classic handcraft bamboo fly rods.

Fanta-Sea Divers
Madison, GA
We teach people how to blow bubbles! We are scuba diving instructors, introducing folks to an exciting new underwater world. It is so amazing to see the look on our students faces when they realize how much FUN scuba diving is and how truly magical the underwater world is.

Victor Screw Products
Rochester, NY
We are a manufacturing company established in 1986. We have previously manufactured small parts and fastners for larger companies including Zerox and Kodak. Since the economic down-turn, we have started to include prototype work in energy related fields. We have made three submissions to Design The Future Contest, all energy related ideas. Our aim is to become more productive in the new "green" environment. We also have started to produce a line of handmade wood products, such as wine caddys.

Brighter Pastures
Decatur, IL
Brighter Pastures provides Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Growth, Learning, and Education to commmunities throughout central Illinois. Our mission is to enrich the quality of lives and relationships of individuals, groups, and families by encouraging self-awareness, positive attitudes, empowerment, self-esteem, life-skills, emotional healing, and personal growth through experiential learning in partnership with horses. Brighter Pastures is non-discriminatory on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, age, religion, or economic status. Our vision is to utilize the majestic presence of the horse to empower all clients we serve by using creative and innovative equine therapies therefore becoming a recognized facility of excellence in equine-assisted activities that offers the needed programs for individuals, groups, and families to benefit our community and provide hope for a brighter tomorrow. Our goal is to help those we serve achieve improved confidence, self-esteem, respect, trust in self, communication, and problem-solving skills therefore enhancing their productivity and success within their home, school, work, and community. We provide our services to victims of sexual assult/abuse, victims of crime, individuals with mental illness, individuals and families fighting the battle against cancer, and individuals and families returning home from the war. We also lead educational workshops teaching life-skills to children throughout our community.
Cocoa Beach, FL
We are a restaurant delivery service that allows restaurants that normally can't provide delivery to offer this option to their customers allowing them to generate extra revenue. We also provide much needed marketing to these restaurants which helps them to compete with the bigger chains which not only brings them more delivery business but also more people frequenting their restaurant.

Citi Functions
Citi Functions provides all the unique amenities for any special event. From Dj's for that surprise party to sky-diving at 30,000 feet. Take that special someone horseback riding and dinner on the beach. Have your own personal photographer. Stage a romantic carriage ride through the citi or sore through the clouds in a hot air-balloon. Breakaway from the mundane, be creative, and sweep your loved one off their feet.

Flagstaff, AZ
Genius in the morning is an indie-entrepreneurial venture whose aim is to promote and strengthen local communities through creativity, design and community participation. We are an entirely do-it-yourself, grassroots organization. We subscribe to the ethics that are intrinsic to the sustainable movement, such as an emphasis on creativity, strong local communities and social and environmental awareness. From our business cards to our t-shirts to our web design, we use local, handmade, sustainable goods and services whenever possible (and it’s almost always possible!) We operate under the philosophy that the revolution will be, and already is, a creative one. Therefore, our mission is two part: to participate in the creative revolution, and to invite all the underground genius’ out there to get involved too. Here’s how it works: From global warming to extreme financial and social inequality, it’s no secret that globally we face many crises that are in need of urgent solutions. At genius in the morning, we believe that reviving local economies is an imperative act in this worldwide attempt to shift society toward health, equality and sustainability. Therefore, genius in the morning will proudly donate a percentage of our profits to nominated recipients from various communities around the nation. The recipients will be chosen by us and proposed by ordinary citizens (anyone, there are no limitations). Because our charity interests are all over the place, we decided to create a rotating charity, rather than choose a sole recipient. Yet we didn’t want to merely hand pick pre-established charities; we envisioned something more creative and personal. We wanted to entertain some form of community participation. What we came up with is this: we want people, through a design proposal, to nominate an in-need cause in their local community (local = close to their home and heart) to be awarded financially. Three times a year, or every 4 months, genius in the morning will choose a proposed recipient to donate 40% of our net profits to. The nominated recipient(s) can be an individual or family in need, a do-good organization threatened by the economic downturn, a start-up entrepreneurial idea of ones own, etc. Essentially no good-natured idea is off limits. The only requirements of the proposal are that it aims to better ones local community and answers the question “why does saving the world turn you on?” (‘Saving the world turns me on’ is our slogan). Proposals are submitted online or sent via snail mail, creative applications are encouraged. Once the selection process is complete, the next step is that we will work with the recipient to co-create a personalized t-shirt design that is unique to the specific cause being represented and incorporates the slogan “saving the world turns me on”. The idea behind all this is that creating visually hip and somewhat provocative t-shirts will serve as a catalyst to positive change while simultaneously encouraging creativity, design and community participation.

Greener Planet Design, LLC
Sunbury, OH
I provide Residential New-build and Re-Green Architectural design plan services. With an environmental focus, these plans detail: The construction, specification, and resources needed for a complete set of building permits and site implementation. More specifically, the design goals provide short and long-term public resource dependency reduction for home-owners on utilities such as Energy, Fuel, and Water. Furthermore, empowering them to build with less impact to themselves and the environment. Methods include but are not limited to: Green/ renewable product selection, advanced framing techniques, Energy star recommendation, waste reduction, recyclable content, embodied energy analysis, Indoor air quality, Universal design with a sustainability focus, and assistance along the way to completion. I provide feasible real-word, publicly available methods to help live a “better” life. Additionally demonstrating, that not only is there a better way to build, but it is surprisingly cost-competitive. Home-owners are not only be exposed to methods pertaining to their dwelling, but lifestyle resources, provided as a home-owners manual, per LEED guidelines. Regulated by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is a non-exclusive design guideline used religiously during the design phase. My membership with the USGBC and acceptance by Energy Star as a service provider enhances my existing college education in Architecture and Real Estate, along with a strong supportive background in Green building. My business has several facets in my niche area. I have been working to provide quality home-plans at a pre-packaged, well below market, rate to assist home-buyers in building their dreams afford-ably. Additionally, I provide consultation services to building contractors who already have a set of plans – yet need assistance with modification for Energy Star rating and Greenbuild prominence. Greener Planet Design (GPD) stood to be a pioneer in the Residential market in-and-around Central Ohio. However, due to my pre-packaged plans offering; this is now a Nationwide offering. Much like the home-plans that can be purchased on-line, yet fully detailed according to current trends and needs. Admittedly, Green is a trend-word today; However, it is far becoming a basis of how things will continue to be done due to both public education and demand. Consequently, these homes prove to serve as better investments to the home-owner, an added enhancement to our economy.

F.N.U.E. - From Now Until Eternity Jewelry
New York, NY
F.N.U.E. (From Now Until Eternity) Jewelry Collection is an entirely handmade jewelry line with custom pieces crafted out of sterling silver, 14K gold, 18k gold vermeil and certified precious gemstones. The pieces exude elegance, distinction, and luxury. Each design has been inspired from Halley's love of her friends, family and living in New York City where she is constantly inspired by the constant change in seasons and artistic influences of NY. From Now Until Eternity Jewelry is Jewelry for the Heart, From the Heart.

Spirit Work knititng & designs, Inc.
Rochester, NY
Retail yarn and lesson business. 300 sq ft storefront and a website business.

Heartsaver CPR
Bellevue, NE
I provide CPR and Basic Life Support instruction to individuals and businesses including medical personnel. My business is unique because of my method of teaching. Utilizing my extensive experience as both a police officer and an EMT, I am able to provide real life teaching to my students. In addition, I pride myself in offering classes one on one or in a classroom setting for individuals and groups. My philosophy is that "anyone can save a life, they just need to know how".

Hobe Sound, FL
Fitness for your mind and body through a fun dance exercise program that also focuses on mental attitude (building confidence and learning to love yourself just as you are).


I vote for Sobo

I vote for Sobo

my vote is for Fanta-Sea

my vote is for Fanta-Sea Divers. what a fun and exciting adventure, to learn how to scuba dive!

I vote Citi Functions. Seems

I vote Citi Functions. Seems out of the ordinary.

I vote citifunctions......I

I vote citifunctions......I have used them before and they were top notch!!! Go citi-functions!!

Everyone! The voting page is

Everyone! The voting page is located at

I see some well known names

I see some well known names here and some others I never heard of. I guess in these financial times, smaller businesses have the opportunity to rise.
Oklahoma City remodeling

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