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Watching cities grow

"Watching cities grow" Continued...

Issue: "The rise of localism," March 12, 2011

Toed open

Entrepreneurship is alive and well at the University of Minnesota's Carson School of Management. Max Arndt, a student in the Entrepreneurship in Action class, designed a product to make it possible to open a bathroom door without touching the handle. His classmates decided the Toepener was worth marketing. They set up a business, Forge LLC. According to MNDaily.com, the University of Minnesota newspaper, instructor John Stavig co-signed a loan for the company's initial capital, as he has done for other class projects over the past six years.

Stavig told the newspaper that the Toepener is a good launch: "It's probably the most successful initial launch of a product. They've done at least 20 different prototypes for it, and we encourage them to continue to improve it." Forge has sold 40 Toepeners, primarily to local bars and restaurants. Not surprisingly, marketing plans include a website (toepener.com), Facebook page, YouTube video, and Twitter.

Susan Olasky
Susan Olasky

Susan pens book reviews and other articles for WORLD as a senior writer and has authored eight historical novels for children. Susan and her husband Marvin live in Asheville, N.C. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanolasky.

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