Take a look through this Aha! issue and you’ll realize our region is brimming with talented innovators with creative ideas and a desire to turn them into businesses. You’ll meet them all through the issue, including in “Making It Work,” where successful innovators talk about how they came up with products from a sci-fi-like medical device that will scan the body for disease to ingenious magnetic collar stays for men’s shirts.
Just as promising is a new initiative to help startups. Gulf Coast Community Foundation launched BIG (Bright Ideas on the Gulf Coast) to provide resources and investors for budding entrepreneurs. Already, 100 people have contacted BIG for help, and you can read about some of them in “Dream Big.”
And in “Why Did You Buy That?” inventor and Northwestern University engineering professor Walter Herbst provides real-world tips for how to get your ideas into production and onto retailers’ shelves. We’re helping to bring Herbst to Sarasota to speak on Tuesday, March 18, at 8 a.m. at New College of Florida. His talk, “Getting It Right,” will be useful for anyone with an idea. Tickets are $35 and include a continental breakfast. To reserve, visit donate.ncf.edu/events or call (941) 487-4888. -Susan Burns