50th annual Minnesota Inventors Congress expo

Redwood Falls, Minnesota USA 8th - 10th June 2007

MIC celebrates the 50th annual inventor’s expo.


“Based on the comments received from the exhibitors and student inventors the 50th annual Minnesota Inventors Congress was a huge success,” comments President Kirby Josephson. “Inventors from as far away as Connecticut, New Hampshire, Texas and Washington brought their latest products to showcase at the expo. Several exhibitors reported getting national media exposure and many made solid contacts with product scouts and manufacturers.”


The MIC is becoming an international event. Dr. András Vedres, Budapest, Hungary, current President of the International Federation of Inventors Associations (IFIA), presented awards to several of our exhibitors.  The MIC is the first US organization to become a member of IFIA.


At the first event in 1958, MIC President Carl Beireis reported that the key to the whole show is not the ribbons we are giving away, but the contacts the inventors make.  The MIC gives inventors the opportunity to show their ideas to those who may want to finance, manufacture, market or buy new products. Josephson responds, “I think it is incredible that 50 years later the MIC’s mission remains timeless.”  When presented with the F. Robert Starr Grand Prize, Harold Fratzke of Cottonwood MN, commented that he has a potential manufacturer and marketer interested in meeting with him after the event. This is Fratzke’s 17th time exhibiting at the world’s oldest annual invention convention. He exhibited The New Step-up System, (a step designed to make access to your pickup box safe and simple.  This attachment can be used for a pickup or van.) Presenting the award to Fratzke was current MIC Board Member Bob Starr, co-founder of the event, along with Tony Knight of the United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).


One of the highlights of this year’s event was the student inventors. At the 20th annual Minnesota Student Inventors Congress (MSIC) children from across the state of Minnesota displayed their ideas and as usual, stole the show. Students involved in the program are taught the product development process: from creating a solution to a problem; to keeping timely records of their research in an invention log book; through building a prototype and testing the public interest. USPTO Supervisor Knight hosted an intellectual property seminar for the students each day of the event.  Invent MN, represented by Phil Reinhardt and Nicholas Powley, also hosted educational sessions for those attending. United States Congressman Collin Peterson, Minnesota, who visited the expo on Friday afternoon, and Supervisor Knight held an award ceremony for the students who exhibited on Friday.



Contact information

Deb Hess, Executive Director

Minnesota Inventors Congress

P O Box 71

Redwood Falls MN  56283

507.627.2344 Office

507.637.4082 Fax




Prize list > > > here (pdf format)

Photo Report

Entrance of the hall


The hall


IFIA booth and prizes


Young inventor and her invention


The Jury


MIC Gold Medallion winners


IFIA Grand Gold Medal to Deb Hess for her altruistic support of inventors


IFIA Cup winner: Justin P. Corder (Redwood Falls MN); Invention: The Corderized Power Supply is the most versatile mobile AC/DC  "plug and play" power supply available for a military or non-military application, where ruggedness is required.


IFIA Lady Prize winner: Jennifer Gruber (Stillwater MN); Invention: Auto stop funnel, valve automatically closes when tank is full,  preventing spills.


IFIA ECO Prize winner: Bill Kurtz (St. Croix Falls WI); Invention: Hay feeding system with controlled access, saves hay, and very little waste to haul out.



Hungarian GENIUS Medallion winners: William C. Crutscher (Middlebury CT); Invention: Set of handles for staking the corners of a tarpaulin and then collecting and transporting the loaded tarpaulin with one hand  and Stephen T. Smith (Poulsbo WA); Invention: Adaptive bicycle shifting and brake system for people with hand  limitations.


Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame