‘Knottie Lock’ Catches Top Business Demo Prize

By Halle George, April 27, 2018
A product that makes tying fishing lures a snap hooked the $5K grand prize in the Business Plan Demo Day competition sponsored by the School of Business.

Five teams from the School of Business competed for money and glory at the third annual Ithaca College Startup Business Plan Demo Day this past Tuesday, hosted by Rev: Ithaca Start-Up Works.

Each presenter had five minutes to describe their product, business plan, and to request funds, and another five minutes for judges—Marshall McCormick, the president of Finger Lakes Wealth Management; Illa Burbank, the president of Incodema; and Ian Gaffney, the founder of Emmy’s Organics—to ask questions. The winning groups split $14,000 to further their business goals.

Taking home the biggest prize of the night was Knottie Fishing Co., which was award $5,000 and the Judges Prize. Nick Hansen ’18 and Nick Vogel ’18 pitched “The Knottie Lock,” which snaps onto the bottom of a fishing line and holds it in place, eliminating the need for complicated fishing knots to hold lures and hooks, and should benefit many individuals.

“Tying fishing knots is hard,” Vogel said. “Especially for beginners, young children, and fishermen with arthritis.”

He and Hansen went on to say they’re planning to use their winnings to purchase plastic injection molds, which will allow them to make as many as 24 locks a minute for less than 15 cents in production costs.

“We’re very honored [to win], and we want to get the product on the market as soon as possible,” Hansen said.

Faith George ’21 took home an award for sustainability, and she’s going to use her funds to expand Ishie by Kwene, a company that makes eco-friendly, affordable hair and skin products for African-American women.

“So many college aged women can’t afford expensive creams for their face and hair,” said George, who was inspired by a similar product her father made while living in Nigeria, and named the company after him. “My product costs only $10 and can be used to both brighten skin and repair damaged hair.”

Three other teams shared the remainder of the prize money.