Tapping Alaska’s Promise: The Marketplace Competition Model
What is Alaska Marketplace? The Alaska Marketplace is an exciting Alaska Federation of Natives initiative aimed at spurring economic development in rural Alaska by soliciting creative ideas from entrepreneurs across the state in an ‘innovation competition.’ Alaska Marketplace awards - the Kayak exemplifies Alaskan innovation.
What is Alaska Marketplace? The inaugural competition awarded $500,000 to winning finalists , with the top awards for the most promising proposals ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. The competition is open to all Alaskans with creative ideas for stimulating economic growth & community development in rural Alaska.
The Russell’s Winter Taxi Sledcoach has been built, refined, and is currently in the patent process. The Sledcoach was designed by Walter "Sonny" Russell who came up with the idea when he was in high school. It is enclosed and heated - making it optimal for transporting patients between hospital hubs and surrounding villages when weather is bad, the temperature is below 40 and planes aren't able to fly, or during the night. With energy costs going up and air fares very costly, this sled can safely and easily transport people between villages. Sonny already has requests for his sleds from other regions in Alaska.
Within a year or receiving their Alaska Marketplace award, the Yukon Adventure Company had secured an accounting firm to establish the business structure, payroll and bookkeeping systems. They also designed a website to include a photo gallery and are concentrating on internet marketing. They are hosting a yoga retreat and are concentrating on preparing for the 2009 tourism season through advertising and purchasing gear, and securing liability insurance.
Real Results for Rural Alaska “ The tremendous response we’ve received from across Alaska further proves that there is a wealth of untapped entrepreneurial potential in our great state…. ” Julie Kitka, AFN President
If you have expertise to offer instead of cash, we need your time and energy! Technical Advisors help guide & evaluate the myriad proposals for their culturally-based ideas that might truly transform rural Alaska ’s many economies.
This offers a unique opportunity to combine your organization ’s knowledge, network & resources with some of rural Alaska ’s most innovative minds! As a coach or a mentor, you will collaborate with entrepreneurs & share in the hands-on excitement of the Alaska Marketplace.
At every level, your contributions will make a lasting impression on all who partake in this exciting competition.
If you or your business, foundation, agency, nonprofit or corporation would like to support the Alaska Marketplace , please email info@ alaskamarketplace .org or call 907.274.3611 to find out how you can most effectively plug into this year ’s effort.