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Hastings man's invention earns place at Start Garden's Demo Days

Rick Brown of Hastings shows off his Kayak Buddy idea at the Smart Garden's Demo Days in Grand Rapids.

Have you ever tried to get in or out of a kayak while it was in the water? It can be tricky if balance isn't a strong suit. Hastings native Rick Brown developed an idea of the Kayak Buddy to help stabilize the kayak while you enter and exit.

Brown submitted his idea in the Start Garden's competition and was selected as one of the top 100 ideas for the inaugural Demo Days. The competition started with over 600 ideas that were submitted via video entries and they were dwindled down to the top 100. Each of the 100 finalist were given $1,000 to help get ready for Demo Days. From the 100 competitors only 10 would be chosen to receive an additional $20,000 to help launch their business idea.

Brown wasn't selected in the top 10, but he still wants to expand the Kayak Buddy. His invention started with the stabilizer to help people get in and out of a kayak, but he has also a few additional accessories that can be sold separately that includes a car carrier and wheels that make the kayak easy to transport.

Brown hopes to charge less than $250 for a Kayak Buddy and is currently working on getting a patent for his creation.

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