Mankato entrepreneur a finalist for Forbes.com competition

Mankato entrepreneur April Femrite has an interesting story to tell. She manufactures clothing from bamboo fibers. If you don’t know her business yet, you might soon.

She’s a finalist for the Forbes.com “Boost your Business” competition, a sort of “American Idol” for entrepreneurs looking to make it big, or at least bigger.

At stake is $50,000 in Forbes advertising and another $50,000 in investment capital. In this latest round, each of the five finalists had to submit a detailed business plan then fly to New York to deliver a 10 minute presentation and answer unscripted questions.

Readers get to vote on the plans and the reader vote and the judges observations will decide who wins.

We’re going to talk to Femrite on Tuesday and we’ll post her story later in the week. Today was the last day for the public to vote.

Here’s the background information on her company and what she’d do with the money.

If you have questions for her, contact me directly.

Contests don’t usually interest me. But Femrite’s story dovetails with many of the questions we’ve been asking the past few months: How will Minnesota build its economic future and what will that look like? Can Minnesota keep and nurture its home-grown entrepreneurs? Can it capitalize on the “green,” sustainable movement?

What happens if it can’t?

Some of the biggest economic thinkers in Minnesota are asking these questions aloud. No matter what happens to Femrite in the Forbes contest, her story may help us understand Minnesota’s economic future.

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