H and S Canoe, Co.
What's the big idea?
The big idea is to bring a high-end canoe manufacturing business to Grand Rapids, Michigan. This business designed, manufactured, and sold world class canoes worldwide since 1988. However, after a 2006 acquisition and a poor business model from the parent company, they discontinued production in 2011, and it is now for sale. The plan is to purchase the company and relocate the manufacturing facility from Wisconsin to the banks of the Grand River in Grand Rapids - merging the paddling heritage of the area with the fine craftsmen and craftswomen of the furniture and automobile industries.
Describe the nearest player in your field.
Wenonah Canoe (http://www.wenonah.com), based out of Winona, Minnesota, is the nearest competitor to my business. Potential customers currently choose Wenonah simply due to the lack of my idea in the marketplace. Research indicates a high demand for this brand of canoe to begin manufacturing again.
How are you different from that player?
As the business grows, I plan to: invest into R&D of new construction materials (stronger, lighter, more durable, etc.); develop new hull designs; streamline processes; fully implement lean manufacturing principles; and completely manage the supply chain. The result will be lower consumer costs.
How's the world different with your idea in it?
Jobs - skilled trade jobs in Grand Rapids making world class canoes. There will be a demand in the marketplace for this canoe company to continue production, creating a need for skilled labor. Locating the business in the downtown area, near the Grand River, will create a local and national buzz.
Why are you the one to run with this idea?
I have over ten years of practical experience engineering and managing sophisticated manufacturing processes. Furthermore, I understand the principles of supply chain management. I also have a proven track record of accomplishing difficult goals, but more importantly - I have a passion for paddling.