* * * * * * * AS SEEN ON ABC'S SHARK TANK * * * * * * *

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Stateline Couple Scores Big Investment on 'Shark Tank'

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The Effect of ABC's Shark Tank on Rockford Inventor Couple

Check out our SHARK TANK BUZZ!

SockTABs Update – The Company Now in 2016

Glen and Tracey Burress from Rockford, Illinois came into the Shark Tank with a solution to your laundry nightmares. The Cocktails. The Chicago native, Glen was a doctor, and Tracey worked as a pharmaceutical representative after getting her Bachelor of Arts degree. They came through the swinging doors of the tank with the spunk and drive to pitch their idea to the Sharks. The investment they initially asked for was $50K for 20% equity in their company. They were doing $20K in revenue, with 60% being retail sales and 40% online orders. Read More.

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WINNER ANNOUNCED: Tracie A. Burress was announced as the local winner of 2015 InnovateHER Challenge.

Tracie A. Burress was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and currently resides in Rockford, IL with her husband and two teenagers. "As a stay-at-home mom for 9 years" says Tracie, "I frequently became frustrated with searching for "the other sock".  After suffering a brain aneurysm and an 11 hour brain surgery, I knew that I got a second chance at life. I decided to pursue my dreams and launch my invention. In October of 2013, I created a small wearable product that will ensure that you will never lose your socks again. SockTABs alleviates the issues of sorting, matching, and searching for lost socks." Read More on Women's Business Development Center

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NIU aims to expand entrepreneurship with Rockford EIGERlab acquisition

By Kevin HaasRockford Register Star, March 17, 2015

ROCKFORD — Northern Illinois University has acquired the Rockford-based business incubator EIGERlab as it aims to expand its offerings to budding entrepreneurs and foster economic growth in the region.

EIGERlab, 605 Fulton Ave., helps start-ups and existing businesses develop products, commercialize ideas and learn new skills. It also offers design engineering and rapid prototyping services. NIU's acquisition, completed near the start of the year, will allow greater links to university resources and expertise, as well as connect EIGERlab client companies to complementary services, said Rena Cotsones, associate vice president of engagement and innovation partnerships for NIU. The university will rebrand the lab as the NIU EIGERlab Innovation Network. Read More. 

Local Family Unveils SockTABs

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – If throwing socks in the laundry machine seems daunting, a Rockford family is looking to help us with that. 

Glen and Tracie Burress have unveiled SockTABs. 

They’re clips to keep pairs together while they’re being cleaned. The Burress family says they can also be sued as a fashion accessory like cufflinks for socks. SockTABs was the creation that one this year’s Fast Pitch competition, a local entrepreneur contest. Read more.

FastPitch 2014

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Entrepreneurs from all over the Stateline showed off their inventions and products as part of Fastpitch 2014.

The event hosted by Eigerlab highlights local entrepreneurs and gives them exposure to the public.

The competitions drew 36 entrants. That number was higher than last year.

The event is called Fastpitch because each entrant has three minutes to pitch their business or product in order to win a prize. Read More. 

Socks never lose their solemate with Rockford couple's new product

By Issac Guerrero, Rockford Register Star, 10.29.2014

ROCKFORD — Tracie and Glen Burress have turned their solution to a vexing laundry problem into an entrepreneurial adventure. And now they need your help.

In June, the husband-and-wife team won the $5,000 prize for the Stateline FastPitch Competition for local entrepreneurs with sockTABs, a product that’s similar in size to a cuff link and keeps socks together from the hamper to the washer to the dryer so that each one of your socks never loses its “sole” mate.

The Burresses recently found a California company to manufacture their product. Today, four local retailers sell sockTABs and Tracie is in talks with Bed Bath & Beyond and Target to carry the product, too. Read more.