Mr. Simpson, a winner in the Manufacturing and Retail category, is helping to solve a problem for nature enthusiasts. His lightweight Feathercraft kayaks fold up small enough to fit into a backpack.
“If you want to go kayaking, you have to figure out how to get it from Point A to Point B, and if you don’t have a roof rack, you can have a problem,” Mr. Levy says. “Douglass Simpson said, ‘I can make a difference, I can improve upon this design.’ He saw the problem that others didn’t see, and he went about finding a practical solution for it.”
It’s the kind of innovation that will get more people into kayaks, Mr. Waldie says.
“Clearly, it’s Douglass’s hobby, but he’s turned it into something that other people can use. The spark of innovation often comes from this kind of thing – people who have a hobby they are passionate about and who want to find a better way of doing it. Douglass has found a way to make his hobby into something that is a little more accessible for everybody.”