HUTCHINSON, Minn. — Golf course greens are held to a high standard, and Kevin Froemming of Hutchinson found the brute force required to manually cut holes for the cups just wasn’t … cutting it. A golf course superintendent for over 40 years, he designed a better way — the Power Assist Cup Cutter (PACC).
The PACC is an electric, self-propelled vehicle designed to cut precision holes for the cups on golf course greens. Kevin and his wife, Cassie Froemming, used financing from Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Microenterprise Loan Program to help them launch this invention. The couple has a patent on the PACC, and they’ve formed Froemming Innovations LLC to develop and market this and other inventions.
As superintendent at the Crow River Golf Course near Hutchinson, Kevin noticed the manual labor of the cutting of holes on greens was taking its toll on an already dwindling labor force. Leaning on his degree in tool and machining, Kevin began crafting the PACC through a process of research, trial and error. He’s used the cup cutter on the Crow River Golf Course for four years.
“We’re trying to reduce the labor-intensive processes on golf courses by capitalizing on modern technology, and to offer new possibilities for increased productivity and efficiency,” said Kevin, who has invented several other original products to promote efficiency on the golf course.
Cassie has a background in education, instructional design and business management. Her expertise is in research, e-learning, communications and, most recently, cup cutting with the PACC.
Financing from SWIF helped Froemmings purchase equipment and build prototypes of the PACC. The cup cutter is available by pre-order and debuted at the Orlando Golf Industry Show in Florida last month.
“Kevin is a highly creative inventor who has the hands-on experience to bring his ideas to life,” said SWIF Economic Development Officer Jackie Turner. “SWIF is happy to help Cassie and him jumpstart this business.”
Loan programs have been a key function of SWIF since its inception to support communities and businesses throughout southwest Minnesota. In 2001, microlending was added to existing programs as a tool to support small businesses and people looking for self-employment opportunities.
Microloan clients receive free technical assistance from SWIF staff to improve their business management skills. Areas of support include business planning and financials analysis, QuickBooks training, marketing assistance and other training opportunities for the life of the loan.
This microloan program receives funding assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, contact SWIF at 800-594-9480, 320-587-4848 or [email protected].
About Southwest Initiative Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) is a nonprofit community foundation connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities to create a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. Since its founding in 1986, SWIF has distributed more than $82 million through its grantmaking and business finance programs.
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