04Sep Marion Forge Winner Pursues Dream by Wendy Weichenthal (Marion) The Forge competition is designed to help entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality. The 2019 winner of this “Shark Tank” style competition is working to make his idea a thriving business. Jason Jordan, a Marion engineer, is working pursing his dream. Jordan came up with his idea after his family received a $400 electric bill one month. He wanted to save money, but most solar panel installations cost more than $10,000. The engineer designed a more affordable solution: a portable solar panel that consumers can put in your yard and plug into a regular outlet. Jordan entered The Forge Marion business competition to push his idea from the drawing board into reality. He found assistance with free business classes from Marion Technical College and $2,500 seed money from winning the top prize. Scott Hughes, faculty “Working with someone like Jason is what makes being an educator worthwhile. It is fantastic to see someone with an idea take concrete steps to make their dream a reality. Jason’s passion mixed with his drive and know-how will surely lead to some exciting things!” said Scott Hughes, business faculty at Marion Tech. Jordan founded Jordan Energy Alternative and entered competitions in Columbus. Jordan also joined the CleanTechOpen, a national small business incubator that has helped train 1,600 clean technology start-up entrepreneurs and helped create 3,000 green jobs. He’s working toward a global competition in October where competitors meet with investors. He hopes this will generate the capital to move his company forward. Jordan’s found local help and support with issues from marketing, business planning, sales and more. “Marion is rich in knowledge and people who know how to get things done. It is one thing to build a new invention. It’s another to build a company,” Jordan said. Jordan is one of a long Marion tradition of innovators and inventors. Gus Comstock, Director of Marion CANDO! “Marion has a long history of invention and industry – from Edward Huber revolutionizing agriculture with his hay rakes to the crawler transporters to launch astronauts into space, Marion has changed the world. Jason Jordan is another in this line of inventors. I’m confident he will also make history! “said Gus Comstock with CAN DO! The Marion Area Chamber of Commerce agrees. Matt Carbary, Marion Area Chamber of Commerce Director “The purpose of The Forge was to promote local entrepreneurs. It is exciting to see JEA join Attaboy’s, The Children’s Explore-It-Torium, and other successful businesses and nonprofits sparked from the Forge. He is promoting business here in Marion and his products will touch lives around the U.S.!” said Matt Carbary with the Chamber. Jordan credits the Forge Marion with the push he needs to get started. “I’m moving forward because of Marion Technical College, The Forge and the Chamber of Commerce. Without them, it would still just be an idea on a shelf!” The next series of The Forge Marion starts September 24, 2020 via Zoom. The competition is November 12. Sign up for this free program here. For more on Jordan’s company, go here.