A North Carolina firm is hosting a contest for student designers tasked with creating new products for the Montie Gear line of outdoor shooting, huntig and archery products. According to this story from, the students are competing for monetary prizes and a two-year commission on any products that go to market in a set time period. Not a bad deal, and we get to benefit from what they come up with.

How about you? Do you have any gear design ideas that you wish were on the shelves or maybe that you’ve cobbled together at home?

_Collaborative product design and development firm Montie Design is hosting a student design contest for Winter 2011 with prizes of up to $500 and a two-year commission on any products that go to market within two years of design submission. Participants are being tasked with designing a new product for the Montie Gear line of outdoor shooting, hunting, and archery products which grew out of the success the firm has enjoyed with its X-Rest line of portable firearms rests.
_”We’ve found there is an incredible amount of interest in sturdy, lightweight portable gear for hunters and other folks who enjoy camping, backpacking, hiking, and outdoor shooting sports,” Montie Roland, president of Montie Design, said.

The X-Rest originated as a hands-on, intensive review of product design and manufacturing for Montie Design staff, Roland said, but soon took on a life of its own once the original version was made available for sale.

“Once we marketed the product outside of the product design world, in the firearms and outdoors industry, that’s when things started to roll,” he said.

The design contest is generating buzz and support in academic institutions throughout North Carolina. According to Donald Corey, Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at Appalachian State University, anytime a student can develop a product for a “real world” application, their educational experience is heightened.

“The fact that the winning product might go into production multiplies their intensity for making the project feasible and successful,” he said, adding, “For the winners the benefit is immediately evident in their resumes and portfolios.”

Prof. Corey went on to explain that in this job market anything a student can do to increase their visibility to a potential employer is helpful. “Winning this contest, and having the piece produced and available for sale will really impress these potential employers, making often difficult hiring decisions easier,” he said.

Montie Design enjoys a strong relationship with the NCSU College of Design as well as industry groups for students, such as the Industrial Designers Society of America. The firm regularly hosts interns who engage in differing hands-on activities from concept to design to prototyping, manufacturing and marketing._