Black Hills State University graduate, Dr. Lorri Riley, Class of ’87, earned second place in the 2012 Governor’s Giant Vision Business Awards Competition for her latest product, J1 Insoles. She received a cash prize of $5,000.
Riley noted that the award money will be used for additional assistance with producing the insoles as well as for advertising. “J1 Insoles and Rylo, Inc. were extremely honored to be chosen as one of 12 competitors in the Governor's Giant Vision Award. This was a great experience for us and we received exceptional feedback from skilled business owners on how to improve our business,” said Riley.
Rylo, Inc. is the sole owner and marketer of J1 Insoles. Riley, designer of J1 Insoles, is president of Rylo, Inc., a privately held company that was formed in Spearfish in 2006.
J1 Insoles are a medical-grade insole made of a quality, plastic shell with a cushioned top cover. The insoles come in two styles, flat and high/average. In the past, if a person had flat feet, they had to have prescription orthotics. Riley says that 80 percent of her patients are able to successfully use J1 insoles instead of prescription orthotics to relieve plantar fasciitis, foot pain, shin splints, knee, and back pain. J1 Insoles for flat feet are a patent-pending three-point design.
Riley became interested in pursuing podiatry after needing total reconstructive surgery of both her feet in 1984. She went on to graduate from BHSU in 1987 with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. She earned her doctorate of podiatric medicine from Des Moines University in 1991.
After a preliminary competition that reduced the field of applicants to 12 qualifying business and 12 qualifying student entries, Riley presented J1 Insoles at the Governor’s Giant Vision Award Competition to a panel of judges made up of venture capitalists, financiers, educators, and established business leaders.
The awards were presented as part of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development banquet with Governor Dennis Daugaard presenting the top prizes in both competitions.
“The goal of this program is to encourage people to explore being a business owner and to create an exciting future while also expanding South Dakota’s economy. We have worked hard to produce an event that will benefit all of the businesses participating. While the prize money will help the finalists, the contacts and rigor required to be a qualifier will prepare each entrepreneur to advance their business idea,” said David Owen, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry President.
The competition was hosted by the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry with sponsors including: Governor Daugaard; Avera McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls; Black Hills Power and Black Hills Corp., Rapid City; Christiansen Land & Cattle Ltd., Kimball; Dacotah Bank, Aberdeen; Daktronics, Inc., Brookings; Home Federal Bank, Sioux Falls; South Dakota EPSCoR, Brookings; Toshiba America, Mitchell; US Bank, Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, and Rapid City; Wheeler Manufacturing, Lemmon, and Xcel Energy, Sioux Falls.