The BIG Challenge 2023 Winners Announced

The BIG Challenge logo

Northwest Iowa Development Iowa's West Coast Initiative   Siouxland Economic Development Commission


People from across Northwest Iowa gathered in Le Mars, IA at The Wells Visitor Center & Ice Cream Parlor on November 16th to attend The BIG Challenge pitch competition and determine the recipients of $10,000 in grant funds to support entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the region. Organizers of the competition are pleased to announce Chloe Metzger with Blessed Abodes from Rock Rapids as the first-place winner and recipient of $5,000. Melting Cow BBQ, comprised of Nick Carter & Stacy Johnson of Sioux City were awarded second place and $3,000. Brienna Bruggeman with Freedom Brew of Larchwood took home third place and $2,000. Justin and BJ Richards with Onawa Dragway from Onawa and Alex DeJager with Midwest Compost Solutions from Rock Valley were also finalist in the competition. These funds are provided to the business owners to help expand their businesses in northwest Iowa.

Chloe Metzger with Blessed Abode

Pictured is contest winner Chloe Metzger with Blessed Abodes (second from left). Along with judges (L to R) Ken Beekley, Cheri Cosgrove, and Kelly McCarty.

2023 The BIG Challenge finalists

Pictured are the finalists for The BIG Challenge 2023


The BIG Challenge is a program for entrepreneurs and small business owners to earn grant funds to start or grow their business. To participate, owners upload their entrepreneurial expansion or startup ideas during an online portion of the program. Entrants then encourage friends, family and customers to vote for them online to advance to the pitch off event.  

The BIG Challenge is organized and sponsored by the economic development organizations that are a part of Iowa’s West Coast Initiative, Northwest Iowa Development and Siouxland Economic Development Corporation.



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