People from across Northwest Iowa gathered in Sioux City at Design West on November 17th 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 Dustin Rhoades with Ability Tech from Sioux City as the first-place winner and recipient of $5,000. The Vander Zee family with Carroll Street Treats from Rock Rapids was awarded second place and $3,000, while Greg Stubbe, Wyatt Stubbe and Luke Stubbe with S2B Fishing Supplies from Rock Rapids was awarded third place and $2,000.
Ashley Nwaokolo with WalkMemoryLane from Sheldon and Jonathan VanTuyl with Roots Substance Abuse from Sioux City were also finalist in the competition. These funds are provided to the business owners to help expand their businesses in northwest Iowa.
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.
Pictured is contest winner Dustin Rhoades with Ability Tech (center), along with judges (L to R) Ken Beekley, Erika Vonk, Cheri Cosgrove, and Kelly McCarty.
Receiving second place at the BIG Challenge competition in Sioux City was Carroll Street Treats of Rock Rapids. Pictured are (front) Nora Vander Zee. (middle) judges Ken Beekley and Erica Vonk, Liam and Ada Vander Zee and judges Cheri Cosgrove and Kelly McCarty. (back) Blake, Meredith, Evan and Joe Vander Zee.
Receiving third place at the BIG Challenge competition in Sioux City was S2B Fishing Supplies of Rock Rapids. Pictured are (front) Greg Stubbe, Wyatt Stubbe and Luke Stubbe. (back) BIG Challenge judges Ken Beekley, Erica Vonk, Cheri Cosgrove and Kelly McCarty.
Egents Photography contestant booth.
Pictured are the five finalists, judges and sponsors of the 2022 BIG Challenge.