The economic development organizations in northwest Iowa have teamed up to offer the Dream Big Grow Here business grant contest to our region. The Dream Big Grow Here contest is an opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners to fulfill their dreams of self-employment or expansion of their current business. The contest allows entrepreneurs the chance to submit their dreams to start or expand a business, then encourage friends, family, and customers to vote for them online. The finalists will present their idea to an audience and judges in a pitch-off event for a chance to win thousands in cash prizes.
The deadline to submit applications was Friday, October 5th. There were 9 entries in the contest and they are all vying for votes. Voting on the submitted ideas will take place October 8th- 19th. During the voting period, the entrepreneur will recruit others to vote for their entry at http://www.dreambiggrowhere.com/Vote.aspx.
The top three vote-getters will advance to a regional pitch-off competition, along with two additional entrants chosen by a selection committee. Each finalist will have access to the University of Northern Iowa’s Business Concierge Services, as well as receive personalized coaching from the Small Business Development Center and UNI’s Center for Business Growth and Innovation.
The regional contest will be held the evening of Thursday, November 15th (location to be announced). The finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their ideas with first place receiving $4,000, second place receiving $2,000 and third place receiving $1,000 to grow their small business.
The Northwest Iowa regional contest is sponsored and organized by the economic development organizations that are a part of Iowa’s West Coast Initiative and Northwest Iowa Developers and includes the following counties: Cherokee, Lyon, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sioux and Woodbury. To learn more or to enter the contest, please visit www.DreamBigGrowHere.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.