Le Mars, Iowa — The runner up in the regional Dream Big Grow Here contest is from our part of Northwest Iowa. Three of the six finalists who presented their “dreams” on Thursday evening, March 31st, were from our area.
The Iowa West Coast Dream Big Grow Here regional pitch off event is a separate regional contest for participants in the statewide Dream Big, Grow Here contest. That contest will be later this month in Des Moines.
The winner of the regional contest was Lumin Therapy in Sioux City. They received $4,000. Second place was American Hero Clothing of Larchwood, and they received $1,000 to expand their businesses.
Organizers say American Hero Clothing was founded by Michelle Sanderson and is a thriving e-commerce apparel business that has also recently opened a brick and mortar production facility in Larchwood, Iowa. Specializing in personalized custom clothing, American Hero Clothing is revolutionizing the way women confidently bring attention to their mission, business, or favorite team.
Lumin Therapy provides yoga-based community workshops and clinics, organization and school outreach, and one-on-one home sessions for individuals and families with special needs. Lumin Therapy is owned by Meghan Nelson and Ryan Allen who plan to use the prize money to pursue additional trainings and certificates, as well as purchase needed equipment for specialized yoga sessions.
The other Dream Big Grow Here finalists who pitched on March 31st included: – Jerry McGill with A Little Help Home Care from Le Mars, Iowa – Brittany Keizer with Simply Jade Boutique from Sioux Center, Iowa – Lloyd Lee with Qneo from Sioux City, Iowa – and Dalton Van Zanten with Van Shrimp from Rock Valley.
Iowa Dream Big Grow Here is an annual program for entrepreneurs and small business owners to earn cash to start or grow their business. To participate, owners upload their entrepreneurial expansion or startup ‘dreams’ during an online portion of the program. Dream entrants then encourage friends, family, customers and other business owners to vote for them online to pre-qualify to advance to the regional pitch off event.
Van Shrimp and American Hero Clothing are also both headed for the state event in their separate categories — Van Shrimp in Ag Innovations, and American Hero Clothing in Restaurant and Retail. That contest will be April 14th, in Des Moines, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center.
Dream Big Grow Here was created by the Center for Business Growth and Innovation at the University of Iowa and is a program of UNI Business and Community Services. The northwest Iowa regional contest is organized and sponsored by the economic development organizations that are a part of Iowa’s West Coast Initiative, Northwest Iowa Developers and Siouxland Economic Development Corporation.