Northwest Iowa — The finalists in the Dream Big Grow Here contest have been named.
Finalists from our area include Van Shrimp of Rock Valley and American Hero Clothing of Larchwood. In addition, another business started by an Ocheyedan native is also in the running. Steven Brockshus, who served for a time in a leadership position in the National FFA Organization entered his company, Tillage, in the contest. According to the video entry, the company’s goal is to be a national database of ag land statistics for land that is for sale or for rent.
Five entries have been selected from each industry category to advance to the statewide contest at the statewide entrepreneurial conference, EntreFEST, in Iowa City on May 19, 2016. Each entrepreneur that advances in their industry category will participate in a pitch-off event against the other industry finalists for a chance to win $5,000. The winners of each industry category will then advance to the finals the evening of May 19 for a chance to win a grand prize to be announced at EntreFEST 2016.
All entrepreneurs advancing to the statewide contest will also have access to the University of Northern Iowa’s Business Concierge services, as well as receive personalized coaching and mentoring from VentureNet Iowa to prepare their pitch.
As an added bonus, the economic development organizations in northwest Iowa will also host a regional Dream Big Grow Here contest in April. This regional contest will allow the top five vote getters in northwest Iowa to refine their pitches, showcase their ideas, and compete in a regional pitch off event for $5,000. Additional details about the regional contest will be announced soon.
The Northwest Iowa regional contest is 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.
The finalists are:
Ag Innovation industry:
SwineTech, Iowa Cricket Farmer LLC, Van Shrimp, Smart Ag LLC, and Tillage!
Southwest Iowa Professional Center, Northeast Iowa Doulas, Crayons To Pencils Preschool, Roller City, and Lumin Therapy, LLC
Flickboards, The Compost Ninja, Iowa Distilling Company, Stickalicious Pops, and Lyman Veterinary Clinic LLC
Blaines’ on Main, Terraoak, Inc, STEMobile_Iowa, Climb Lab, and Red Acre Barn
Information Technology industry:
AssetRover, Citispoon, VoidWorks, Therostermonster.com, and CIE Systems
American Hero Clothing, Vintage Lane Design, The Local Crumb, Trofix, Caveworks Press & Studios