Three Of Five Finalists In Entrepreneur Contest From Our Part Of Northwest Iowa

Northwest Iowa — Last month, entrepreneurs submitted their idea to start or expand a business in the BIG Challenge grant competition and recruited family, friends and customers to vote for their entry.

Those running the contest tell us that over 6,500 total votes were cast and they have announced the top three vote-getters along with two additional entrants chosen by a selection committee who will advance to the pitch competition. These finalists will have the opportunity to present their idea to an audience and judges in a pitch event for a chance to win thousands in cash prizes. The finalists from our area are

– Freedom Brew – (Brienna Bruggeman) – Larchwood, IA
– Blessed Abodes – (Chloe Metzger) – Rock Rapids, IA
– Midwest Compost – (Alex DeJager) – Rock Valley, IA

The other two winners, from further south of our area are
– Melting Cow BBQ – (Nick Carter) – Sioux City, IA
– Onawa Dragway – (Justin Richards) – Onawa, IA

The economic development organizations in Northwest Iowa will host the pitch-off event on Thursday, November 16th at the Wells Visitor Center & Ice Cream Parlor on Central Avenue in Le Mars. A social hour with food and beverages will begin at 5:00 p.m. During this time, each finalist will have a booth set up to showcase their business for attendees to visit. At 6:00 p.m. each finalist will have 6 minutes to present their business, followed by 5 minutes of Q & A from the panel of judges. The winners of the competition will be announced at 7:30 p.m. with first place receiving $5,000, second place receiving $3,000, third place receiving $2,000, to help grow their businesses.

The BIG Challenge is sponsored and organized by Iowa’s West Coast Initiative and Northwest Iowa Developers and includes the following counties: Lyon, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sioux and Woodbury. Siouxland Economic Development Corporation is also a sponsor of the event. The event is free and open to the public. To find out more about The BIG Challenge visit here.