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Northwest Iowa Dream Big Grow Here Finalists Announced

More than eighty entrepreneurs submitted their dream to start or expand a business in the statewide Dream Big Grow Here grant contest earlier this year, including seventeen entrepreneurs from northwest Iowa. On Thursday, March 31st the top vote getters in northwest Iowa will present their idea to an audience and judges in a pitch-off event for a chance to win thousands in cash prizes. The six finalists are:

  • American Hero Clothing from Larchwood, Iowa (Michelle Sanderson)
  • Lumin Therapy from Sioux City, Iowa (Meghan Nelson)
  • A Little Help Home Care from Le Mars, Iowa (Jerry McGill)
  • Qneo from Sioux City, Iowa (Lloyd Lee)
  • Simply Jade Boutique from Sioux Center, Iowa (Brittany Keizer)
  • Van Shrimp from Rock Valley, Iowa (Dalton Van Zanten)

The economic development organizations in northwest Iowa will host the pitch-off event on Thursday, March 31st at the Willow Creek Golf Course (935 Park Lane) in Le Mars. A social hour will begin at 5:00 p.m. with drinks and appetizers. 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 judging panel includes Ken Beekley of Siouxland Economic Development Corporation; Frank DeMilia of Northwest Iowa Community College; Kelly McCarty of Iowa Small Business Development Center; Teresa Miller of Monona County Economic Development Partnership; and Joe Strub of Prime Bank. The winners of the competition will be announced at 7:30 p.m. with first place receiving $4,000 and second place receiving $1,000 to grow their businesses.  

This regional contest will also serve as a practice pitch for American Hero Clothing, Lumin Therapy, and Van Shrimp who have advanced to the statewide Dream Big Grow Here competition in Des Moines on April 14th. Flickboards and Vintage Lane Design, both from Sioux City, have also qualified for the statewide pitch competition. These five northwest Iowa businesses will all have the opportunity to showcase their ideas in Des Moines and compete against other businesses across the state for a chance to win their industry category and $5,000, as well as advance to the finals for the chance to win an additional $5,000.

The Northwest Iowa regional contest is organized by Iowa’s West Coast Initiative and Northwest Iowa Developers and includes the following counties: Cherokee, 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. Additional information can be found by visiting www.facebook.com/DreamBigGrowHere.