SPENCER - We allknow $15,000 would be a boost to any business owner or person starting a business. That's why the Iowa Lakes Corridor is one of 10 regions in Iowa hosting the Dream Big Grow Here contest for the second year.
The contest starts online, where entrepreneurs submit their business dreams to www.DreamBigGrowHere.com. Submissions are made in the form of video, text, pictures, or a combination of these. The submissions should explain the business and why the contestant deserves to win; submissions will be accepted from Sept. 8-Oct. 15. From Oct. 15-31, voters are asked to visit www.dreambiggrowhere.com, review the submissions and vote for who they believe is worthy of the $5,000 award.
The top five vote-getters will compete in a pitch-off on Nov. 13 to a panel of judges who will chose the winner.
The 10 regional winners will then go on to compete at the state level for an additional $10,000. The state winner will be chosen by a panel of experts.
"There are many business plan competitions available to entrepreneurs who are at a fairly advanced stage in the planning and execution of their business," shares Brian Dalziel, business coach for Iowa Lakes Corridor. "Dream Big Grow Here is the only contest known to offer a substantial prize to an entrepreneur for sharing, and building support for, a great business dream - before their business plan and other supporting documents are done."
Each region creates the rules for its competition. The Corridor is not putting an age or industry restriction on the contest. The Corridor works to create the next generation of successful entrepreneurs, with entrepreneurial programs for students in kindergarten through college. Because of the Corridor's involvement in youth entrepreneurship, the contest will be open to these resourceful and innovative youth.
Other rules include the business must be small, with 0-30 employees. Persons competing must reside in Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson or Emmet County, or their business/prospective business must be located in one of the four counties.
Last year's winner was Safari Child Care Center in Milford. Over 11,000 votes were cast in the Corridor's 2011 contest; Safari received over 3,300 of those votes. They used the funds to purchase new playground equipment at their facility. Twenty-four entrepreneurs participated in the Corridor's contest. Statewide, 142 entrepreneurs participated and over 88,000 votes were cast.
Entries can be uploaded to www.DreamBigGrowHere.com between Sept. 8-Oct. 15 and the voting period will be from Oct. 15-31. Someone in the Corridor's four-county region will win; why not you?