New Business Contest Launched for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups

New Business Contest Launched for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups

Having the right connections and resources, as well as financial backing, is crucial when bringing a business idea to life. Unfortunately, this keeps many ideas from success. That’s the reason the Center for Business Growth and Innovation (CBGI) at the University of Northern Iowa is hosting its first annual statewide entrepreneurial contest, Iowa’s Great Idea Challenge. Through the content, you will be connected with crucial partners and resources, and winners of the contest will receive up to $1,000 to help fund business growth in the future.

The CBGI team has a mission to better the communities of Iowa by connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners to the right resources and assets to guide them to meet their planning, market research, and financial needs. Iowa’s Great Idea Challenge is one way our team is excited to put the mission in action, by giving people the opportunity to make their idea come to life and win some cash to help fund future growth.

So are you ready to turn your great idea into a business? To participate, innovations must be pre-revenue/pre-investment, located in Iowa, and consist of a new product or service that could be classified in one of the following industry categories: Agriculture & Animal, Medical & Health Tech, Manufacturing/Transportation/Product, Financial Tech/Insurance/Business Services, or Information Technology.

Every participant will receive feedback as well as access to market research information to help shape the business direction as they move forward. Each submission will be judged by a panel of industry experts to select and notify finalists who will present their idea in a pitch format at the EntreFEST event held May 4-5, 2017. Winners will be selected and announced by a panel of judges, and cash prizes of $1,000 and $500 will be awarded to first and second place contestants in each industry category.

The deadline to enter the contest is March 31, 2017. To enter your new business idea, and to learn about official contest rules and timelines, please visit the Iowa’s Great Idea Challenge website at

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