Dream Big Grow Here Regional Contest

Dream Big Grow Here Regional Contest
Northwest Iowa Regional Contest – $7,000 in prize money 

What is it?
The economic development organizations in northwest Iowa are teaming up for the fifth straight year to offer the Dream Big Grow Here business grant contest in our region. The Dream Big Grow Here contest is an opportunity for entrepreneurs and small business owners to fulfill their dreams of self-employment or expansion of their current business. The contest allows entrepreneurs the chance to submit their dreams to start or expand a business, then encourage friends, family, and customers to vote for them online. The finalists will present their idea to an audience and judges in a pitch-off event for a chance to win thousands in cash prizes.

From now until October 6th, entrepreneurs in Cherokee, Lyon, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sioux and Woodbury counties can submit their business or startup ideas to www.DreamBigGrowHere.com.  

Voting on the submitted ideas will take place October 9th- 18th. During the voting period, the entrepreneur will recruit others to vote for their entry at www.DreamBigGrowHere.com. The top three vote getters will advance to a regional pitch-off competition, along with two additional entrants chosen by a selection committee.

Each finalist will have access to the University of Northern Iowa’s Business Concierge Services, as well as receive personalized coaching from the Small Business Development Center and UNI’s Center for Business Growth and Innovation.

The regional contest will be held the evening of Thursday, November 14th. That evening, the finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their ideas with first place receiving $4,000, second place receiving $2,000 and third place receiving $1,000 to grow their business. 

The Northwest Iowa regional contest is sponsored and organized by the economic development organizations in the following counties: Cherokee, Lyon, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sioux and Woodbury. To learn more or to enter the contest, please visit www.DreamBigGrowHere.com.


General Eligibility
1. You must be located in Region you are applying for
2. You must have a for-profit business
3. You must have <5 full-time employees
4. You haven’t been in operation for more than 3 years

Entry Period – September 9th (8:00 a.m.) – October 6th (11:59 p.m.)
Voting Period – October 9th (8:00 a.m.) – October 18th (11:59 p.m.)
Pitch-off – November 14th, Location TBD – 5:00 p.m.
Counties: You must be located in Cherokee, Lyon, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sioux, or Woodbury county to be eligible to apply.

Click here to learn more about the contest and if you qualify.

To start your application, click here.