NORTHWEST IOWA regional business idea competition

Contest Overview

The Dream Big Grow Here 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 prizes. 

Submit Your Idea

The ideas have been submitted and the voting period is open! 


Now is your chance to vote for your favorite business startup or expansion idea! Voting will take place online from October 9th- 18th. Visit


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.  

Regional Contest

The regional contest will be held the evening of Thursday, November 14th at Oscar Carl Vineyard. 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 that are a part of Iowa’s West Coast Initiative and Northwest Iowa Developers and includes the following counties: Cherokee, Lyon, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sioux and Woodbury.