Published on April 22nd, 2015 | by Thomas Ritchie


Dream Big entrepreneurship competition set April 29

More than 100 entrepreneurs submitted their dream to start or expand a business in the statewide Dream Big Grow Here grant contest earlier this year, including 21 entrepreneurs from northwest Iowa.

On Wednesday, April 29, the top five vote getters, including Marto Brewing (shown above) in northwest Iowa will present their idea to an audience and judges in a pitch-off event for a chance to win $5,000.

The five finalists are:

– American Hero Clothing from Larchwood, Iowa (Michelle Sanderson)

– Marto Brewing Company from Onawa, Iowa (Erik Martin)

– Jackson Street Brewing from Sioux City, Iowa (Dave Winslow)

– Mud on Main from Aurelia, Iowa (Jessica Kannegieter)

– TreePans from Akron, Iowa (Bill Brown)

The economic development organizations in northwest Iowa will host the pitch-off event on Wednesday, April 29 on the 8th floor of the Ho-Chunk Centre, 600 4th St., in downtown Sioux City. A social hour will begin at 5 p.m. with drinks and appetizers. At 6 p.m., each finalist will have 6 minutes to present his or her business idea, followed by 5 minutes of Q & A from the panel of judges.

The judging panel includes Ken Beekley of Siouxland Economic Development Corporation; Sara DeAnda of IowaWORKS; Frank DeMilia of Northwest Iowa Community College; Brett McCall of Farm Bureau; and Kelly McCarty of Iowa Small Business Development Center. The winner of the competition will be announced at 7:30 p.m. and awarded $5,000 to grow their business.

This regional contest also will serve as a practice pitch for four of the finalists who have advanced to the statewide Dream Big Grow Here competition in Iowa City on May 21. American Hero Clothing, Marto Brewing Company, Jackson Street Brewing and TreePans will all have the opportunity to showcase their ideas in Iowa City 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 the $10,000 grand prize.

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

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