A contest is underway in Iowa to find a new batch of innovative startup companies.
The Center for Business Growth and Innovation at the University of Northern Iowa is behind the Great Idea Challenge. Patrick Luensmann is the Center’s senior program manager. “We really want to try and build the pipeline for new, innovative companies to start and grow in Iowa,” Luensmann says.
Winners in five categories will receive $1,000. The new products should be connected to agriculture, health care, manufacturing, financial services or information technology. Luensmann says contest entries can come from entrepreneurs at various stages of company development.
“We’re really looking for those ideas that are anywhere from a drawing on a napkin to something that is through development that is just about ready to get to market,” Luensmann says. The deadline to enter is March 31st. The entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts and the finalists will pitch their ideas at the EntreFEST conference in Iowa City in May.
(Reporting by Iowa Public Radio’s Rob Dillard)