IDEA Competition – Turning Great Ideas Into Great Businesses

Successful business start with hard work, the right connections, and a flash of inspiration. If you have an innovative business idea and want to take it to the next level, the IDEA competition can help. The IDEA competition will add momentum to your business strategy, whether you’ve never started a business or already in business.

How does one enter?

The process to enter the competition is rather simple – fill out and submit the online application form and submit the required $150 application fee. All eligible applications are advanced to round one of the competition. Application fees will be refunded for those applications which are deemed ineligible.

Register by clicking here ->
Deadline to register is January 5th, 2017

What do you need to know about the IDEA process?

Application process – the IDEA process starts with submitting an application. Once you have submitted your application, IDEA will review it for eligibility. If your application is deemed eligible, you will be accepted into the first round of the competition. If it is deemed ineligible, your application fee will be returned to you.

Round One – for the first round, you will have to submit a business plan, startup costs, and cash flow projections. The IDEA judging panel will review and score your materials and provide you with feedback on your plan and financials. The highest scoring round one applications will be advanced to the IDEA finals.

Finals – if you are chosen as an IDEA finalist, you will be asked to refine your business plan and financials based on the feedback you have received from round one. You will also be required to create a 30 second video and an oral presentation for the IDEA judging panel. Winning the Competition Based on the final business plan, financials, video, and oral presentation, the final judging panel will select up to three winners which will each receive a $10,000 cash award, valuable professional services (accounting, legal, marketing), and attention in the media. Finalists who are not selected as Grand Prize winners will each receive a $1,000 cash award.

All IDEA participants are winners. Simply going through the process has helped past participants refine their business strategies and better position themselves for commercial success.

For questions or comments contact Ryan Zemek, EDA Director, at 218.333.6541,

“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.

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