Registration Now Open for this Year’s IDEA Competition

Registration Now Open for this Year’s IDEA Competition

November 10, 2020 School News - KRJB/KRJM/KKCQ 0

By Mark Askelson (11/10/20)

Bemidji, MN — Got an idea that you feel could be turned into a successful product or business? Get connected, get inspired, and get going through the IDEA Competition! The IDEA Competition is an entrepreneurial competition held each year in partnership between the Northwest Minnesota Foundation and the Small Business Development Center that develops and showcases innovative ideas in Northwest Minnesota. Those participating in the IDEA competition receive valuable tools and business development resources, a business coach and consultant, open access to all IDEA labs, a chance to pitch your idea to potential investors, and a chance to win up to $10,000 in cash to get your business moving.

Perhaps one of the biggest assets of the IDEA competition, according to Program Coordinator Mic McCory, is being able to find out if your big idea is even worth pursuing without investing a great deal of money.

The application fee is quite minimal, just $99 if you enter before November 30th, considering the available resources. The application fee goes up to $150 December 1st. Those who submit their ideas will be judged on a handful of different criteria, including their business model, marketing plan, and financial strength, according to McCrory.

The IDEA competition has helped a number of great ideas come to fruition over the years and some of them have went on to become very successful businesses, such as LaValley Industries in Bemidji.

All you need to be eligible is to either be a resident of or own a business in Northwest Minnesota, which includes the counties of Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau. To those who plan on taking part in IDEA competition McCrory encourages them to be willing to ask the tough questions and be willing to work.

Since it’s inception, the IDEA competition has selected 24 winners and awarded more than $400,000 to help entrepreneurs in commercializing their ideas.  Registration is open now and applications are due by January 4th.

Find out more information online at