Do you have an original business idea?

Iowa's Great Idea Challenge is a contest designed for early stage innovation. Apply by March 31st, 2017 for your chance to win up to $1,000!

The earlier you apply, the more chances you have to win nifty prizes - scroll down to learn how!



Business ideas should be:

  • Pre-revenue 
  • Pre-investment
  • Iowa based
  • An original service or an innovative product

Industry categories:

  • Agriculture & Animal
  • Medical & Health Tech 
  • Manufacturing/Transportation/Product
  • Financial Tech/Insurance/Business Services
  • Information Technology

All applicants will receive:

  • Access to market information to determine market size, competition, etc.
  • Relationships with targeted service providers who will give support and advice
  • Opportunities to enhance valuable skills including business planning, promotion, and social media
  • Discounted tickets to EntreFEST

Finalists will receive:

  • Widespread publicity as a finalist
  • Free ticket to one day of EntreFEST to pitch your business idea
  • Expert pitch coaching to refine and perfect the idea delivery
  • Connections with industry companies and experts to create mentor relationships, partners, purchases, etc. 

How the Contest Works

Step 1: Apply for Iowa's Great Idea Challenge

Step 2: Applications are Judged and Industry Finalists are announced

Step 3: Pitch Coaching

Step 4: Industry Pitch-Off

Step 5: Winners Selected at EntreFEST


Win Nifty Prizes - 

Now through the end of the entry period (3/31/17) Iowa's Great Idea Challenge, we are giving away 5 innovative prizes on Fridays and Tuesdays! To be eligible for a prize you must submit your application by midnight on the night of the drawing. The sooner you enter, the more chances you'll have to win a prize!

The prizes solve everyday problems by applying an innovative solution, just like the idea entries in Iowa's Great Idea Challenge. We all run across problems in our lives and think, "Isn't there a better way?" Iowa's Great Idea Challenge is designed to bring to light those "light bulb moments" and then provide the resources to help you make your solutions a reality.

The sooner you enter, the more chances you'll have to win a prize!

March 17: "Startup Owners Manual," by Steve Blank & Bob Dorf, and "Business Model Generation," by Alexander Osterwalder.

Both of these books both present an innovative approach to starting a business from the ground up.

March 21: Hideez - A digital key for your electronic devices.  

Hideez shows an innovative model of electronic security.

March 24: 6 Months of Cravory Cookies - A subscription box for 6 cookies delivered to your door monthly. 

Instead of using a brick and mortar store.  Cravory Cookies shows it's possible to deliver food across the country.

March 27: FIXD Car Health Monitor - FIXD provides a new way to keep track of your car's health through their device and app. 

It shows how one small problem can be turned into hardware/software for consumers

March 31: Echo Dot - A hands-free voice-controlled device that plays music, controls smart devices, and gives information. 

A new way to control smart devices and access information quickly.