The UNI team believed that a technology solution could be found to identify and attract entrepreneurs so that EDO’s could engage them over the life of their business and that such an approach could improve business owner access to resources and their peers. Building upon the premise that all entrepreneurs want to secure cash grants if possible, the Dream Big Grow Here contests were developed as an attractive cash competition to engage entrepreneurs online, where they could then be connected with resource providers in their home communities and online. As it was developed over the first two years, it also became a powerful tool to foster collaboration between existing service providers and a marvelous way to celebrate small business in the state.

We established multiple success measurements for DBGH:

  1. to connect small business and entrepreneurs with regional economic development organizations,
  2. to encourage small business owners to use technology and to interact with one another online,
  3. to leverage widespread marketing and positive publicity for small Iowa companies,
  4. to enhance the supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state.

The use of an online contest to attract, learn about and engage large numbers of entrepreneurs is novel. Unlike business plan competitions which attract only small numbers of deeply committed entrepreneurs, Dream Big Grow Here attracts hundreds of entrepreneurs at different stages of business development and across many industries. The online pitches capture critical information about these entrepreneur’s plans for startup and growth which can be used by regional EDO’s to better serve them and others on an ongoing basis.

Recognition & Awards

  • Mid-America Economic Development Council's 2012 Annual Economic Development Award
  • University Economic Development Association Award of Excellence in Innovation & Entrepreneurship 2013

Last Year's Winners

Click below to choose a category of last year’s winners and entrants.


While not an 'Industry' in the classic sense, this contest is for anyone who is just starting out. You must not have any sales.


Jackson Street Brewing-Sioux City microbrewery and taproom

David Winslow
Jackson Street Brewing
Sioux City, IA
Jackson Street Brewing is an upcoming microbrewery and taproom located just off of historic Jackson Street in downtown Sioux City. A lease has been signed at 607 1/2 5th Street. The taproom will offer a selection of six beers brewed at this location.
Our business model is based on the increasing demand for local, flavorful craft beer. Sioux City has a history of successful breweries in the last century (our research revealed five), and we want to renew this tradition as there is not even one brewery in this major Iowa city. Unlike other bars in Sioux City selling craft beer, we allow patrons to meet the brewer and this helps sell a unique experience. The owners of Jackson Street Brewing have made over fifty batches of beer in the last year. Our double IPA's and other easy drinking beers have earned 1st place ribbons at home brew competitions. We have also served our beer at several local events, gaining valuable consumer feedback. Our theme will be family oriented with pictures of Sioux City landmarks, and a play area for children including chalk boards. Root beer will be sold as well. Jackson Street Brewing also will differentiate itself with locally sourced ingredients. The owners tend a two acre orchard featuring raspberries, apricots, cherries, apples, pears, red wine grapes, and nearly a dozen varieties of hops. These ingredients allow the brewer to invent new unique recipes that will keep customers coming back for more. The owner has been experimenting with several hard cider apples, and has recently created an exciting pear and apple hard cider blend that we feel will be a hit for non-beer drinkers. Also, beer memberships will be sold to give customers a sense of home in the tasting room.
We are applying because we are pouring all of our savings into this business, sweat equity to renovate the property that we have leased, and we still will be facing costly plumbing and electrical upgrades as we've already seen on contractor bids. Besides contractor costs, the brewing equipment we will be purchasing is made in the U.S.A. out of stainless steel, and is incredibly expensive. The more capital we have, the more beers we can have on tap and we really feel variety is important to customers' experiences.

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The K2 Medical Alerts Dream is to help people with disabilities and diseases.. A.S.A.P.!!

Kami Olmstead Karen Holladay
K2 Medical Alerts LLC
Muscatine, IA
Our company has designed a product that will provide peace of mind to people that have a disability or disease. It will also help law enforcement and first responder's recognize and better assist those same people.
We know first hand the worries and fears people with special needs children have, we are both Mothers to disabled children. We have asked ourselves "What if" so many times over the years. What if something happened to us and our boys were faced with a situation they were unable to cope with. How would first responders know what to do to calm them? How long would it take before a family member could come and get them out of that frightening situation? We needed to do something that would ease our minds. Help other parents like us, in fact help anyone that had a disability or disease.
K2 Medical Alerts,LLC is unique in that there is no other product on the market that is exactly like ours. We wanted to design something that was easy for our customers to put in place, at the same time something that would be easy for first responders to recognize.
We are working on a brochure and video, that with the help of law enforcement we will be sharing across the state of Iowa and across the country. These two items will explain the product and its purpose and show them where and what to look for. The wonderful thing about our kit is the fact that the first thing law enforcement does is look at your license plate. A.S.A.P. is boldly displayed vertically down the side of the frame so as they read your plate, their eyes end up at A.S.A.P. They don't have to figure anything out, they just need to know that A.S.A.P. is a program that simply put, will alert them to potential special conditions of a passenger or driver in the vehicle, and where they need to look for that information, if on the road or at your home.
Our product is a simple kit called "A.S.A.P." Alert for Special Assistance Program. It consists of a specially designed license plate frame that the customer will attach to the rear of their vehicle. The frame identifies the program and alerts first responders that a special medical need may be present in the vehicle.
Inside the front windshield attached to the bottom corner drivers side will be a specially designed decal that will identify the program as well for first responders that approach the scene from the front.
Both the frame and the decal inform first responders that there is information on an occupant of that vehicle inside. That information is inside the glove box. How? Our kit includes an identification card that the customer completes themselves so they never have to share their private information with us. They complete the card, attach a recent photo to the back and laminate it with sleeves we provide.
Our kit also includes an adhesive backed pouch that the customer attaches to the inner door of the glove box. The customer places their completed id card in that pouch.
Our customers have peace of mind and first responders have the information they need.
In addition to that our kit includes a vertical decal for the front door of your home. When first responders respond to a call for help at your home they immediately will notice the decal and know that directly inside that same door is an identification card completed exactly like the customer has done for their vehicle. This id card is also placed inside an adhesive backed pouch that is attached to the inside of that door.
We will make money by selling our kit for $25 to each customer. Our initial mode of sales will be online and with assistance from contacts within our community we will later be able to sell retail. We also plan to participate in local special needs events where we can also sell our product. Within the Autism community alone we have contacts across the country who are ready to help promote our product once we are ready to go to market. We also have the support of our local Fire Department and local Sheriff's Department who will be assisting us in spreading this nationally to other Sheriff's Departments.
We have shared basic information about our business and product to State Police Organizations across the country who have responded by sharing their contact information with us. A dozen states so far would like our launch materials when we are ready to go to market.
In speaking with various law enforcement officials across Iowa and the country we are told that there is nothing similar to what we are offering and we are being urged to pursue this.
Often times police are met with situations regarding people with disabilities and other medical conditions, they don't know what exactly to do in many cases. Also people with serious medical conditions are being mistreated because their condition may mimic drugs or alcohol, for example someone that is in diabetic shock or someone with epilepsy having a seizure have been force-ably arrested and even tasered because they may present in such a way that law enforcement can easily misinterpret their behavior as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We want to stop that from happening.
We designed A.S.A.P. with our teenage sons in mind and quickly realized that not only would be helping children like ours, but we could have an impact on so many people with an array of health problems that may not be obvious to first responders. Our goal is to give people a tool to assist first responders in helping them better, and to diminish some risk and liability for law enforcement.
Our market size is enormous
*3.5 Million Americans suffer from Autism
* 29 Million Americans have Diabetes
*500,000 Americans with Cerebral Palsy
*3 Million Americans have Epilepsy
*5.7 Million Americans with Bi Polar Disorder
*27 Million Americans have Heart Disease
*1.1 Million Americans have AIDS/HIV
*1 Million Americans are Hearing Impaired or Deaf
*30,000 Americans have Hemophilia
*5 Million Americans have Alzheimer's
*30 Million Americans suffer from rare diseases
(there are 7000 rare diseases that affect less than 200,000 per disease)
This is only a partial list of our market size
There are nearly 200 Million Americans living with a serious medical condition or disability.
Not only does our market size include those Americans, it also includes their caregivers that greatly increases the possible customers.
Our dream is to see our kit being used across the country, and being the source of added support for people living with special medical needs, and being of assistance to law enforcement and first responders.
In the future we intend to offer other products, those ideas are always generating between us.
Our initial goal for the near future is to get our product out on the market, we have a goal of selling 250 kits our first month and increasing that number by a conservative 10% each month after that. We are working with area business people who are going to help us market our product to the I 80 Truck Stop, a fabulous place to market this in the beginning because anyone traveling will be inclined to buy it if they suffer from medical problems or have a traveling companion that does. Because our kit is simple to put in place, a traveler can do so in the parking lot in a short amount of time, and have some added protection no matter where they are from or where they are going. We have marketing help in Iowa so that is going to be of great assistance to us and getting our information across the state quickly.
Informing law enforcement has been our initial goal. Once we are ready to launch our product, our local Sheriff's Department is going to get the video and brochure out to all 99 county Sheriff Departments in Iowa as well as the National Sheriffs Association who can share it in their respective areas.
This continues to be an amazing team effort and we are looking forward to our continued work with everyone involved. Nationally the same things will be happening. We have gained the assistance from future customers in Oregon, Illinois, Iowa, New York, and Arkansas. These people are affiliated with national autism organizations and are excited to help us share it with the Autism Community far and wide. Because we are part of the autism community, they will be our initial target audience. We have also reached out to the Epilepsy Foundation who want the materials when we are able to send them.
We also organize the Muscatine Special Needs Easter Egg Hunt, and have countless people we help every year through that event that we are excited to share our new business with. We have the support of area organizations that work with the disabled population in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois who also have come on board to help us get this out to the public and are going to be working with us to reach out to the media. One of our biggest colleagues has asked us to let him know when he needs to start helping in the media department.
When we began this venture, we knew this was going to be a huge endeavor, and the people that are helping us bring it to life have been and continue to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
Our ultimate goal is to have our program be the ONE system that is used, recognized, and respected across the state of Iowa and the country, so no matter where you travel, A.S.A.P. can be of use to both our customers and first responders.
We are applying because we are not candidates for business loans. We have successfully raised some money that has allowed us to buy our initial lot of frames as well as mailers, adhesive pouches and laminating sleeves. We need to purchase the finalized decals for both the home and the vehicle.
We have had the support of our local SCORE Chapter since we first came to them with this in May of 2014. They have been an amazing asset to us from the moment we walked in the door, and presented our project. We have met with them every week since then. Their expertise in so many different areas of business has been one of our greatest gifts. We came to them with a vision and they have been by our side ever since. They have attended meetings with law enforcement officials with us, and introduced us to some very helpful business contacts along the way. We are so thrilled that we have been supported and our vision and product has excited so many. We can't wait to get started!!
We have been blessed with amazing support and generosity so far. We have come this far with no capital, just drive and ambition and need capital to bring it to life.
What will we use the money for?

* Buying materials to make our kits, our decals need to be redone as they are not the quality we seek, and our identification cards need to be modified. We want our product to be high quality, and long lasting. We want our customers to be satisfied. We will be customers too, we want to be proud of what we present to the public.
* Marketing, we need to purchase and create professional brochures to display and send to national agencies, we will continue to reach out nationally to share our product. We intend it to be a nationwide program. We want to participate in conventions as vendors and will need to have the money to do so, and have a supply of our product when we do.
* A new computer for our office. Currently we have one computer that is literally at the end of its life. With our business for now being primarily internet based we definitely need a reliable adequate computer.
* Currently our office space has been donated, that is only temporary so we will need to look for a larger space that has adequate room for us to work in.
*Lastly we'd like to win Dream Big Grow Here, and be able to Thank everyone for all they have done for us,and taught us along the way.

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MARTO BREWING COMPANY - Destination Craft Brewery in Western Iowa

Erik Martin
Marto Brewing Company
Onawa, IA
The Dream Big Grow Here grant will help our brewery increase beer cellar compacity and start us in the direction of becoming a Midwest destination. Producing world class beer and creating jobs for our area will be the result. We will brew classic styles, wild & sour beer, and experimental beers.
Marto Brewing Company will be an innovative artisan brewery. We will produce craft beer with the highest quality ingredients from all over the world. With these ingredients we will incorporate local ingredients, such as raw honey, fruit, and grains. We are also very excited to implement the use of whiskey and wine barrels to condition some specialty beers. We will combine these ingredients with traditional and unconventional brewing methods to produce world class beer. We are just as excited to hire willing and hard working local employees as we are implementing local ingredients into our product. Having employees who know our costumers and area will be a benefit to our business.

Marto Brewing Company was formed when a hobby turned into a pursuit to perfect the craft. With over 5 years of brewing experience, Owner and Brewer, Erik Martin has a proven track record of producing high quality beers. After a few years of brewing Erik began to enter brewing competitions and many awards were earned. Some of the most recent awards are Best of show at the 2014 Nebraska State Fair, Best of Show at the 2014 Omaha River City Roundup, and many 1st places in categories such as Imperial Stout and IPA. Erik also won the 2014 Omaha Beer Week Homebrew Showcase, which is organized by the Nebraska Brewing Company. That beer was re-brewed with Nebraska Brewing Company at their brewpub and served at a ticketed beer and food pairing event.

Our 5,100 square foot production facility and tap room will be located in downtown Onawa, Iowa across from the Historic Iowa Theater. The beer will be brewed on an American built 3.5 barrel brewing system. The tap room will have over ten taps to serve our customers from. The taproom will be a warming environment with the bar and decor built from old barn poles and wood. The barn wood was sourced from family farms, located right here in the Onawa area and the Loess Hills.

We will produce a core, seasonal, and a premium lineup of beers. Our core lineup will consist of traditional styles such as an American Pale Ale, IPA, Robust Porter, & Imperial Stout. Our seasonal styles will very from season to season and will incorporate seasonal fruits, grains, and hops to name a few. Our premium lineup is known as the Loess Hills Farmhouse Series.

The Loess Hills Farmhouse Series will be brewed with traditional, rustic old world, and innovative processes depending on the end result the brewer is intending. These beers will be fermented and conditioned in both stainless steel and wood. In this series we will ferment the beer with many different yeasts and bacteria at different stages of the fermentation. Something that will make our beer unique to any other beer out there, is the use of local yeast & bacteria. We will capture these cultures in the Loess Hills. We have already isolated a "wild" strain of brettanomyces yeast that has the characteristics that we are looking for. In our trial batches, this strain paired excellent with our other saison yeast strains. This series will be excellent to enjoy on the day we release them or they can be aged for years like a fine wine.

Along with purchasing our beer by the glass at the tap room, beer lovers will be able to take a "growler" home with them. Growlers typically come in 32oz & 64oz packages and are refillable at the tap room. We will also self distribute kegs of beer to select accounts in Siouxland, Des Moines,& Iowa City at the beginning phase of the business. We will also bottle the Loess Hills Farmhouse Series beers in 750 milliliter champagne style bottles. These bottles will be self distributed to Siouxland, Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Iowa City, and more locations throughout Iowa. As our production capacity increases and our current markets are saturated, we will begin to move to new markets.

Craft beer is our passion and sharing great craft beer with friends is a very rewarding part of it. After a 15% increase in 2012 and 11.9% in 2013, the craft beer movement continues to grow and we believe that quality will be the number one priority. As a craft brewer you must present a high quality product to make a positive and lasting impact on new consumers. Serving mediocre beer is unacceptable. Following these principles will position our brewery as a destination brewery in the Midwest.

We are applying to help increase our beer cellar capacity upon opening. Increasing our cellar capacity will allow us to produce more beer early. This will increase our production and allow us to serve more accounts. This will get our beer into more craft beer lovers hands.

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Jake Osborn
Cedar Rapids, IA
MyPath is a social network application allowing high school students to connect with college admissions counselors and to keep organized throughout the application process.
MyPath is unique as it provides a solution to the communication problem between high school students and college professionals that has never been addressed.
The colleges will have a free month trial, followed by a yearly subscription which will include a fee ranging between $600 and $4000. These fees do not pertain to high school students, as the website/app will be free for them to sign up.
Our industry includes approximately 19.7 million new college students each year, and upwards of 7,000 colleges/universities.
Our potential market size is about $15.7 million.
Major competitors are My College Options, CollegeBoard, Next Tier Education, and Youniversity.
We are applying to gain experience as well as make beneficial connections and learn more about how to grow our business. Money would go towards hiring developers and funding for our business idea.

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Lefty's Live Music

Anne Mathey
Lefty's Live Music, LLC
Des Moines, IA
Lefty's is a start-up live music venue and full-service bar focusing on diverse entertainment in the genres of alternative, independent, rock, blues, folk, and Americana music.
Lefty’s strives to raise the standard of venues in the Des Moines music scene through smart booking of high-quality local, regional and national music acts while providing a safe, clean and friendly atmosphere that appeals to fans of all genres. Lefty’s will provide a fresh, accessible venue for local musicians and fans, all while keeping an eye on a healthy bottom line. Lefty's Live Music is an LLC operating in Des Moines, Iowa. The Des Moines market currently lacks a mid-size music venue that can accommodate a 250-350 person audience. It is our goal to fill that void at a new location and provide quality entertainment that will appeal to Des Moines residents from many different walks of life.

The owner’s and manager’s experience in the music and bar industry will offer a competitive advantage that will bring success to the new business. We are people who love music and we are people who love Des Moines, and we wish to contribute to the culture of our community.

With more than a decade of service at local live music venue The House of Bricks, which recently closed its doors, principal owner Anne Mathey has intimate knowledge of all areas of the music venue business. From “behind-the-scenes” issues such as managing bar staff and inventory, booking and promoting bands to the “front-of-house” experience of bartending, serving, cleaning, creating nightly drink features or specials and similar responsibilities, Mathey has a firm grasp on all aspects of the business.

This expertise, as well as a solid network of musicians, music fans, labels, alcohol vendors and others, will help ensure the success of Lefty's from day one.
Lefty’s success hinges on Des Moines’ thirst for more local entertainment options, as well as the owner’s knowledge of the music industry and continuing trends there within. Clever marketing, quality booking and a friendly staff will ensure customer satisfaction. As Lefty's reputation grows as a superior music venue, patronage and profit will as well.
As a start-up business, Lefty's Live Music is faced with a sizeable amount of expense. With securing real estate, building a stage, purchasing a quality sound system, securing inventory, creating a marketing budget, payroll and other operating expenses, we are facing quite an investment. With the extra financing Dream Big Grow Here can provide, Lefty’s will be able to hire an acoustician to ensure the highest sound quality of any venue in Iowa, thereby enhancing the live music experience for all listeners of all genres, and placing Lefty’s at the forefront of the business, not only locally, but nationally.
We put so much importance on the quality of the sound system because it is often so overlooked. During live performances sound quality either enhances the artist’s voice or encumbers it. Iowa is home to massive amounts of quality musicians that deserve a quality venue. And by providing a state-of-the-art listening experience for both the fans and the musicians, we will make Des Moines an essential stop on the tour schedules of bands of all genres.

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Beyond the Brew- Beyond Ourselves

Gabe Luse
Beyond the Brew
Sioux City, IA
Beyond the Brew will exist, not only to serve local patrons, but also benefit non-profit organizations locally and internationally. Beyond the Brew's goal is to be the area's leading Coffeehouse and Bistro; providing fresh, quality coffee, savory cuisine and tasteful atmosphere.
Beyond the Brew will be unique because it is not just another coffeehouse, but one that serves the community locally and around the world by donating a portion of the profits to deserving organizations. Another unique feature is the education that will be available. I, the owner, attended the Texas Coffee School and am a certified Batista and will offer classes. These classes will include fun facts, hands on involvement, teach how to make fresh beverages at home, membership, fun, and coffee tasting.
Beyond the Brew will make money because we meet a "need". People will be drawn in to the establishment because of the ambiance, they will buy the exceptional coffee and food, and enjoy the entire experience so much that they will tell everyone they know about it.
Coffee is the next largest industry behind petroleum. The public deserves a high quality, flavorful cup of coffee. My education taught me that there is a difference in every cup of coffee served. Each cup starts with the beans. The higher the elevation - the sweeter the bean. Next is the correct time of harvesting. Following that is roasting. Roasting is key - improper roasting can cause a bitter or burnt taste to the bean. Grinding the beans must be done on site as the coffee is being prepared to maintain and guarantee freshness. And finally, the correct water temperature determines the outcome of every cup served. Beyond the Brew will follow these steps. Quality matters.
Competition will nearly be non-existent. Our locally owned business, verses a chain, will draw people in. Beyond the Brew also goes beyond other local establishments as well. We will provide a comfortable, relaxing and welcoming place to enjoy live music, host small events, and offer classes. My survey shows that people are already eager for this business to open its doors.
I am submitting this "dream" application of my business idea, because it allows me to get the word out of I desire in the business I am working towards, and to share what I have always dreamed about, supporting non-profit organizations and my local community.
If I am granted this grant being rewarded, I will use the funds towards start-up cost for the business plan, registering for a L.L.C and any/all cost to get the business started.

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Custom Fitness; Combating Obesity in our Community

Cosette Clendenen
Custom Fitness, LLC
West Des Moines, IA
Our studio will serve as an outlet for local Personal Trainers to thrive in their area of expertise; allowing them to serve their clients without the financial constraints of a working for a gym and the stress of opening a business. We will also offer our community affordable Group Fitness classes.
Vision Statement:
To empower individuals with the knowledge and tools needed to reach their fitness goals in order to combat the epidemic of obesity in our community.

Mission Statement:
To create a personalized environment where the personal trainers are encouraged to reach their income potential and to provide their clients with a private, personal, setting and offering members of the community affordable group fitness classes and increasing their support system throughout their fitness journey.
Custom Fitness LLC (Custom Fitness) is organized as a partnership among the two partners, Cosette Clendenen and Jason Clendenen. As a Personal Trainer working for a gym, Cosette found it frustrating that she was receiving less than half of what the client was paying for the sessions they had purchased through the gym. Cosette began to work with her husband, and partner in Custom Fitness, to explore options of becoming an independent Personal Trainer. After many discussions between the owners of Custom Fitness about the options involved, they reached the conclusion that to open a studio and rent out space to local trainers, resolving not only the income needs of the owners after Jason retired his green beret, but also giving fellow personal trainers a chance to branch out on their own and increase their income potential.
Both owners of Custom Fitness are combat veterans and are familiar with, and comfortable with, working under pressure. Strength of our company is that none of the financing will come from loans allowing for added financial security of our business. The owners are committed to the success of the company and are willing to put in the man hours in order to see the company thrives.
The owners have selected a 6,000 square foot facility in Johnston, Iowa with a capacity of 15 personal trainers and their cliental and a group fitness area that will allow for 20 to 25 group fitness clients and trainers. This will be a personalized fitness solution to community members of all ages in Johnston and surrounding areas. There will be 24 hour access for Personal Trainers and their clients; they will have the ability to let their trainees in order to fit their personal training session into their personal schedules. Custom Fitness will market to both personal trainers looking to increase their income potential and members of the community, of all ages, who want to improve or maintain their current health and fitness. Custom fitness does not have an existing customer base; however the owners are committed to putting time and money into advertising to attract clients, accompanying advertising with networking in the community in order to create a recognized brand name and loyal following.
With the fitness studio the owners hope to allow local personal trainers the opportunity to increase their annual wages without the cost and stress of opening their own business. Each trainer will have their own Personal Training Station, access to all of the equipment they needed to train their clients, as well as a computer system that would allow them to schedule and take payments, giving them all of the tools they would need to be as successful as they would be at a gym, while allowing them to keep their well-earned money. .
Phase one of the remodeling plan for the chosen location will be completed by March 1, 2015. Funding need to be in place by March 1, in order to begin remodeling, with additional funding needing to be available by June 1, 2015 for rent and equipment. Remodeling and renovations would begin on April 1, 2015 and completed by July 1, 2015 allowing Custom Fitness to be open for business on July 1, 2015.
Custom Fitness is an up and coming company with a new brand name and starting from scratch. The owners will have to work hard and create a successful marketing campaign in order to create a brand name, find personal trainers to rent space in the studio, as well as fill the group fitness classes.
An opportunity for Custom Fitness is the toddler and senior citizen client base; we will offer both toddler/child yoga classes and Silver Sneakers classes in order to fill the demand in these market groups that is currently untouched. The changes in population along with targeting an untargeted market and the affordable pricing, undercutting the competition, put Custom Fitness at a competitive advantage in the market place.
Custom Fitness is at risk from other well-known companies taking their prices down in order to be more competitive or new competitors moving into the area. Custom Fitness will respond to the threat by offering a great customer experience and customized fitness plans in order to build customer base and retain loyal customers.
We would use the money as startup costs; marketing and advertising, building renovations and equipment will be needed prior to opening day.

Custom Fitness requires $55,000 to cover the renovation cost at the selected location. $13,500 is required for equipment prior to opening doors and the addition purchase of equipment at $12,500. Approximately $12,000 will be due upon signing the lease to cover both first and last month’s rent.

The owners will contribute 100% to these costs using current available funds. Part of our business model is to remain debt free; winning the Dream Big, Grow Here contest would greatly impact our ability to do this.

The owners have broken the renovations and other costs into 3 phases in order to make the costs realistic without the need for loans.

The first phase includes the renovation of the top floor of the rental space, the first and last month’s rents due and the immediate needs of equipment for the 15 Personal Trainer Stations; estimated to cost $15,000 for renovations, $12,000 for rent and $13,500 for the equipment. This would allow for the personal trainers to move in immediately. Break down of the equipment for Personal Trainers:
15 Personal Training Stations Totaling $6,750
Community Equipment Totaling $7,000

The second phase will cost approximately $20,000 this phase will include the build out of the restrooms and showers in the basement of the building. The third and final phase will cost approximately $25,000. This final phase will complete the renovations of the basement. This includes the removal of 4 beams at $4,000 each and the flooring costs. Additionally, the owner's will buy any equipment needed for the group fitness classes; the estimate for this cost is $7,500.

The receipt of the business grant would move up the timeline by 1-6 months allowing Custom Fitness to start serving more community members more quickly in order to combat obesity in Des Moines and surrounding areas.

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Philanthropy Gives

Misty Nelson
Massena, IA
Our dream is to give back. We believe in giving to make the world a better place. We want to enrich the life of one another that may be in an unfortunate or unfair situation. We are the future, and we must take care of each other.
We are scheduled to open Philanthropy in March 2015. We are a retail store that sells gifts, art, jewelry, and clothing. Although we are a store that will be for-profit, our main focus is selling products that donate to charities; such as feeding children and fighting disease. When we purchase the items wholesale, they will automatically donate to charities, and then we will sell for profit. We will also sell handmade products that are made by single parents, and they will use the profits to take care of their families. We also want to provide a scholarship to a high school student who shows philanthropy. We will be located in a small tight-nit community, and bringing in the first retail business in ten years will do great things for the community. We are going to be doing fundraising for local families in need as well. Our first fundraising event will be "Cupcakes and Coffee for a Cause", in which we will feature at our grand opening. The money will be donated to a 21 month old little boy who was just diagnosed with leukemia.
We are applying because we have a dream to make the world a better place by giving back. We want to make a difference in the lives of others. We will use the money to purchase charity giving products for our store. If we were to win the money it would help us jumpstart our business in ways that we will be aiding in helping hundreds of others. We would be filling the bellies of countless hungry children, and helping keep them warm by providing blankets and warm clothing. Our products will also donate to various charities in aid for research for diseases. We are also excited to bring retail shopping to our community. We are very excited about the support and interest we have received from the community.

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Ease business growing pains (economical) while meeting the demands of the community pains (physical)

Lucinda Stone
Therapeutic Life Center of Massage
Webster City , IA
Therapeutic Life Center of Massage teaches students therapeutic massage, enabling them to become Iowa licensed massage therapists (LMT). It's the ONLY Iowa state approved massage college, in the upper 1/2 of Iowa, specializing in teaching therapeutic massage techniques & owned by a therapeutic LMT.
Therapeutic massage is my PASSION! I am the sole proprietor of Therapeutic Life Center of Massage College and I am a therapeutic licensed massage therapist in the state of Iowa since Aug 2001. I am the ONLY Iowa state approved massage college owned and operated by a therapeutic LMT, specializing in teaching therapeutic massage techniques in the upper half of Iowa. Therapeutic massage techniques ARE required when working with doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists to heal and relieve pain in client's bodies.

When I moved to the Webster City area in June of 2006, I heard negative feedback from the community about not receiving a "good, deep tissue massage". Well that is my specialty so I took offense to this! I networked with a couple fellow LMT's and found they were never taught deep tissue or any therapeutic massage techniques at the school they attended. The therapeutic massage techniques that I learned in school as part of my tuition, they were paying a premium price in extended learning in order to satisfy the communities aches and pains. One LMT asked me to mentor her after she had received a therapeutic massage from me. I happily accepted and today her, the two fellow LMT's I networked with and myself, are booked to our heart's content 2-3 weeks in advance. The therapeutic techniques I learned and developed since becoming licensed in 2001, ARE what makes me unique. People want to learn these techniques because they are proven to heal and relieve pain in the bodies of clients.

Class sizes will be limited to ten (10) students as to give personal and specific attention to each individual. Tuition cost is $5500 plus the cost of books and supplies for internship (roughly another $500). Business model has always been if you can make back your investment in one year to a year and half, it is a sound investment....DO IT! I currently charge $55/hr for a therapeutic massage. I perform 80-110 therapeutic massages per month. I instruct prospective students they have to perform 100 -one hour massages in order to graduate per Iowa state health licensing board. However long it takes them to complete their Iowa board required 100 -one hour massages, is how long it will take them to make back their investment of tuition $5500.

Therapeutic Life Center of Massage College would also host continuing educational classes for LMT's to stay qualified per the Iowa Health Board certification. Currently, LMT's must travel to Des Moines, Iowa City, Omaha, Minneapolis, the Quad Cities and further in order to attend continuing educational courses. I instructed a continuing education course for nineteen (19) fellow LMT's on Jan 10th & 11th, 2015. It was strictly on the deep tissue or therapeutic techniques I use when performing a therapeutic massage. Feedback was PHENOMENAL!!! Many of the nineteen were learning these therapeutic techniques for the first time. Those who said they were there for a refresher course in therapeutic massage, still went away learning a valuable new "tool" or technique. Plus the excitement of having a continuing educational campus within an hour drive for many, made all highly anticipating the next continuing educational course. Courses average $200-500 per LMT and can range from 6- 18 hour courses. When required to drive over an hour to attend a course, hotel and food expense plays a role in discouraging many LMT's from attending classes.

Recap; the college would make income from tuition of $5500 per student. Day class would be a twenty (20) weeks tutorial, meeting Mon-Fri 8 am- 1 pm, then however long an individual took in internship to acquire the 100 -one hour massages. Certification boards may be taken once tutorial has been satisfactorily completed. Licensing can easily be accomplished in less than one year (average nine months). Night classes will require more time to complete licensing as classes do not meet every day nor for 5 hours a day. Average night class completion would be one year to one and a half years. Two (2) day classes and one (1) night class per year at maximum capacity, ten (10) students per class, would yield a gross income of $165,000 ($5500 X 30 students). Continuing educational classes held quarterly could yield another $8000- 80,000/year. But these are projected profits and few know my college exists. My shoe-string budget currently is stranded to do proper marketing to draw the students in. This is why obtaining this grant is so vital to my business.
Monies are needed to fund marketing. No one knows the school exists. Effective marketing still comes at a cost which at the present time, the school does not have funds. A proven campaign of five (5) 30 second radio ads per day for two (2) full weeks would run approximately $1000/month. Recruiting for students is an on-going process but the "pump" needs primed. The award of $5000 would be the much needed boost to help the "well" of students to start flowing as it would provide 5 months of ads. Once a class of 4-5 students has begun, the school would be able to self-fund.

If won the $10,000, plans would go immediately into effect to find a larger facility. Preferably it would be used as a down payment to purchase one of the vacant buildings in Webster City, Iowa area.

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Bringing exceptional craft beer to Northwestern Iowa

Eugene Scalf
Bros 2 Hoes Brewery Inc.
Lake City, IA
Our Purpose To brew unique, finely crafted beers, using exceptional ingredients that leverage sustainable farming practices, green energy while maximizing positive impact to the local communities we support.
The Bros2Hoes (William and Eugene Scalf) branding reflects our avid determination to keep the spirit of 3rd generation family farming and entrepreneurship alive in the quality beers we will produce and distribute. We plan on being a distribution only operation with the following unique qualities:

· 3rd generation farm family owned and operated. We will grow our own organic hops, primary and adjunct grains.

· Professional culinary training that will give our company a keen ability to develop unique flavors that will entice the palate.

· Unique techniques to optimize our hops bittering and aromatic affect on our distinct beers.

· Green energy and ingredients from sustainable farming sources. We plan on operating with zero net energy consumption utilizing wind, solar and biomass energy sources to become the first craft brewery to operate in this fashion in the U.S. Market.

The location for growing our organic hops and grains is the family farm located in Carroll County, Iowa. The goal will be to convert our farm (160 acres with growth capability) to self produce organic grains to be used in our brewing. The primary brewery premise is intended to be in Marcus, Iowa 51035.

The hops production operations will be managed primarily by William while Eugene will manage the formulas, finances and legal documentation including all permits for the
primary brewery premise.

The brewery operations will be managed by local resources (to be determined) and Marketing/Sales will be managed by separate resources also yet to be determined.

I believe that U.S. beer consumers are in the midst of a locally produced and sourced conversion. Restaurants are partnering with local farmers to provide farm to table meals and people are buying locally produced products more often. Not only does this practice help support consumers local economies it is greener as well reducing the carbon impact on the world. Additionally fresher product is often higher quality.

In much of Europe the local brewery provides fresh quality beer for regional consumption and this is where I see the micro-brew/nano beer industry heading.

Obviously there will be global connoisseurs looking for that unique beer experience but the staple consumption will be the regional market for our products.

We also not only believe in good stewardship of the earth's resources and the environment in which we live we also maintain a strong spirit of philanthropy.

Our brewery plans on establishing a foundation to give back to the local communities of Cherokee County and Northwestern Iowa through direct contributions to local (non-denominational) charities (e.g. food banks) as well as to organize and participate in local volunteer efforts.

Market Analysis Summary

Target Market Groups:

1. Northwest Iowans with a per capital annual income of at least $25000 and 21 to 44 years old.

° We expect to have to compete on price (operating as the lowest cost craft beer producer) and educate our consumers on our value proposition of offering a higher quality product but also giving them the ability to make a positive impact in their local communities just by consuming our products. We expect to reach these customers by word of mouth, direct retail marketing, hosting tap takeovers at local bars and sponsoring local events.

° Based on a goal of 60000 gallons per year production we are looking to obtain 4% of the potential total beer sales based on average consumption which is in line with the craft beer industry.

2. Craft Beer Connoisseurs (Internet/Craft Beer Traders)

° Social media and direct marketing to lead craft beer reviewers on www.beeradvocate we hope to get the attention of the craft beer aficionado's.

Iowa Total Population 3075039

Iowa 21+ Population 2209302 (71.80%)

Iowans Average Beer Consumption/Yr=> 33.6 gallons

NW IA Population=> 508317 (364972)

Target Market Detail:

1. Northwest Iowa Counties (Per capita income >=$25000) - county population ages (21-44) - Total: 46,487 beer consumers/1,561,963 gallons

° Carroll - 4730

° Boone - 6005

° Calhoun - 2274

° Cherokee - 2747

° Clay - 5293

Academic Edition Page 10

Bros 2 Hoes Brewery, DBA

° Dickinson - 3881

° Emmet - 2290

° Green - 2101

° Humboldt - 2231

° Ida - 1628

° Kossuth - 3516

° OBrien - 3249

° Plymouth - 5706

° Sac - 2328

2. Craft Beer Connoisseurs & Beer Traders

This is a group that is hard to quantify relative to potential sales. These are the folks that seek out unique craft beers that are regional to them and then trade with other like-
minded individuals across state and national boundaries.

Target Market Segment Strategy

1. 100 mile self distribution area - Initially Northwest (Marcus) Iowa but plan on expanding to cover the Tri-State area.

2. Craft Beer Aficionado

° Local, fresh, sustainable, supporting the local community, American owned (not ex-patriots), environmentally conscious.

° Direct contact with beeradvocate craft beer enthusiasts to get the word out.

° Unique flavor profiles and limited production combined with awesome beer labels make for a valuable craft beer holding.

Industry Analysis:

The U.S. beer brewing market is big, with an estimated $28.2 billion in revenues and $2.9 billion in net profits for 2013.

Despite its size, however, the industry reported negative annual growth over the past three years. Much of this negative trend can be attributed to increasingly knowledgeable and health-conscious consumers who are trading up for higher-quality craft beers and other alcoholic beverages. Consumers have therefore shifted away from bulk beer producers like Anheuser-Busch and Molson-Coors, opting for finer products in lesser quantities.

The Brewers Association defines a craft brewer as any brewery producing six million barrels of beer or less per year. The brewer must be less than 25% owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not a craft brewer, and must produce a flagship beer that represents the majority (at least 50%) of their total sales. In 2012, 2,347 craft breweries were in operation, representing almost 98% of total breweries in the U.S but only a subset of beer sales.

That said, the craft brew industry represents a relatively small percentage of the beer industry in terms of sales, with a share of approximately 6.5% by sales volume and 10.2% by sales in dollars for 2012.

The craft brew industry has seen major sales growth and

development over the past five years, significantly out pacing the

sales growth rate of the overall beer industry by almost double.

Recent purchasing trends indicate that consumers are willing to pay more for craft beer in order to obtain a higher quality product.

Additionally consumers are moving more towards the purchase of local, regionally produced beer, shifting away from the large, low cost, and global presences of companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev. As a result, from 2007 to 2012, sales in the craft brewing industry grew by almost 50%, from $2.1 billion in 2007 to $3.1 billion in 2012. This trend is not expected to stop, either. Sales projections for the craft brew industry over the next five years show an expected growth of another 32%, totaling $4.1 billion, by 2017.

Competitive Analysis:

· There are only two distribution only breweries within a hundred mile radius of our planned operation and none in the state of Iowa.

· Additionally several of the beers we plan on producing currently don't exist in any of the known beer markets.

· Several techniques will be used to make our products distinct including but not limited to steam under vacuum conditions that will promote maximum aromatic and reduce off flavors from hops.

· The goal is to maximize attention to the local beer market as well as the online craft beer trading market. This will be done by working with local business owners of gas retail markets (such as Sparky' s/Casey's), grocery/liquor store chains that carry local products such as Hy-Vee as well as online retailers such as halftimebeverage.com and beeradvocate.com.

I have reviewed on shelf products within our market region as well as done internet searches for any brewery (not brew pub) within 100's of miles and I could find only 2. The brew pubs that do exist all produce the same kit beers having to rely on food sales to keep them in business. They have few distribution distribution channels other than on premise sales.

The vast majority of beer is consumed outside of restaurants. Peace Tree and West-O would be our only local competitors.


(In order of geographic proximity)

Westobeer (Brew Pub with regional distribution - West Okoboji, IA)

Boone Valley Brewery (Brew pub - Boone, IA)

Olde Main Brewing Company (Brew pub - Ames, IA)

Peace Tree Brewing Co. (Brewery - Knoxville, IA)

Number 7 Brewing Company (Brew pub - Ankeny, IA)

Raccoon River Brewing Company (Brew pub - Des Moines)

Court Avenue Brewing Company (Brew pub - Des Moines )

Exile Brewing Co. (Brew pub - Des Moines)

Competitive Advantages:

We will educate and transition our target market to improve the quality of the beer they drink while supporting the local communities in which they live. Bros2Hoes Brewery will be locally owned and locally sourced leveraging green energy with an end goal of zero carbon footprint and net zero energy consumption. Our sustainable value is that we improve the
communities in which we serve while providing superior quality products at the lowest cost to produce eliminating the overhead of energy consumption and purchasing external soft inventory that has market controlled pricing which is greatly increasing.

Since we will be producing most of the grain and hops ourselves we will lessen our costs, improve our bottom line and provide higher quality products.

Additionally once we have our trifecta of solar, wind and biomass green energy sources in place we also reduce our costs as well as be the only brewery in the United States completely operating off the grid AND offering organic certified beers at affordable prices.

Marketing Strategy

Our marketing team will have 2 initiatives: 1) Partner with local bars, restaurants and

events to begin the conversion process and spread awareness 2) Establish Retail Sales

Channels with grocery, liquor and convenience stores (Hy-Vee, Sparky's, Casey's, etc.)

Value Proposition:

Offers superior quality craft beers that are produced using sustainable locally sourced ingredients with environmental impact awareness at a reasonable price supporting our local communities food shelves and charitable organizations. Our primary target customers will be male beer drinkers 21 to 44 years old with an average net annual income of at least $25000 living within a 100 mile radius of our primary brewery premise as we are self distributing.

· Our pricing will be based on our ability to produce and actual costing methods.

· Our flagship beer will be our American Pilsner representing at least 50% of our sales.

· Our growth strategy will be based on projected craft beer industry growth rate of 32% over the next 5 years that will be regionally focused so we are anticipating an annual growth rate of 7%.

Projected Profit and Loss:

Beer production is initially very capital intensive. The turnkey phase 2 production equipment alone will run nearly $175,000 with a phase 1 2 bbl pilot system costing $50,000 (already purchased).

Once we are in production and are profitable our plan is to install solar equipment followed by a biomass hot water boiler that will use our spent grain as fuel to generate electricity to push back into the grid to offset any operational energy.

This second phase of capital equipment expenditure for solar panels and the third phase will include the biomass boiler and generator which will bring our net energy cost to $0. The reduction of energy costs nor the reduction in our consumable costs increase our margins by 28 percent. The general premise is that we will have $0 cost of energy consumption and since we will be growing our own grains with only costs for malting needing to be a reduction applied.
The craft beer industry is very capital intensive so we would use this money as liquid capital to be used to seek the advanced investment we need to acquire the brewing equipment. Specifically we would be looking to acquire a hop pelletizer to make package ready our organic hops grown on our family farm and expanding our organic hop rhizome portfolio.

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Take a shot

Karen Marquez
KM Imports LLC
sioux city, IA
I am currently a student attending Western Iowa Tech Community College and my dream is to be able to import tequila from Mexico. I want to share the most unique treasure from my home country with Iowa. I'm a tequila lover and I'm sure you'll love it too. Take a shot and vote for my dream.
I am currently a student attending Western Iowa Tech. I'm working on obtaining my associates degree in business administration. My dream has always been to own my own business. I recently created KM Imports LLc. I already have a tequila supplier lined up in Mexico, I have also already obtained my importers license from the State of Iowa, and my importers permit from the Iowa Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. It has been an exciting journey up to this point but theres still a few steps left before I can finally kick off my business and start importing tequila. The tequila I want to import is a unique brand from Mexico. If I won I would use the need money for transporting the tequila and for marketing the product. I plan to make money from the profits of selling the tequila. If everything goes as planed I intend to expand my business to other states in the future. I am very passionate about this project. Every day I feel im a step closer to accomplishing my life dream.
Once I meet all the requirements necessary to import tequila to into the United States, I will need money to pay for the transportation of the tequila. I don't have any funds as of right now but if I win, the money would help pay for transportation costs, and for advertising the product.

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American Coating

Randy Lee
American Coating
Onawa, IA
American Coating will be actively engaged in providing powder coating services to manufacturers, contractors, and other entities that require specialized metal finishing servifrom damage.ces. The business will use electrostatic based powder coating techniques to protect metal work
Powder coating is a superior durability, reduced costs and environmental considerations have played a role in the movement of manufacturers throughout the world from liquid paint to powder coating. This is a very common practice among a number of industries that produce metal based products.

The current economic conditions at hand, Powder Coating Service may have issues with top line income as manufacturing companies (and related businesses) may see a slowdown in orders that require powder coating services. However, the business will generate very high margins from these services, which will allow the Company to remain profitable and cash flow positive

American Coating will seek a verity of customers from all different types of income sizes. American Coating customer will vary from farmer equipment, manufacturers, construction equipment, auto parts, motorcycle/ATV parts, patio furniture, Functional equipment: oil, gas and water transmission pipelines, reinforcing steel bar for concrete, valves, electrical motor windings, bus bar, riser pipe, fire hydrants.
I would use this money for a powder coating gun

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Open CC Greens Organic Farm

Cindy Clemen
CC Greens Organic Farm
Waterloo, IA
CC Greens Organic Farm will not only grow fresh, local, non-GMO produce, herbs, edible flowers and microgreens sustainably with renewable power, but will also give back regularly to the community through food bank donations, charitable fundraisers and employing people who need second chances.
CC Greens Organic Farm will grow organically and sustainably-grown produce, salad greens, edible flowers and microgreens for sale in Iowa and the surrounding states. All produce will be grown either aeroponically or hydroponically in a closed system which will use up to 95% less water than traditional organic soil farming and the first greenhouse and all subsequently built greenhouses will be primarily powered, heated and cooled using solar power, with wind power being added as we expand. We will also implement a rainwater collection tank into the building of our first greenhouse and all subsequent greenhouses in an effort to further conserve water. We will recycle, package our retail produce in compostable or biodegradable/recycled packaging and will compost all discarded plant matter and offer this non-GMO, chemical-free compost to local farmers, gardeners or any interested parties.

On a social and community front, CC Greens will employ primarily individuals who currently have a more difficult time finding employment: those with special needs, non-violent parolees and individuals in need of second chances at making a life for themselves. Although we will be starting out small, we realistically strive to eventually employ 100 employees or more, both full and part-time, with benefits. Once viable, CC Greens will also begin and sustain regular donations of organically-grown, non-GMO produce to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and the VA Hospital in Iowa City. In addition, CC Greens will hold monthly canned food drives for the food bank and also coordinate and host quarterly foodie events which will serve as fundraisers for specially selected local, state and national charities and non-profit organizations. We know how very important it is to give back. We will instill this in our employees and customers and it will become ingrained in our CC Greens fabric.

Besides small organic farms throughout Iowa that grow during the warmer months and sell retail produce at farmers markets and/or from their own farms seasonally, my main 2 commercial competitors in Iowa are Rolling Hills Greenhouse in West Union and Mariposa Farms in Grinnell. Both of these commercial greenhouses sell a small variety of salad greens, a small selection of fresh herbs and/or a small selection of microgreens. Rolling Hills Greenhouse states on their web site that they grow their produce hydroponically and without chemicals. Mariposa Farms grows only buttercrunch lettuce, 21 fresh herbs and some edible flowers, although it does not state which ones or how their plants are grown (either conventionally or organically/without chemicals). Neither greenhouse grows the wide variety of items CC Greens will be able and willing to offer, including heirloom tomatoes, specialty and gourmet salad greens, herbs and microgreens and hard to find peppers, in addition to chard, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, beans, broccoli raab, cabbage, leeks, okra, tomatillos, strawberries, kale, collard greens and celery. We will not keep all of these items in stock but will grow to order for weekly recurring wholesale orders. CC Greens retail markets will include farmers markets, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) food co-ops, young and middle-aged adults, health-conscious adults, vegetarians, vegans and people with specific dietary requirements and/or restrictions. Our wholesale market will include restaurants, grocery stores and institutions like schools, universities, retirement/nursing homes, prisons and hospitals, etc.

I have my business plan completed as well as my balance sheets, cash projections and profit and loss statements for the first 3 years. I also have 7 local/Iowa businesses who already want to purchase produce from me once I open. I also have a distributor who wants to purchase my wholesale produce and distribute it to grocery stores she already has contacts with in Iowa and 6 surrounding states. I have found a 6-acre acreage in northern Tama county that would not only have room for me to build my first greenhouse, but would also have room for more than enough future greenhouses as well as a small retail store through which I would sell retail produce year-round and which would serve as a place to hold my foodie events, educational seminars and host school events promoting local agriculture and healthy eating options, etc.

While it is true that CC Greens Organic Farm will be a for-profit business, more than that, it will be a for-planet and for-community business with countless possibilities for growth, going green and giving back throughout Iowa.
If I were to win either level of the competition, I would use this money as a portion of the 10% down payment required by my bank to apply for the SBA 504 and 7(a) loans. In the spirit of full disclosure, if my SBA loan application is rejected for any reason (which is always a possibility and something I won't know until I have the 10% down payment collected and am eligible to apply for the loans) I will use the funds to supplement any investor funds I can raise to open the business. In this case, the funds would be used to pay an attorney to set up an LLC for the business, make a down payment on land, the greenhouse, greenhouse equipment or a delivery vehicle, etc. Either way, the funds will be used to open CC Greens Organic Farm in Iowa.

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Shaka. The World's only Flavor-Changing Milk Drinks. Kids Love it! Let's help Kids drink Healthy!

Larry Martin
Sioux City, IA
Our patent-pending multi-flavored drink flavors do not blend. When shaken, the drink looks like a lava lamp. To help combat the obesity & diabetes epidemics we’ll start with healthy calcium & protein fortified no-fat milk drinks. It’s fun; kids love it! Also, we can help Iowa’s dairies a lot!

Date: 1/29/15

OWNERS: Larry D. Martin, Ph.D., chemistry
R. Herschauer

Business Name: Shaka Corporation
Telephone: Larry: 712-274-0134
Cell Phone: Larry: 712-204-5807
Dick: 712-204-6706

Email: Larry: [email protected]
[email protected]
Dick: [email protected]


I. Table of Contents ……………...……. 1
II. Executive Summary …………………….. 1
III. Business Description ………………........2
IV. Market Analysis ……………………….... 4
V. Marketing Plan …………………………....5
VI. Competitive Analysis …………………..…6
VII. Development Plan …………………………6


Our plan is to open a business that will license to existing beverage industries the rights to manufacture and market our new beverage technology. The new technology is a multiple flavored beverage (patent pending) that when shaken appears similar to a Lava Lamp. (The beverage can also be stirred or different flavors can be experienced by lifting a straw to different heights in the stratified multiple flavored beverage.) After shaking, the different flavors are suspended in globules that do not mix with each other. These flavor globules will create varying bursts of flavor in size and intensity which is dependent upon the amount of shaking done. Because all the Strataform flavors and the Shaka beverage base are fluids, a pleasant mouth feel is experienced throughout the drinking of the beverage. This is a very different and exciting new experience for any person and kids go crazy over it!

Because the dairy industry is already well organized and the medical community is recommending more consumption of fat-free milk to curb the obesity and diabetes epidemics, we will start by introducing our new Shaka technology to the dairy industry.


This business will be in the beverage industry. Shaka Corporation has created a completely new Beverage Technology using only natural ingredients. This new beverage technology is very different and extremely exciting. For existing beverage manufacturers, the new Shaka beverage technology will create opportunities for huge new markets not in existence today.

The basic premise of the new Shaka Beverage Technology is that the drinks contain multiple flavors that remain separated in the same container. Because the multiple flavors are all fluids, a pleasant mouth feel is maintained. We call them Strataform Flavors. A familiar example would be similar to Neapolitan Ice Cream (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla). All the flavors remain separate in the same container except in liquid form (milk), not frozen. These three flavors will not mix with each other or with the Shaka base beverage and will remain separated.

Without adding anything, a consumer can change the physical characteristics of his drink in several ways. First by placing a straw at different heights in the Shaka Beverage, each different flavor will be tasted as the straw is lowered or raised. A second method of changing how the different flavors are experienced is to stir the Shaka Beverage with the straw to create a swirl pattern of flavors. A third way to change how a Shaka Beverage tastes, is to place a lid on the container and shake it. The resulting pattern of flavors will look like a Lava Lamp! The Strataform Flavors will form flavor pockets or flavor globules! The duration and intensity of shaking will determine how large or how small and how numerous the flavor globules will be. Shaka is the only beverage in the world that allows the consumer to change the characteristics of his drink without adding anything!

Drinking a Shaka Beverage is unlike anything consumers have ever experienced before. If after agitation, the consumer simply drinks the beverage from the container, the different flavor globules will create explosions of flavors that can cause a “Flavor Shock” experience. Bursts of different flavors will explode in your mouth at various intensities and frequencies, depending on how much agitation was done.

Alternatively, the consumer may wish to drink out of a straw. After agitation, the straw can be moved around in the beverage and different flavors will be experience as the straw encounters the various flavor globules.

If no agitation is desired, the Strataform Flavors will stay relatively layered and the straw can be moved to each layer to experience that particular flavor.

Strataform Flavors will be packaged in flavor packets to be added to a Shaka Drink Base so the consumer will be able to select from many different Strataform Flavors. Consumers will be able to create a customized multiple flavored beverage of his or her own choosing!

Shaka Beverage Technology is truly exciting and unique in the Beverage Industry!

Children and young people are the largest consumers of milk in the world (see charts and reports in the attachments section). The Medical Community is very concerned about the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes in children and young people. One of their major concerns is that children and young people don't drink enough milk. They all recommend that children (after the age of 2) and young people need to drink more fat free milk (see attachments section). But the problem is how do we get children and young people to drink more milk instead of other beverages? Shaka is new, fun, healthy, and exciting! So the new Shaka beverage Technology is the answer! Shaka is the fun incentive that will get children and young people to drink a lot more milk!

The extra calcium and protein in Shaka are some of the most important nutrients that children and young people need to develop in a healthy way. Older adults also need calcium and protein to maintain healthy bodies.

With the new Shaka Beverage Technology, Shaka milk drinks will be versatile and exciting enough to be very competitive with all other beverages.

We will license marketing rights to existing dairies.


Our product is perfect for the dairy industry because the U.S. dairy industry is currently experiencing a decline in sales and is looking for new products to increase sales. Our Strataform flavored milk drinks (Shaka) will supply this new product perfectly. Children are the largest consumers of milk in the United States and, for children ages 2 – 11, 28% of the milk consumed is flavored. Older children and adults also drink flavored milk in percentages ranging from 17 – 10 percent (see charts in the Attachments section) (Fluid Milk Consumption in the United States, www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/.../3_milk_consumption_0506.pdf, Accessed January 30, 2015). Children are inquisitive and like to play with their food. Shaka is designed to be played with! Shaka involves children in shaking and stirring the drink to their own personal liking! Kids love it! U.S. medical associations are promoting the consumption of milk by children and adults as important for better health. “The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends 2 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk or equivalents (i.e., cheese, yogurt) daily for children aged 2 to 8 years, and 3 cups or equivalents daily for people aged 9 years and older because of milk’s important nutrient contributions to the diet (1). Flavored milk is a nutrient-rich beverage providing the same nine essential nutrients as unflavored milk…” (Flavored Milk in Perspective, http://www.udidaho.org/Schools/FlavoredMilk.aspx, referencing U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2005, Accessed March 20, 2014). Shaka is the answer to the problem, which is, “how do we get kids to drink more milk?”

A report shows the size of the dairy market:
In 2011, total U.S. beverage milk sales were 53 billion pounds - about 6 billion gallons - the lowest level since 1984, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures released in August. Whole milk beverage sales in 2011 were less than half their level from the early 1980s, according to the Agriculture Department. (Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, September 3, 2012, U.S. Milk sales reach lowest level in decades, http://www.jsonline.com/business/us-milk-sales-reach-lowest-level-in-decades-4m6mnqa-168400516.html Accessed March 20, 2014)

Because children in the United States are the major consumers of milk and 28% of the milk they consume is flavored, there is an excellent potential for Shaka to increase the volume of milk consumed by children. This can be the way to stop the dramatic decline in milk consumption noted above.

A very important note is that because our patent is for stratified multiple flavored, drinks and not for the exact manner in which this is accomplished, there will be no competition in any of the beverage markets around the World! We have invented a completely new beverage technology!


We will be licensing the Shaka beverage technology to the dairy industry, and their expertise in marketing and manufacturing will be important to the success of the new Shaka milk drinks. We have talked with DMI (Dairy Management, Inc., the management organization for the American Dairy Association, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, National Dairy Council, and the U.S. Dairy Export Council) and we will work with DMI to gain access to nearly all of the dairies in the United States, and to the U.S. marketplace. Con Agra has also expressed interest in Shaka products.

Shaka Strataform Flavors© will be in flavor packets that can be added to beverages by the consumer. These packets will be displayed on retailer’s shelves, giving consumers a wide choice of flavors to be purchased as individual units. Giving consumers individual control over their own personal drink creations will drastically increase sales! (Coca Cola's new fountain machine allowing consumers to choose what additive to put in their coke instantly doubled coke's fountain sales and now Pepsi is doing the same.)


The existing Dairy Markets have just a few flavored milks. Plain white milk, strawberry milk and chocolate milk are most common. So we feel that the competition will be almost non-existent. There is no Dairy Market or any other beverage market that has Multiple Stratified Flavored Drinks!

Another marketing advantage is that Shaka milk is fat-free milk that is protein and calcium fortified. Medical organizations have stated that children need to drink more fat-free milk. The protein and calcium fortification of Shaka Milk drinks makes them even better for both children and adults.

There is no competition for stratified, multiple flavored beverages (Shaka) because we own a completely new patent pending beverage technology. This is the case in all beverage markets!


Product samples have been successfully developed in our labs (both dairy and non-dairy) and we will continue to develop additional flavors in all types of beverages with the help of existing experts in their particular beverage field. Marketing will begin with dairy beverages because of the established dairy organization and the special health needs that make Shaka dairy products super attractive. In this way we will utilize the expertise of the established dairy industry in marketing and development of further Shaka dairy products. Also, the existing dairy market has a very limited variety of milk flavors and no multi-flavored milk drinks. So with "Shaka" technology, in the dairy industry, there exists a rare opportunity for vast expansion of existing markets!

Our organizational structure will be Shaka Corporation as the licensor of the manufacturing and marketing rights that will be licensed to the individual industries, as necessary. Shaka will retain ownership of all patents. Licensing of the Shaka brand will outlive the life of the patents; therefore, Shaka Corporation will continue to receive income even after the patents expire.

Our ongoing monthly costs will be mostly administrative because the existing beverage industries will do most of the marketing and utilize their existing infra-structure. There will be initial costs associated with the development of the exact flavor formulations. In this way Shaka Corporation will be able to maintain quality standards for the Shaka brand products.
The money, will pay for:
1. Development of additional flavor formulations
2. Production of samples
3. Organization of licensee program
4. Travel expenses

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Our dream is to build a tech company that connects people with things they care about

Trevor Carlson
Cedar Falls, IA
Our dream is to build a tech company that connects 18-26 year olds with activities so they never fear on missing out again. We believe that the best way to do this is to develop a mobile app using modern technology to connect you with what to do.
Wa2do’s focus is connecting people with activities nearby. The content is based on a user's specific interests in their immediate location. Our goal is to replace the bulletin board and connect people through these activities.
There isn’t a universal solution to find activities based on an individual’s specific interests. Many activities or events get buried on a cluttered Facebook feed, constantly revolving Twitter feed, or buried on a overflowing bulletin board.
Our team has the unfair advantage of being included in the target market and having the skill set to solve the problem. There have been other apps or businesses who have attempted to solve this problem but many have failed. By understanding that people have multiple interests that may change based on time and location we can become the solution through our application. We have also established a network MVP testers and likely first customers including University of Northern Iowa Wellness and Recreation Center, Sidecar Coffee Shop, Cedar Valley Alliance, University of Northern Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, Cedar Valley Open Coffee, The Core Comic Book Store, Waterloo Irishfest, Hancher Auditorium, Corallville Parks and Rec, City of Cedar Rapids Parks and Rec, Spicolis, Iowa City Children’s Museum, Waterloo Visitors Bureau, Cedar Falls Parks and Rec, and are in discussions with several others.
Market Opportunity
At Startup Weekend, our team interviewed a total of 125 people; 77 males and 48 females. 48% of the people we talked to were in the ages of 18-24, 26% 25-39, 18% 30-49, and 8% over the age of 50. 107 of the 125 people said that they would like to use a mobile app to find activities around them. Since then we have done 70 customer discovery interviews with event/venue promoters and 35 interviewed 35 18-26 year olds. All of these have resulted in positive feedback, suggesting the need to get more events/venues in front of 18-26 year olds.
In 2012, 7,070,345 moved to a different state. In that same year, 37,696,597 people moved to a different location within their original state. This presents an opportunity to help connect these people with activities around them. An example for the application would be the usage at exercise facilities. The United States currently has 34,000 facilities that could integrate the app. We are specifically targeting the 18-26 year old age range as our initial market. Because of the high level of change and their integration with technology in this market it creates a great opportunity for adoption.
Along with venues, our product distribution will focus on Facebook, Twitter, and the app stores. These platforms will be used to help promote our application through word of mouth and using SEO/ASO to drive downloads. After reaching this initial market, we will retain users by being the solution for finding or creating an activity at venues around them.
We’re currently going through are second round of customer discovery following the Startup Owner’s Manual guide to building a great company. We’re focusing on finishing 100 customer discovery interviews with event/venue promoters and 100 interviews with 18-26 year olds. After finishing this round of interviews, we will take the information gained and develop a low-fidelity MVP. After the low-fidelity MVP is finished, we will take it out to our MVP testers to get their feedback. After going through the tests, we will take what we learned and develop a high-fidelity MVP. We will take the high-fidelity MVP through the same tests that we took the low-fidelity MVP through to make sure we are on the right track. After testing the high-fidelity MVP, we will analyze the product-market fit to see if we have the best product for solving our markets needs. If we do, then we proceed into development of our V1.0 and release the app to the public.
Currently, our largest competitor is Meetup.com. We are different from Meetup.com because we offer a free version of our service and have a spontaneous, streamlined feature connecting people faster. To organize an event with people who have similar interests on Meetup.com would require starting a group costing $20+ a month. Our other competitor is the old fashioned bulletin board. Everywhere you go today there are bulletin boards with activities and people promoting an event. Our goal is to replace that with new technology and a guarantee that people interested will see your event.
The reason that we are applying is that it is a long process to acquire users and takes multiple team members to work through the agile development process. Winning the Dream Big, Grow Here grant would allow us to decrease the development time while covering some of our overhead costs as we confirm our multiple hypothesis. Our team believes that people want a single resource to find things to do and so far the data supports this. We need to be able to fund the agile development process until we can acquire a user base that allows us to cashflow the business.

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N'west Iowa Ag Innovations

Tyler Youngers
N'west Iowa Ag Innovations
Sheldon, IA
Growing up in Northwest Iowa on the family farm gave me many opportunities to work side-by-side with the operation. As I worked on the family farm, I would always think of ways to help improve the farm. I would think of ways to make the farm more efficient, add more value, or simply make the farm more...
My business is unique because it provides a service that strengthens the most important piece of the agriculture industry, the farmer. The ingenuity of humans is what has helped our great state and great nation prosper in the agricultural field. This ingenuity must be strengthened if farmers hope to overcome the complex challenges of a growing and advanced, technological society. My business will support the needs of farmers and will add value to their operations.

I will support farmers through this agribusiness by following a technology integration cycle that I use at my job as an instructional technology consultant for teachers. This cycle supports meaningful integration of technology.

The agtech integration cycle can be found under the pictures attached to this application.

We will charge a nominal fee for this service and will offer ongoing support for farmers as their operations become more advanced and technology-rich. As more farmers adopt technology into their operations, the need for support and focus on innovative usage grows and that will provide an excellent opportunity to help them achieve their goals through my business.

Short-term goals:
- Clearly articulate and market the vision of N’west Iowa Ag Innovations
- Build a solid customer base
- Provide quality support to farmers through my professionalism and dedication to using innovative practices
- Grow steadily as a business and continue to share our business model that promotes efficiency and effective use of agtech tools.

Long-term goals:
- Build an innovation space that will support our growth
- Hire additional staff members to support technology integration, ongoing support, and future innovation
- Create a learning lab to welcome young learners into our business, after hours, to learn about agtech and to engage with tech tools that support creativity and critical thinking
- Develop and unveil an innovative agtech tool that will further support farmers’ efficiency and success. This agtech tool development will create more jobs at N’west Iowa Ag Innovations and support further population growth in the region
I am applying because we are at a crossroads in the agriculture industry - commodity prices are falling, land prices are high, and farmers are faced with tough decisions in order to make a profit. My passion is helping others and I want to help farmers. I want to help add value to their farm operations through more purposeful use of technology, improved efficiency, and an ongoing support system that continues to make farming more profitable.

I would use the money to support further research and development of my business plan. I would also use the money to create and send out marketing materials, build and host a website, and invest in the purchase of agtech products for my professional development.

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Jump on board with the 1st Mobile Food Truck in Cedar Rapids!

Kelli Evans
The Grateful Crepe
Cedar Rapids, IA
We are bringing crepes to the streets of Cedar Rapids and beyond! These are not typical crepes you eat with a fork - they are street crepes you eat on the go! Absolutely delicious!
My name is Kelli Evans. I am a lifelong Cedar Rapidian (that’s what my Dad calls lifelong Cedar Rapids residents) and I am launching Cedar Rapids’ very FIRST Mobile Creperie Food Truck!

I grew up working in the food industry doing everything from bussing tables, serving in fine dining establishments, wine service, food preparation, bartending, management, employee training and hospitality. Throughout those years, I developed a passion and love for the food service industry.

I have raised three fine young men and have been preparing home cooked meals for over 24 years. Boys and their friends tend to eat A LOT! I feel most comfortable in the kitchen as it is the heart of the home. Cooking to me is therapy. We have enjoyed a wide variety of crêpes over the years and I would love to now share our family favorites with Cedar Rapids.

I have spent the last 10 years working for others in various business development and B2B sales roles. I am a born sales person. I come by it naturally as my father instilled in me the motivation to communicate and sell, sell, sell! When my children were young I managed to run a fast paced household of five while at the same time growing a successful home based business. I miss the days when I was juggling schedules and owned my own business. I miss the vigor of the bustling food industry and am ready to step out of the office and onto the streets of Cedar Rapids to offer up delicious plates of delicious crêpes.

I am still in the process of logo design. Be thinking tie-dye and bright colors.

Why Crêpes?
Crêpes have always been close to my heart. My parents traveled to Europe both as young adults and fell in love with crêpes on the streets of Paris. As a small child my parents always made sure we would visit a favorite crêperie in California when we would visit my grandparents. As an adult I discovered a mobile crêpe cart in Colorado and introduced crêpes to my three sons. My boys and I are huge fans of crêpes for breakfast, lunch or dinner and thus the reason I am so excited to bring it to the streets of Cedar Rapids!

For those who are unfamiliar, crêpes are like a very thin pancake folded and filled with many different types of savory or sweet ingredients and easy to eat on-the-go.

noun \ˈkrāp\
: a very thin pancake
Def. 1. Merriam Webster Online, Merriam Webster, n.d. January 16, 2015.

Our Menu
We’re taking the traditional crêpe and creating delicious fillings make them even better. They’re great for a quick breakfast, lunch, an easy to-go snack, and the perfect late night bar food.

Here's a sample of our Menu:

Apple butter, smoked Gouda cheese, apples, and smoked ham or turkey
Caprese’ – chicken, pesto, cheese
Pulled pork and coleslaw
Nutella and bananas or strawberries
Reuben -corn beef, 1000 island, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese
Fruit and sweet cream cheese (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
Pizza - pepperoni or sausage, mushrooms, spinach, onion, mozzarella, and marinara
Ham, Swiss cheese, and honey mustard
Butter and Brown Sugar
Butter and Cinnamon Sugar

It is our plan to continue to evolve as the seasons change, offering new seasonal fruit/veggie fillings and, eventually new imaginative crêpe fillings. What do you think of a breakfast crêpe with sausage, bacon, eggs and cheese?
We will also always offer bottled water and freshly squeezed lemonade. As the weather changes we will offer hot cocoa or apple cider to warm your soul.

Let’s Talk Money
Where’s all this money going to go? To start, we lad to take out a loan to purchase a mobile food truck. Next will be to pay the hefty new licensing fees to become a City of Cedar Rapids mobile food unit, updating the unit to meet Linn County Health Department guidelines, leasing a stall at the Downtown Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market, leasing a space at NewBo City Market and marketing (mostly social media as mailers and fliers are unsustainable) for catering or corporate events. We’re outfitting the truck ourselves with the most economical (but reliable) commercial equipment available.
This includes purchasing pre-loved refrigeration units, two crêpe irons, a stove for making our delicious fillings, lemon juicer, a stainless steel prep counter,a three part sink, electrical and water systems, and pots & pans and utensils.

We’ve done our research. We have been out on the streets and been spreading the news through friends,family,social media, Kickstarter, radio, etc. We have spoken to health department, local city offices, farmer's market organizers, and the response has been AMAZING! There is nothing like this in Cedar Rapids. The time is NOW to make this happen as markets have deadlines and the spaces fill up fast. We have been approved for many events already. Cedar Rapidians are very excited about us. We’ve talked to everyone from individuals to corporate catering prospects and we’re very confident that a mobile crêperie is exactly what the Cedar Rapids food scene needs.

The Dream
When I first started talking about opening a food truck, it was as if the signs were pointing me in the right direction. It is the ideal vehicle to carry out my dream. I also found that crêpes are the perfect street food!
We need start up funds to cover: purchase of used food truck, purchasing pre-loved refrigeration units, two crêpe irons, a stove for making our delicious fillings, lemon juicer, a stainless steel prep counter,a three part sink, electrical and water systems, water heater, pots,pans and utensils.

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Open a 3D printing business

Shawn McMurray
Fayette, IA
Dimensionz3D will provide 3D printing services to business and individuals in northeast Iowa, with the potential to reach a wider region. 3D printing serves a wide variety of uses. Customers can replace broken parts, make just what they need for a project, or the perfect gift for a loved one.
Dimensionz3D will provide 3D printing services to businesses and individuals in northeast Iowa. There is the potential to grow to a wider market area as word spreads and the business is able to expand. 3D printing is an emerging field in the STEM arena (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The technology uses a 3d printer and accompanying software to melt plastics and lay them in very thin layers to virtually any shape. This allows consumers potentially endless uses, from replacing a broken lid on a food processor, making a special keychain for Grandma, designing and making a tool to meet a unique need and much more. Really, the only limits are the physical limits of the materials used (a variety of plastics are currently available for the type of printer we plan to use) and the imagination of the consumer.

Our plan is to provide a service to the customer. We will work closely to help our consumer meet their need by designing the desired product with the specialized 3D printer software or 3D scanner (this would allow us to scan an object and replicate it). Price would be based on the amount of time needed to design and print the object and the amount of plastic (which comes in cartridges) used. The main goal is custom orders, but there is also the potential for pre-made items that can be placed for sale. Gifts, home décor items, jewelry, and more could be marketed through area storefronts and web sales. Additionally, there is the potential to take the entire shop on the road, allowing Dimensionz3D to meet with customers in their homes or businesses, helping ensure the end product is exactly as needed. This will also allow Dimensionz3D owners to conduct educational sessions with schools and community organizations who may be interested in learning more about the benefits of 3D printing.

We know of no similar ventures in our region. Some educational institutions in the northeast Iowa have 3D printers for educational purposes, but we know of none that are available for commercial use. Dimensionz3D will be a new and unique venture to rural northeast Iowa.

Initially, the target market for Dimensionz3D will be the four counties in extreme northeast Iowa: Fayette, Winneshiek, Allamakee and Clayton. The nature of the business would make geographic expansion rather simple. Orders and communications would be done via phone or email, and finished projects could be shipped. This means there is really no geographic limit to the business. The versatility of the products made by 3D printing means potential customers would come from all industries and arenas.
We are applying for this grant because we see an opportunity to launch a quality, beneficial, sustainable business in rural northeast Iowa. While the region has many benefits for those who wish to live here, employment can be challenging. The multiple layoffs our family has experienced in recent years have driven home this fact for us.

To help solve this issue, we wish to bring a technology-based business to the region that will 1) provide quality employment for our family, 2) bring a beneficial service to the people and businesses in our area, and 3) have strong opportunities for sustainability and growth in the market, hopefully leading to lucrative employment opportunities for others in our area and Dimensionz3D expands services.

Funds from the Dream Big Grow Here grant program will be used to purchase a 3D printer (which comes with needed software), a 3D scanner (also with needed software), a supply of cartridges to get started with printing, and an advertising campaign to help spread the word. Dimensionz3D owners will provide necessary computer hardware, space for the business to operate, transportation, technical and marketing expertise and additional supplies and equipment.

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Best Life Market -Provide solutions and hope to those with Allergies and Sensitivities to Foods

Tedra Jorgensen
Best Life Market
Spencer, IA
We want to share the possibilities of a “Best Life” even though it may not be easy. We will consult, come up with food solutions, recipes, samples and more. We are also going to offer alternatives to feeling better by selling essential oils, nickel free jewelry and organic cotton items.
Why This Start Up Business?

Owners both have allergies not only to normal environmental allergies, but are also allergic or
sensitive to many foods, jewelry, lotions, make-up, shampoos and more. Tonya, who lived out
in Arizona for a number of years, had many products available there to live a “Best Life” has
moved back to Spencer, Iowa to be by her grandchildren and is unable to find the products available that work best for her and for others.

As conversations have continued with professionals in the Spencer, Okoboji and Spirit Lake, Iowa area, we have been encouraged to move forward with the dream of providing solutions for those who are struggling and living sick and frustrated. Help them look for answers with someone who has lived through what they have just been diagnosed with or have been living with and do not know what to do.

We are unique because other stores and markets will sell a few items that meet the criteria for different allergies but there are not stores and markets that answer questions after a doctor gives the diagnosis, they don't help with recipes, re-configure family recipes, give someone or a family hope since there life has just changed.

In a 50 mile radius there are about 60,000 to 65,000 people. Spencer just had a Hobby Lobby move into town so the potential for business is good.

We will also have a website up and running so we may also send items to people in other states.

Our potential for making money is through cooking classes, teaching, consultations, selling product, allergy friendly products, essential oils, fragrance free items and many other products.

There is not a market like us. Like stated before - there are stores that may carry allergy friendly foods but there is not a place who can cook for them, show them how to change the way the cook and just have someone to listen to what the doctors have said and give people hope - letting them know they can still live and have a "Best Life"!
We are applying because it is an opportunity for us to effectively begin a business that will meet the needs of many people who are suffering with different allergies.

We are looking to build a kitchen in the back of the Market so we can teach and provide samples to our clients so they will begin to live a Best Life with the new diagnosis they have just been given.

The Market needs a freezer and cooler along with purchasing product to meet the needs of the people who are looking to start new beginnings with their relationship with food.

We have a retail location so our store front is taken care of in Spencer on 4th Street.

The grant would allow us to open our doors sooner and the possibility of an additional $10,000 would allow us to provide even more products for our clients who are in desperate need.

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Alizabeth's Dream - Staying Connected via Wearable Technology & Tech Accessories

Alizabeth Jetter
Cedar Rapids, IA
Accessibility and freedom! This is true for the walker, runner, biker, athlete and mom on the go. Our solution keeps your phone number with you for safety, your music for your groove and gives you access to your cloud - coupled with awesome accessories!
The wearable technology industry is at $173 Billion; $26 Billion is the cell phone accessory industry. Initially COSSETU looked to create a case solution for earbuds (prototyped, designed and manufactured). A pivot occurred after protoyping a hands-free magnetically backed case/holder for MP3's and Cell Phone's in November 2014. People were really excited about the hands-free solution especially for the phone. The challenge is the weight of the phone.

Thus, another pivot (February 2015). We are now exploring two solutions. A small phone that is priced as another accessory giving access to your current phone number, music and perhaps 1 - 2 apps for activity tracking. The other possibility is utilizing your ipod/mp3 player as a phone with your phone number and access to your cloud. Both solutions being magnetically backed and attachable to your clothing.

We are unique in that some audiences need a solution that allows for access and safety without bulk and without the possibility of damage to their large device. Think of the person going for a run. They want the safety of the phone without having to hold it. In developing a solution that provides people the mini of what they need when they need it is just what the mini offers, they will buy.

We will make money by offering a line of products. The mini phone being the hook. We will also create a lifestyle brand that is complimentary to our technology and technology accessory offerings. We will explore partnership, co-branding and private labeling. What makes us different is the mini phone. We will explore various channels of distribution as well as a robust social marketing strategy. The mini phone does exist, however, it is not being utilized as a wearable technology nor has it been marketed in the U.S. on a major scale. I think about Yahoo in this case. Most applications that are now very popular and very profitable, Yahoo actually created years before the likes of Facebook, Google, Skype. What Yahoo did not do was market the offerings to the point of popularity and demand.

What we will do with the mini phone as wearable technology is replicate what has been done in the technology industry - we have desktop, laptop, tablets (of various sizes) and cell phones of various sizes. Many households have most if not all of the aforementioned solutions. Our cell phones are now computers, yet, we still have a need to size down for certain activities. We will provide another of staying connected.

We have just begun this pivot and need to complete CDI's and market research to ensure we have a viable product.
I am applying to establish proof of commercial relevance. I have spent thousands of dollars of my money and am in need of a cash infusion. I have been boot strapping and the straps are fraying from the continued friction.

The money will be used to complete CDI's - target 300; design prototypes, complete extensive market research and develop an online presence.

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Who will be the first Iowan Ninjas!

Obi Patterson
Obi No Ato Ninjutsu
cedar falls, IA
I want to open a dojo so that I can give people the tools they need to strengthen themselves mentally, physically, emotional, and spiritually. Through my dojo I want those that come in to leave with confidence and inner strength that cannot be broken or taken away.
Although there are other martial arts dojos in the area, mine would be vastly different than the rest. I believe that the martial art that I am teaching is a type that can be practically used by anyone that is willing to put forth the time, dedication, and effort. The children, teenagers, college students, and adults in the area all have potential to succeed in one of my many programs. This is important because self defense is one of the most important things a person should know now-a-days. Unlike other competition martial arts,such as Karate and Tai Kwon Do, Ninjutsu is an art that has real world application. I teach people how to defend themselves in real life situations but in a safe environment. Other competition martial arts teach you one or two techniques, give you a black belt, and send you on your way. I have talked to people that have taken classes in these competition martial arts and they say that they do not feel all too confident that they would be able to handle themselves in a truly hostile situations. The art of ninjutsu will empower people to be able to defend themselves in any situation. At my dojo we would offer a wide variety of skills that one can learn. They would learn hand to hand combat, weapons training, health fitness, and parkour and freerunning. I also have the capability and knowledge to teach Shaolin Kung Fu and Chinese Kenpo within my dojo. But there would be more than just physical skills. I would teach my students how to be control of themselves at all times. I would help those that I teach so that they could grow mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. The people that would train under me would not be overcome by frustration or anger. They would know how to control all themselves so that they can stay calm and rational at all times so that they could make wise decisions. In addition, I would like to form a team of those in my parkour class that would try out for the American Ninja Warrior. I would be bringing a whole new culture to the Cedar Valley area that is unlike anything that has been done here before. To add to my profit I would be selling select martial arts equipment, like uniforms and tabi shoes. Also, I would sell Japanese and Chinese products to bring diversity to the area: items like popular Asian snacks, decorations, clothing, and more. My business would be successful and profitable because the area that I am in is rich with potential and those that have been waiting for something like this to come. My business would be an embodiment of myself. I am unique, strong, and passionate about helping others strengthen themselves.
The reason is that I am applying is because I believe that this program will give me a strong enough foundation for my business to flourish. Starting your own business is a daunting process and can become very stressful; however, if you are giving the opportunity to achieve something you strongly believe in, then you take that opportunity with fullness. I plan to budget to the very last dime to make sure I can make the most out of this program so that I can in turn give the most back out to those who seek to strengthen themselves.

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me2 - Lets give kids a support system throughout the nation!

Thong Nguyen
Cedar Rapids, IA
A web and mobile app for kids to gain emotional support. Fun, safe, online community powered by kids supporting kids with access to expert advice if needed.
The problem:

Kids will always be kids. Young pre-teen/teenagers go through a lot of situations growing up such as bullying, high expectations, uncomfortable with body image, rumors, deaths, etc.

These young pre-teens/teens do not feel comfortable talking to adults or friends about what they are going through because they are afraid to fully express how they are feeling. They fear being judged or not finding someone who can really relate to them. They feel stuck holding in the problem with no way to feel comfort.

Kids love connecting with other kids and being part of a community. They currently use social media to find kids to connect to or even express problems they are going through. Current social media sites are not designed for kids to use as a support system.

Our proposition:

The truth is, you are not alone. me2 gives these young pre-teens/teens a fun and safe environment to fully express how they are feeling and gain support with kids online that have gone through the same problem before. me2 is an app that connects kids with other kids that have gone through the same life experiences before to create virtual support groups.

The market:

Total addressable market: 18 mill kids ages 9-13
Serviceable addressable market: 15 mill kids ages 9-13 with Internet access
Target market: 2.5 mill kids ages 9-13 already expressing feelings online via social media.

We will use the money to cover technical, legal, and marketing costs in order to launch me2 on Android, iOS and the web.

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Start a revolution in the way you get IT support.

Josh Speyer
Overclocked Solutions
Ames, IA
When our computers break, we’re used to just buying a new one; because really, who wants to make the hike up to the Squad to have an underqualified “pro” overcharge us to fix our PC? This is where Overclocked wants to change the way we get IT support. We’re here to start a national revolution.
So you’re probably asking, what makes a company like “Overclocked” separate from all the other computer repair companies already out there? What makes us need just another IT company?

Well we’re glad you asked that question, because we are definitely not just another IT support company.

Just like new technology fixes problems we didn’t even know we had and makes our life easier than we had even imagined, Overclocked seeks to solve problems with the IT support industry that you never realized were there.

One. Have you ever realized how many individuals post on Craigslist advertising a select computer service? We call these techs “freelancers,” and they exist because they are fed up with the way computer companies rip off their customers. You wouldn’t believe how many people go to them, however. Many just wish to have their computers fixed and have the rest of their day to relish, without having to go through the nonsense that is computer repair.

Two. Most, or even all, computer repair companies exist strictly to obtain a profit. They don’t care about you, personally. They just want to fix your problem and have you come back to them, with the same issue, over and over again just to overcharge you and add bloatware to your machine until you are so fed up with repair that you just want a new machine. That’s the first thing that makes us different. Our idea is that we don’t want you coming back to us—at least not with the same problem. If you do come back with the same problem, we’ll be happy to fix it at no charge. We realize that computers are like cars; the best ones are the new ones, but to have a GOOD computer, it’s going to cost a lot of cash. Once we do put down the cash, we want our computer to last, even though we find that our computer becomes “old” within two years of purchase. What Overclocked can do, that retailers refuse to do, is keep your computer fresh and up to date with the latest software and hardware. We’ll replace the parts on your desktop, and even your laptop or out-of-warranty Macbook, at a super low price. We will mostly only charge you the cost of parts without mark up, unlike most retailers. (We bet you never realized that the computer part that the repair company bought for you only cost them $50 rather than the $80 they charged you.)

Three. If we’re in an unfamiliar area, and our computer breaks, we honestly have no idea where to go rather than Best Buy or Staples, where we know we’ll get overcharged and generally have a bad day. Overclocked seeks to be the solution to that problem by expanding rapidly. We’ll be that name you see no matter what state or city you’re located in, and will serve as that happy alternative to an infamous big name retailer.

Lastly. If you want a computer fixed, you go here, if you want a database set up for your business, you go there. If you want your screen fixed, you go here, if you want a network set up in your home or business, you go there. This turns into a hassle, trying to find the right provider. We find that we can be a one-stop-shop for all your troubles. Already partnered with a screen repair company, and already having network engineers and technicians employed in our business means you’ll only have to deal with us—not through seven different companies to get what you want.

Those are just some problems we see. We could name a million more, but just trust that we are your solution. We advance simplicity in the way we obtain IT support.

Another question you might have, is how we’re going to make money. For that question, we’ll have to delve into the background of why our employees are hired.

We hire those individuals that are already super qualified. This lowers training costs. On top of this, we only hire those that share the same ideas about computer repair as us. Those potential employees wishing to just sit on their tush and complain about customers are not even considered by us. We hire those who believe that there needs to be something done with computer repair. These people are not looking to be paid $92/hr. They want to make someone happy, as do we. We charge an extremely low fee, only really charging the parts that cost to fix a computer. We’re not looking to create an extreme profit margin, as it’s just not necessary.

Our profit may possibly come from creating a franchise from the company, opposed to the corporate kind of computer repair that some retailers advertise. This will give more focus to the customers in the area, and give incentive to the store owner for providing the best service possible.

Our existing competitors in our area include Hometown Tech, Ames Computer Repair, Staples Computer Repair, and the Geek Squad. These competitors are either small enough to not share the same idea with us about creating a national service for consumers, or too big to offer satisfactory customer service.

Our current market size is huge. The students in the area are mostly looking for repair, versus upgrades or software fixes. We are not looking at a huge profit from this target market, as most students have the knowledge to complete repair on their own. Most of our profit will be derived from the 30+ years of age residential group, whom may have the knowledge of computer repair and/or sense that a computer needs a tune-up, but whom lack the accessibility to tools or the confidence that it takes to repair a computer. In addition to these groups, a small business market is available in Ames, where owners may wish to have an IT company support them technologically. This forms another market in our share.
We are applying for advertisement costs and start-up costs associated with a start-up IT company. We are looking to purchase the tools necessary to fix computers and possibly purchase temporary laptops for consumers to utilize while their PC is repaired. If we do attain a great enough profit, or obtain a large enough grant, we will obtain a location at North Grand Mall in Ames, IA, where we may have an actual store that students and customers may have access to, apart from the on-site repair that we will currently offer. We appreciate any and all help that is received, and will not forget those that have supported us in our venture.

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The Mangled Mandolin

Mark Buss
Mangled Mandolin
Sioux center, IA
So many old upright pianos are being discarded, some of which are beautiful in design and craftsmanship - such a waste! I want to obtain them and other unwanted instruments, repurpose them in whole or in parts, designing unique decor and utilitarian items for home or business.
Many of the older upright pianos are being given away for junk to whomever will haul it. I will create items of a unique nature, using the parts of the piano or the whole thing. I will do the same for any and all discarded instruments.

I've always been a tinkerer, my wife would also say I'm a hoarder (imagine her surprise to find two old pianos in the garage one day!). My father grew up during the depression, his family used everything that folks consider junk. I inherited that trait, and an even stronger feeling of rescuing these instruments, or parts of them, to preserve the quality and craftsmanship of "the day" while providing a smaller object for decoration in one's home instead of large piano.

I believe music lovers of all ages and backgrounds will appreciate this reclamation project once they realize how many of these grand instruments go to waste.

I have found interest in a prototype I've created out of a Coronet - with much enthusiasm. Being in a small town, I am testing the waters by displaying items in public areas such as restaraunts. There are interior designers in our area that are always looking for unique items to procure that set them apart from the competition - one of which has already shown interest in the prototype.

I beleive the market is ripe. Green living, recycling, and repurposing objects is a hot trend, and few are using musical instruments as their subject pieces; I don't see much competition, even online. Im certain, if I can market to the right demographic, this idea will flourish.

When I have some sort of inventory of finished product, I will begin to market more aggressively in our local area, but also online. I want to have a Facebook page as well as web-site displaying these completed objects.

My real purpose for doing this is three-fold. I can't stand to see quality craftsmanship be discarded; I enjoy woodworking and other "creative" hobbies which this one is unique; finally, a second stream of income is always welcome. Generally speaking, this would be as close to an "ideal job" for me - doing something I'm good at, enjoying it, and hopefully making money with it (while keeping the landfills just bit emptier).
I am applying because I have no means to really get this off the ground other than creating one peice at a time and investing the receipts from the sale of that item.

I would use the money to research the market and determine my market strategy. Then with the items already procured, start implementing the creative plans using parts and supplies purchased with the grant money.

I would also use the money, to help offset costs of website development.

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We are rewarding you for living sustainably!

Blake Rupe
Re-APP, Inc.
Cedar Rapids, IA
At Re-APP, we are developing a mobile app that rewards normal people for the everyday actions they take to save our planet for future generations. The compelling user interface combined with the social platform and rewards program engages users to make more sustainable choices.
Continuously build and develop a successful, compelling, and fun platform that does not exist yet. Once successful, we see ourselves growing more in the recycling space and the green tech/mobile space by moving to disrupt the collection sector. The only operation in semi-competition with Re-APP is Recyclebank. The Recyclebank model is contingent upon contractual obligations with partner municipalities, who help fund the rewards that the users receive. This has limited the growth, scalability, and reception of Recyclebank. We do not use contractual obligations because our rewards platform is independent.
We are a first mover in this space, as we are the first to apply independent rewards programs to everyday actions. To continue building our platform and gain traction, we must market our application and would use the money from this competition for marketing efforts. We are developing a go to market strategy to acquire customers, which will expect to include social media marketing campaigns, free giveaways, and increasing brand recognition/

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CultureCompany will bring together individuals in the Midwest; young professionals, students.

Genesis Rivera
Sioux City, IA
Your #1 Source for Culture in the Midwest. Including articles on life, romance, Role models, music, and fashion. It's all about pushing a positive life. Originality and growth in The Midwest. The Midwest is growing with its own culture. Founded in Sioux City, IA with coverage in Iowa/Nebraska
As of now, when you mention Iowa, and sometimes Nebraska, to other people - they seem to have no idea where that is or what you're talking about. I've lived my whole life of 22 years old in the Midwest, and I don't mind it, so it's about time more people knew where we live. That, we too, exist. We have a Culture here of our own and a lifestyle of living. I believe we have always led a good environment and safe surroundings for our youth to grow up. CultureCompany, helps reach audiences between the ages of 17+ and the currently interested; in order for them to have better knowledge of the community, how to seek resources/help, and how to better yourself. This Industry is unique with resources, contacts, and trends set to help inspire readers for success.
Readers and customers are between the ages of 18-40. First generations, positive students, cultured entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, and Iowa/Nebraska readers. They are being reached through personal interactions, print issues/materials, clothing, social media, ads, and PR events. Partnership with businesses/advertisements. Events include: fashion shows, release parties, conferences, and future involvement with the community by sponsoring basketball tournaments and local diversity councils.
There is need for a visual picture of the Culture growing in the Midwest. We hope to satisfy the need of positive awareness for the age of millennials and future prospective youth growing up around this Midwest area.With the magazine, I believe this can be a new way to approach growing communities in the Midwest. The youth is growing as more, and more, young people decide to move back or stay living in the Midwest. People are really starting to raise their families here. It'd be a great idea to work at something that can make Iowans/Nebraskans proud of where they are from. When you can inspire a community, you are helping them grow. If your city has art, or history, that inspires guests - it should inspire your citizens, as well.
"In the pursuit of innovation, Inspiration must occur"
I intend to invest in the necessary materials/space to gain consistency of things and work with other young professionals and older professionals to start growing CultureCompany with selling Advertisements. This will start the cycle of turning it into a consistent News Run Industry with issues transitioning from the a quarterly cycle-into-a monthly as print mini magazines and/or digital copies. We will sustain audiences with print materials and visuals to gain more name proclamation and thus start partnerships with businesses for advertising; such as flyers, print outs, or stickers. This is bound to help cultured businesses and local businesses grow. With this Grand Prize, we could really start to engineer the project of 'CultureCompany' into the real Industry and made the Midwest living really exist by documenting it and opening the market of Advertising. This will definitely be a tool/book/source you will want to share with peers. Cultureco Magazine includes quality photos, articles with stories and inspiration to read, bookmarks with ideas on where to eat and what's good to try. The Magazine will also feature Special Features with Local Artists, Business Owners, Role Models, and from them, advice and tips for pushing a positive lifestyle.
"Culturecompany: Your #1 Source for Culture in the Midwest"

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Career & Company: Find your calling

Nick Silhacek
Career & Company
Iowa City, IA
Applying algorithms common to web search and dating sites, Career and Company recommends careers based on your interests and abilities, provides guidance toward your goals, and matches you with the right opportunities once you cross the finish line.
Differentiator: Exists as a lynch pin between other services and provides support throughout individual's professional lifecycle.

Revenue: Subscriptions for advanced accounts (individual and business), cuts of partnered assessment company revenue.

Competition: Monster, LinkedIn, Sokanu, GlassDoor, Good.co, SkillSurvey, OneDegree, Indeed.

Market: There are 150 million working professionals in the US, and the US recruiting industry is estimated at $120 billion.

Reference: file:///C:/ZZZZZZ/BUSINESS/Projects/BELL/CnC/Forecast%20webinar%20131113%20FINAL.pdf
We will use the money to cover software development and legal costs.

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TwitchBoss: A platform to help Twitch.tv broadcasters and viewers find eachother.

Tyler Persinger
MidBoss, LLC
Cedar Falls, IA
TwitchBoss is a website which seeks to create a platform to help Twitch.tv broadcasters find viewers and vice versa. In addition to hosting a variety of tutorials and articles that will cover everything necessary to launch and maintain a stream, the site seeks to improve channel discovery through a targeted...
A broken channel discovery system

Twitch.tv is a growing website where broadcasters live stream footage of video game play, often with accompanying commentary and live viewer interaction. This internet phenomenon hosts more than 1.5 million unique broadcasters each month with more than 100 million unique viewers. A dynamic company, Twitch.tv employs charity events, viewer sponsorship, and possesses cutting edge technology in live streaming video game footage.

However, every company is not without its faults. Initial surveys suggest that a consistent problem amongst Twitch.tv broadcasters is lack of viewership. Conversely, many viewers suggest they would like better a way to discover new channels. However, there is no way to bridge this gap through the generic discovery system provided by Twitch.tv. As it stands, channels are categorized using two techniques: by view count and game being played. This system is inherently flawed in its bias for broadcasters who already have the highest view counts, regardless of the quality of the channel and its broadcaster. Moreover, the game which is broadcasted represents only half of the equation: the other half is commentary and broadcaster personality. These factors are just as important to viewers as the game in question, yet there is no metric by which they are measured.

TwitchBoss attempts to even the playing field by connecting viewers to high quality broadcasters who better fit what they want to watch and properly targeting audiences by broadcaster personality in addition to their game of choice. This can be accomplished through a collective peer rating suggestion system similar to that of Pandora, Netflix, and a host of other big names. With your help, TwitchBoss can develop and launch this platform to grow the Twitch community even more!

Reliable help for new broadcasters

The market for new broadcaster education remains largely untapped. Those who want to start a new channel must dig through a fragmented mess of message boards, YouTube videos, and poorly designed websites to find information on how to create a successful channel. However, even amongst these options, the highest garner thousands of unique page views per month. Simply stated, there are no dynamic resources for the growing market of those looking to break into Twitch broadcasting. TwitchBoss plans to alleviate this problem by condensing this information into a simple one-stop location for an array of helpful articles and tricks related to broadcasting. This centralized database will revolutionize the way broadcasters go about launching channels.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly, there is presently no reliable way to promote and advertise Twitch.tv channels. TwitchBoss solves the problem of viewership by offering a subscription fee for broadcasters to be featured on our platform. Of course, revenue will be obtained through such a subscription service while maintaining a system which free to both viewers and broadcasters unless they wish to pay extra premiums to be featured. This will likely be a part of a tiered freemium model. Third party advertising through Google or similar services will also be implemented on our information database.

Winning the Dream Big Grow Here contest would allow TwitchBoss to accelerate its growth and reach the market as quickly as possible. We believe that receiving this funding would also help to provide a basis to seek out additional help to create and facilitate our website. The next steps are to build and host our website while further developing our discovery platform. We will need outside help to achieve this quickly and efficiently. With this grant, we will be able to push beyond our current constraints and give our customers exactly what they want!

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Go Boost Me Mobile App

Chad Rea
Go Boost Me
Sioux City, IA
Go Boost Me is giving fundraising a boost. As people more often than not have a phone instead of cash in their pocket, Go Boost Me takes fundraising into the digital world. This mobile app provides organizations, businesses and fundraisers a platform to raise money by offering a digital booster card
Go Boost Me is taking the current strategy fundraising organizations currently execute, but creating it using
technology to make it better, easier and current. Not only does it turn the booster card into a digital application so users no longer have to worry about forgetting their booster cards, but it also lets users know when they are at a business with a discount on Go Boost Me.

Go Boost Me is a great addition for schools and organizations to run alongside their current fundraising programs and works great as a stand alone fundraising avenue as well. As organizations are desperately looking for funding in today's economy and also facing the limited ability for sending staff, volunteers or students door-to-door for safety concerns, Go Boost Me allows organizations to use the digital platforms of social media to provide a safer way to raise money and connect to a larger base of the population.

iOS and Android features.
> Users can view their cards, add more cards, and delete cards on their phone.
>Map of savings, once user selected savings it will map where the merchant is located
>Facebook and email login to their app
>In app purchases
>Custom design for organization

Web app features.
>Card/program management
>analytics reports
>coupon management
>sales tracker
>registrations systems
>in app messaging to your Boost customers

Benefits for sellers
> Green no physical cards
>No losing or theft of cards
>easily posted on FB, Twitter, and text message
>Collection of funds via credit card, PayPal, or cash
>easy to sell because customers will have instant and convenient access to savings.

Benefits for administrators
>Easy transition from traditional cards
>No longer worry about lost cards
>No minimum order quantities
>No up front cost
>Easily create and reward those that are getting it done.
>We manage it for them (send out information, add/remove participating businesses, activate/deactivate purchase codes)
>In app messaging to your Boost customers

Benefits for merchants
>Community involvement
>Increase of customers
>Deals of Day to Go Boost Me customers
>Multiple discounts for various Go Boost Me organizations
>Incentives such as ad space on website or a leave-behind that says they support local fundraising and are part of the Go Boost Me app

According to the charitable giving report of 2014 by Blackbaud representing 4798 nonprofit organization. Giving was at $16.2 billion in total fundraising from 2014. The report also represents online giving form 3,724 nonprofit organizations.
Total fundraising was up 2.1 year over last. Online donations grew by 8.9% year over last. With the biggest increase in small organizations.
Go Boost Me is one tool that helps fundraisers take advantage of the growth of online giving.
As a business with a goal to help the community continue growing through the success of organizations, extra curricular activities and non-profits, I am applying to Dream Big Grow Here in the hopes of growing this concept into a successful, innovative way for local fundraising to become more relevant, successful and supported.

Go Boost Me is well on its way to becoming a reality in Iowa. As concepts, design and development are all currently being finalized, Go Boost Me will be launching soon. If I were to win the Dream Big Grow Here it would re-inforce the support for a way to make fundraising better in our community. As the app is already being created and a line of organizations are already lining up to get started, the money would be use to grow the awareness of Go Boost Me throughout Iowa and promote the necessity to support your local organizations, schools and non-profits.

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Scientifidy saves you time, makes you smarter, and gives you better products.

Justin Kline
Swisher , IA
Scientifidy uses real data that has been collected over the life of a product to radically improve the usefulness and quality of product reviews and ratings. The research engine at the heart of the platform helps users make better decisions in less time, while offering brands valuable market data.
Executive Summary:

Fragmented and disconnected industries can be systematically taken over. It's been proven over and over again with examples of companies like Apple, EBay, Amazon, Airbnb, FedEx, Uber, and Craigslist. Each of these newcomers delivered a product or service that unified an industry. They each changed the paradigm of how business was done and disrupted each of their respective markets.

The current system of product reviews and ratings represent a fragmented industry. One of the problems existing today is that reviews are fragmented in that each website has hundreds of reviews for a single product. This forces consumers to waste their time by sorting through a lot of bad or redundant information. In addition the reviews and ratings on each website operate independent of each other, creating further fragmentation. This results in even more wasted effort by the consumer as they have to repeat their effort on every website they visit.

Another problem existing today is that the current system for reviews and ratings is also disconnected. There is no correlation from one website to the next. A product may rate well on one website and poorly on another. There is no continuity between the reviews or the ratings from site to site. Once again there is redundancy and repetition of information, which consumes even more time as consumers try to validate their decisions.

A third problem is the disconnection between the user and the brand when it comes to long term product support. Outside of major design flaws most of the smaller product failures never get reported back to the manufacturer. There is no effective channel of communication between the consumer and the brand after the product is purchased. This communication is important for developing brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. This lack of long term data also amplifies the consumer’s frustration in the limited usefulness of product reviews, since most review data is collected solely at the time of purchase. Thus, not catching any information on how a product performs over time.

The problem today is that performance information is very limited. Most industries have been built around an outdated scarcity model of hiding this information from the consumer. Creating gate keepers who collect data about consumer and the products they use, and then sell it back to them, or even use it against them. The powerful tools of cooperation available today, in this modern abundance based economy, provides a higher level of thinking that is needed to overcome this problem.

Scientifidy solves these problems. The website provides a framework to enable consumers (users) to record every aspect of a product’s quality and reliability. This data is collected over the entire life of a product, not just at the time of purchase. The website improves upon the reviews by creating a collaborative way to write one single concise review for each product or brand. This real qualitative and quantitative data will replace the overly simplified opinion based “star” ratings. To connect Scientifidy’s data and reviews an application programming interface (API) will be provided to integrate the information into any other website. This will create a link to the living review on Scientifidy’s platform.

Scientifidy will be a unifying platform that will displace the fragmented and disjointed one that exists today. The performance history data will radically improve the usefulness and quality of product reviews and ratings. The research engine at the heart of the platform will help users make better decisions in less time, while offering brands valuable market data.

Business Description:

Scientifidy was founded to provide consumers “decision simplicity” in their buying decisions. This is accomplished in two ways. First users begin tracking and collecting data on the website when they purchase new products. They track various aspects of the products quality, performance, and value over the life of a product. The data is used to hone in on the cost of ownership and perceived value of a product. Second, users collaborate on creating a single concise high quality review. The review is limited to a 1000 words or less and can be edited by anyone.[6] Users have an option to complete a profile which can be used to identify products that best match their buying preferences.

Consumer’s perceived value of a product means big business for brands. The Harvard Business Review showed in one study that brands that scored in the top quarter were 86% more likely than those in the bottom quarter to be purchased by the consumers considering them. These same consumers were also 9% more likely to be repurchased and 115% more likely to make recommendations.[5] Scientifidy will be collecting data that will show clear leaders which will be a solid stream of revenue through affiliate marketing channels.

Scientifidy will provide a unique value to consumers by reducing their effort in product research and discovery. On study has shown that 61% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision.[2] Of these consumers that read online reviews 74% of them will visit two to three sites before making a purchase decision.[8] In addition 85% of consumers read up to 10 reviews before making a purchasing decision.[4] To sum all this up it means consumers are reading around thirty reviews for each product they are looking at and most people will consider at two to three products. Scientifidy will provide actual data that can show clear distinctions between products reducing the burden on the consumer to find good information.

The type of data collected will be valuable information for brands. It will show what customers love about a brand’s products. The statistical analysis will be able to predict a proper price points for products. The data will show what the cost of ownership is for a particular product. This is determined by tracking the actual costs for maintenance and repairs along with the grossly overlooked and undervalued aspect of people’s time. This data will give a clear indication of customer satisfaction.

Once a point of critical mass has been reached in terms of the number of products and data a premium subscription option will be offered. Premium subscribers will complete a buy preference profile. The Scientifidy website will then use this information to make product recommendations based on the cumulative data that has been collected on the products and brands.

Industry, Market, and Marketing:

Scientifidy will generate revenue through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is the practice of rewarding affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. The affiliate marketing spend will increase by a compound annual growth rate of nearly 17% between 2011 and 2016, growing to $4.5 billion.[8]

Scientifidy will generate revenue through the sale of marketing research data for products and brands. The marketing research industry now exceeds $40 billion according to ESOMAR, growing 2.8% year over year. The majority of the growth at 39% is occurring here in the US at $15 billion.[7]

The website will have a subscription option for users that would like to take advantage of the product matching power of the website. Users will complete an online profile that will cover various aspects of a person’s buying preferences, such as cost of ownership, value, satisfaction, recyclability, or even social responsibility. The user profile is then used to match products or brands to your weighted preferences.

The existing alternatives are companies like: Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping, consumersearch.com, amazon.com, cnet.com, productview.com, etc. None of the alternatives use data collected over the life of a product. They are all based on testing or observations made at the time of purchase. Scientifidy stands apart from all other review sites by using real data and allowing people to collaborate on making one concise review.

The primary customers will be manufacturers of high quality goods. According to the MIS Quarterly “word of mouth” (WOM) was the most credible form of advertising for 70% of customers.[1] WOM is an integral part of the website, as any product can be added and reviewed on Scientifidy. Marketing efforts towards brands and users will focus on products that cost $50 or more. The Harvard Business Review showed that for items costing more than $50, a quarter of customers report that most of their effort is spent on product research. It’s also noted that as the perceived importance increases so does time spent researching the product.[5]

The first users of the site will be early adopters. Early adopters tend to be people who are natural optimizers such as athletes, tech junkies, and consumers seeking high end products. Research shows that the internet users in the higher income brackets do more online research than those in the lower income brackets.[3] This will be used to help identify users such as doctors, businessmen, engineers, and scientists that will help grow the network. A particularly strong user base are users who already to contribute to other wiki-based sites like Wikipedia.

The time is now for a business of this type to flourish. There is a confluence of technology and sociology that is currently happening. Two years ago crowdsourcing was not even in the lexicon of most people, today with services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it’s one of the hottest tools available for tapping into the power of the people to help move an idea forward. Co-Creation sites like Wikipedia, which is now over thirteen years old, and its many derivatives, all demonstrate the basic human need to contribute to something larger than ourselves. The rise of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so on, create a kind social worm hole, that enables people to connect and share instantly regardless of distance. In the coming years, the internet of things means data will be exponentially more pervasive in the products we use. The support structure that Scientifidy will provide needs to be in place before the connectedness can be achieved.


The initial growth plan is to reach ramen profitability within the stated timeframe for each plan. This is the stage where the business is profitable even though revenues are extremely small. This is because the expenses are next to nothing. At this point a startup doesn’t have to raise money to stay in business, because they’re no longer at the mercy of investors. This strategy also makes a startup more attractive to investors. When the point of being profitable is reached, a startup can show that they can get at least someone to pay, they’re serious about building things people want, and that they’re disciplined.

The early revenue source will be through the affiliate marketing channels. The other revenue sources of selling market research data and the premium subscription model both require reaching a critical mass before they can be capitalized.

Amount Needed:

Plan A: $500 with a timeframe of 3 to 6 months
Develop Beta site by continuing to learn WordPress
$200 to formally establish the business
$300 monthly subscriptions for WordPress Plugins

Plan B: $5,000 with a timeframe of 1 to 3 months
$1,500 Develop Beta site by outsourcing the WordPress development
$200 to formally establish the business
$300 monthly subscriptions for WordPress Plugins
$3,000 reserve cash for site iterations and unplanned expenses

Plan C: $15,000 with timeframe of 1 to 3 months
$1,500 Develop Beta site by outsourcing the WordPress development
$2,500 Iteration #2 of Beta site with more features
$200 to formally establish the business
$300 monthly subscriptions for WordPress Plugins
$10,000 reserve cash for site iterations and unplanned expenses

[1] Mis Quarterly Vol. 38 No. 3, September 2014
[2] https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/
[3] http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/09/29/online-product-research/
[4] http://searchengineland.com/88-consumers-trust-online-reviews-much-personal-recommendations-195803
[5] https://hbr.org/2012/05/to-keep-your-customers-keep-it-simple
[6] http://minimaxir.com/2014/06/reviewing-reviews/
[7] http://www.esomar.org/uploads/industry/reports/global-market-research-2014/ESOMAR-GMR2014-Preview.pdf
[8] http://www.iab.net/media/file/ForresterRakutenLinkShareFinal.pdf
This project is my first real and honest attempt to step outside my comfort zone to build something that is larger than me. I've been inventing things my whole life, but I have always stopped short of sharing them with the world. This idea came to me late last summer, it keeps me up at night, and it’s on my mind when I wake up in the morning. I'm now choosing myself, facing my fears, and stepping onto the playing field for the first time. I'm likely to try and fail but I now know that is better than failing to try.

I decided to apply not because of the potential prize money, but for what it will mean for me to have accomplished the goal. It’s a way of setting deadlines and requirements that I may otherwise never have done. Forcing me to compress and massage my ideas in to something anyone can understand. This is far harder than I would have ever thought looking in from the outside. I like to think of it as trying to train a 400lb silverback gorilla to be a trained circus monkey.

I believe in making things better which challenges the status quo. For this project I believe that there is a better way to research, collect, and share information. My why is about gathering and sharing knowledge, which something we humans have been doing since the dawn of man. This project challenge the status quo by being beautifully designed, simple to use, and extremely powerful. I believe my idea will help people live happier lives, allowing them to make more informed decisions and to explore aspects of their lives.

It would be foolish to look beyond the short term goal of validation and becoming ramen profitable. I need to increase my public awareness in hopes of finding a possible co-founder, mentors, and funding. I will use the money as detailed out in the business model to develop and iterate the Scientifidy platform.

Remember to vote for my project because my dream is your dream too.

Above all else, I like to keep it FUN so enjoy the video!

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Tournament Seeker API

Ben McDougal
Tournament Seeker
Des Moines, IA
The bridge between event organizers and people looking to compete.
Tournament organizers lack resources to promote their events and tournament seekers need one place to find, share and interact with tournament events. Tournament Seeker unlocks the ability for organizers to share tournament details in an interactive and centralized location.

Small to mid-tier tournament organizers and the community of people they bring together. According to the Worlds Sports Encyclopedia, there are 8,000+ sports worldwide.

The overall concept has been proven since launching Tournament Seeker for eSports in late 2012. With no external funding, little marketing efforts and no full-time staff, Tournament Seeker has still generated 1,000+ event listings and averages 100,000+ annual visitors, which is largely (53%) driven by organic search engine visibility.
Event listing upgrades, listing fees, paid subscriptions and premium services produce a recurring revenue stream.

While building a sales career in web development and after earning his CS degree from Loras College, this community connector sold his first company in 2006. The exit led to the launch of Jet Set Studio, a video game social network, interactive events throughout North America and Tournament Seeker. With a full spectrum of experience, Ben McDougal is an energized entrepreneur who understands the value of an engaged network and how to disrupt large markets.
This small, but meaningful and appreciated amount of community-driven funding from MyEntre.Net may actually fund a cool new round of building key new ideas on this powerful API platform. Learning how to effectively distribute the Tournament Seeker API with other webmasters will take resources and bandwidth as well.

We're considering ways to inject meaningful capital into this special concept ready to scale. We're even quietly open to discussing forms of product acquisitions. This MyEntre.Net grant could also be used in part to jet in and talk big ideas with others around the country as well. Nice!

We'd appreciate the support overall friends. Cheers!

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Jersey Lock, the ultimate shoulder pad accessory

Anthony Rossi
Jersey Lock
Sioux City, IA
Jersey Lock is a precut, double-sided, easy applicable, vinyl based tape that is cut to the shape of shoulder pads to help prevent holding, jersey tackling, and injuries.
We are unique in that we are making it easier to apply double-sided tape to shoulder pads. Right now, more and more teams from junior tackle to the NFL are buying rolls upon rolls of tape to keep the jerseys down. This takes time and never really fit to the pads well. Teams well even go as far as ordering huge industrial rolls of double sided tape and have player cutting parties. Now we have come up with a solution of precut tape that comes in a pack for the entire season.

In the United States alone, 1.8 million people play football every year. With more and more money being spent on accessories every year, the sports market is booming. We figure if we can get just just half of a just ONE percent of the 1.1 million high school students, and 5% of colleges, semi-pro and professional teams, this company has potential to make almost 1 million dollar off of that.

Why is this product important? Not only does it help prevent costly holding penalties, it aides in injury prevention. It does this by keeping the jersey tighter to the body so there isn't as much jersey flopping in the younger leagues.
I am applying for Dream Big Grow Here because I believe in my home state of Iowa. Right now I feel so much greatness is happening here and I want to be one that can help that on the western side of the state. I feel that Being centrally located not only in the country, but to 2 major football conferences as well, makes Iowa a great place to start and grow my business.

The money would be used to start production on our product as well as covering some of the travel cost when traveling to teams across the country to sell the product.

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Bluez Farms' Home System readiness for crowd-funding by fall of 2015

Ivo Karindi
Prepare Bluez Farms' home-scaled, family-sized, resource-frugal and organic food production system for crowd-funding readiness by fall of 2015.
Bluez Farms will make money by selling its food production systems to enable families across the world become nutritionally self-sufficient, healthy and environmentally clean.

Bluez Farms' competition comes from the conventional agricultural model with production happening in one place and products shipped to consumers far away with severe impact to the environment and large middle-men profit margins included in the final store price, all of which Bluez Farms' system will undercut substantially while at the same time being environmentally clean and resource-frugal.

Bluez Farms' total potential market is every person in the world who requires food.
Preparing Bluez Farms' home-scaled food production system has cost the developers approximately $100,000 over the years to research and to develop. $5,000 to $10,000 from Dream Big competition will be used towards buying the parts and materials required to prepare Bluez Farms’ home system for crowd-funding readiness by fall of 2015.

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NOWTAP - Making Stillness Social

nowtap llc
Fairfield, IA
Nowtap is the first platform & app to make meditation social. Nowtap creates community and connection while allowing anyone to remain socially connected while using their technology for stillness. Nowtap is free, easy, and does something no other meditation does... Connect you socially.
Nowtap is focused on a traditional financial model which is subscription-based and monthly or annual. Nowtap is free to download or use on the desktop & delivers premium incentives and value when you upgrade. Nowtap is different than any other meditation application in that nowtap uses your device to take a picture of you and shares that image while you meditate with all the other people online inside a photo mosaic comprising everyone in the moment with their eyes closed. Since meditation falls into the health and wellness industry competitors are small while the market size is quite large. None of our competitors use camera access in order to bring people together -- startups like calm, headspace, one giant mind, etc. Are very limited in their social user experience. Nowtap will gain market share because it is designed to engage on a social level where you can build your followers message other meditators you are drawn to, And uses traditional UI like location, strict privacy standards, and will become celebrity driven as brands seek new ways to diversify and yet create better health in their company and for their culture.
After 10 years in Los Angeles I left the Hollywood shuffle for family life in SE Iowa -- in the town of Fairfield where I am growing the entrepreneur community by creating the 1st cowork space - www.ffcolab.com I was seeking a lifestyle more in tune with my heart. I have already invested and grown my company to the point where hey small infusion will help me achieve lift off, be accepted into a accelerator program, and create new jobs while growing the co-working space within a framework that can reignite Fairfield itself.

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Jon Myers
Iowa City, IA
Spectator is an app and website designed to centralize the fragmented data surrounding high school sports. With the improved accessibility of this information to parents, players, and fans, the goal is to help athletic programs stay connected with their communities and see monetary returns.
Spectator has many potential revenue models in mind, but the one we have leaned toward the most has been the idea that high school booster clubs will be our main target and source of income. Through our research and customer discovery, we found that high school booster clubs have surprisingly deep pockets (average booster club budget of approx $61,000 statewide), and are constantly looking for ways to deepen them further. We feel that if we can sell the booster clubs on not only our product, but on the potential monetary return it may have for them, we can have a very beneficial relationship.
The idea is that we would make Spectator a paid app, most likely freemium. However, we will give booster clubs the opportunity to provide their community and alumni with our app for free. The booster club would pay us for a mass amount of downloads, and we would then assign them a school affiliated code. They would then distribute that code through their email lists and communities so that they can get Spectator in the hands of as many people as possible. Once it is in the end-users' hands, the boosters can advertise specific things to those people such as apparel they can purchase, school events and games they can attend, as well as a platform for them to donate to the school. Offering this unique, convenient, and hands-on way to engage with their communities and their disconnected alumni will prove to be monetarily beneficial for the booster clubs, and in turn the various athletics programs that they fund.
As for our market, we have found that the people in our target market (athletes, parents, coaches, press, recruiters who care about high school sports information) are massive in number. In the state of Iowa alone, the figure is in the range of 390,000 people, and nationwide is more around 21 million.
We are applying because we truly feel like we have an immense amount of potential to grow and serve a huge market of people, as well as a great passion to see the idea through. However, as with any great idea, people are needed in order to make the idea come to fruition and actually serve people. The people we need are talented developers who can create our product and make sure that its capabilities span from pleasing end-users with fast, up-to-date information to helping schools generate more revenue. The talented people who can accomplish this charge a lot of money for their services, and that is where our money goes now and would continue to go if we were to win more from your competition.

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An antibiotic company delivering innovative therapeutics to overcome antibiotic resistance

Mark Grier
Multis Therapeutics
Ames, IA
Antibiotic resistance has advanced to a point of a pending crisis that could have a profound impact on people and animals around the globe. Multis Therapeutics aims to prevent this crisis by delivering new therapeutics of novel mechanism to address this unmet need in human and animal health.
Multis Therapeutics is discovering and developing novel antibiotics to treat infectious disease of unmet need in human and animal health. Antibiotic resistance has advanced to a point of a pending crisis that will have a major impact on people and animals around the globe. In the United States, over 2 million people per year acquire serious antibiotic resistant infections resulting in over 23,000 deaths each year as a direct result of these antibiotic-resistant infections. In animal health, antibiotic resistance threatens our pet companions and compromises a sustainable food supply with few if any options to combat the problem. The total economic burden in human and animal health is enormous that is calculated at around $34 billion in excess annual costs. In both human and animal health, the antibiotic drug pipeline with unique mechanisms of action to combat antibiotic resistance is virtually non-existent. The pressing market demand and newly implemented government incentives has presented a unique opportunity.

We aim to capitalize on this opportunity by delivering new therapeutics to address this unmet need. Our proposal is to develop multiple competitive therapies of novel mechanisms of action to treat infectious disease in animal and human health. Through secured licensing of innovative technologies, the company possess highly competitive programs in small molecule antibiotics. The company has several mature assets at a stage for rapid clinical development towards animal indications. In human antibiotics, the company has options to license technology of novel mechanisms of action to develop the next generation of innovative medicines to addresses antibiotic resistance. The company proposes the following objectives for development: a) Development of multiple antibiotic candidates with advantageous qualities to address infectious disease in companion and farm animals. b) Discover and develop narrow spectrum antibiotics of exceptional activity towards resistant pathogens for indications of unmet need in human health.

Our company has a modern innovative business strategy that leverages capital and minimizes inherent risks. In the first phase of growth, the company is utilizing a strategy of licensing terminated human antibiotic technology and applying the technology towards animal infectious disease indications. By acquiring mature technologies in animal health, the company can rapidly advance new candidates towards clinical development. This strategy can generate revenue in the short term, which is reinvested into human programs. Reinvestment of proceeds from animal program assets into human programs will leverage capital to synergize company growth. The infusion of capital from animal therapeutic assets and government incentives creates a favorable means in tackling challenging human anti-infective indications, providing a minimized risk with maximum return on investment.

As an initial objective, the company will apply licensed technology towards an unmet need in companion animal infectious disease where a drug can be marketed as a revenue generating product in relatively short time frame and lower cost model. The company will pursue skin, soft-tissue, and urinary tract and ear infections in companion animals where there is an unmet need. We believe this fact presents a significant opportunity to deliver innovative new products to capitalize on an approximately $100M antibiotic market in companion animals. As companion animal assets progress, work will begin on development of new antibiotics in livestock with emphasis on addressing an unmet need in bacterial bovine mastitis and swine diarrheal diseases that can command a sizable share of a $300M market. In the interim, multiple government grants proposals will be submitted taking advantage of newly created government sponsored programs that will assist in funding human research programs. As human therapeutic technology becomes more mature, human pharmaceutical assets will be developed to be competitive new therapeutics in several major antibiotic indications that include acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI) and community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP), capitalizing on an over $1B market as an IV to oral step down therapy in human health.

The company envisions becoming a world class leader in antibiotic drug discovery to combat antibiotic resistance. The company has an attractive business model that provides a capital synergizing strategy by developing high value assets in a cost and time efficient process. In addition, newly implemented government incentives can provide financial assistance in both animal and human antibiotic development. The infusion of capital from animal therapeutic assets and government incentives creates a favorable means in tackling challenging human anti-infective indications while providing a minimized risk with maximum return on investment. The company has secured licenses to form the fundamental technology and has begun to file patents to further fortify its technology base.
The reason for applying to the Dream Big Grow Here competition is multifold. First, the company wants to make the public and agencies more aware of the serious problem of antibiotic resistance and how it can have a serious impact on the state economy in animal and human health. Antibiotic resistance threatens the welfare of people and our beloved pet companions but also threatens a +$12 billion state livestock industry. Second, the company wants to be in the forefront in developing innovative technology to sustain a way of life in the state by providing new solutions to improve the health of humans and animals. We are an Iowa company that cares by providing practical new solutions in novel therapeutics to address this threat. Lastly, the biotech industry is an emerging industry in the state of Iowa where our company can provide numerous high paying jobs to make an impact towards supporting growth of the economy in the state of Iowa.

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Chelise Patterson Swimwear

Chelise Patterson
Chelise Patterson
Iowa City, IA
A modern and playful line of handmade swimwear for little people.
Moms who used to push the stroller through the mall for some retail therapy are instead turning to their smartphones and apps like Pinterest and Instagram to find unique brands and shop for their children. Of the millions of Pinterest users, most are young, female, well-educated, and have disposable income. I'd like to grow my brand of children's wear by marketing to these moms through social media outlets.

For years I have been sewing clothing for my seven-year-old daughter and am constantly being asked where someone can buy her handmade items. Many women seek for brands and clothing that is unique and has a story, such as handmade items do. My most popular item to date was a bright and fun flamingo swimsuit I designed, had printed on to fabric, then sewed together last year. From the overwhelming response I received (mainly through social media) I was encouraged to design a couple more styles and to offer them for sale.

I'd like to develop a brand, beginning with a line of fresh and high quality swimwear, that moms will be pinning to their children's fashion boards and instagramming to friends from their beach vacations.
At this time I am cutting fabric, sewing seams, taking photos, and building a website, all in a small operation in my home basement. For a long-run sustainable business model, in which I can focus on design and trends, I need to source out many of these jobs. I would use the money to manufacture my designs, preferably here in the US, in large quantities to meet the demand that a one-woman (and mother of three) operation can't provide. I believe there is a large market for modern, high quality, and boutique-style children's wear brands ready for my line of swimwear.

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