Contest FAQs



  1. Who can apply?
  2. How many Dream Big Grow Here Grants will be awarded?
  3. Give me a run-down of the timeline!
  4. What kind of ideas are you looking for?
  5. When can I submit my idea?
  6. How does voting work?
  7. How do I increase the odds of winning for my favorite small business?
  8. If I am a Grant Recipient, when will I get my funds?
  9. Where can I review the Official Rules? 
  10. None of these FAQs answer the questions I have.

Who can apply?
All legal residents of the state of Iowa who are 18 years of age or older. Participants must intend to be for profit organizations and have no sales prior to February 16, 2015.  Participants may only enter up to two "Dream Big Grow Here' contests per calendar year (only one industry contest, and an optional regional contest- where applicable). Previous statewide Dream Big Grow Here $10,000 winners are not eligible. 

How many Dream Big Grow Here Iowa Grants will be awarded?
There will be one (1) statewide $10,000 grant winner selected, six (6) $5,000 industry specific awards, and in some cases an additional award depending on if your business location is eligible for one of our regional concurrent contests.

Give me a run-down of the timeline!
The timeline for the Dream Big Grow Here contest will be different this year from past contests.  There will be six industry-specific contests, and optional regional contests in some cases.  If you are applying for an additional regional contest, you will need to review their rules by going back to the homepage, selecting the 'Regional' contests tab, then click on your regional contest to learn more under the 'How it Works' section.  

For the industry $5,000 business grant, and statewide grand prize of $10,000, the process is simple.  The top online vote recipient will receive an automatic bid to go on to the pitch off event on May 21st, while an additional four entrants will be selected based on their entry dream, video, and online votes to also compete in the juried pitch off process held in conjunction with EntreFEST.  Each industry will hold their pitch off events to determine the final winner, then the announcement will be made at an evening reception at EntreFEST, where one final pitch off will take place for the industry winners for an additional $10,000 grand prize grant.

Before contacting our staff, it is highly recommended that entrants watch this online Dream Big Grow Here business grant webinar to learn more about this process and what to expect.  Our criteria for selection and finalist awards will also be provided during this session.  If you cannot attend the live webinar, the above link should take you to the recorded version for your review.

What kind of ideas are you looking for?
We are looking for ideas from early stage or existing businesses.  Ideas need to be well thought out, feasible, and interesting.  We also encourage applicants to think about how their business can better the community around them.  All businesses must be based within Iowa. 

When can I submit my idea?
Submissions will be accepted during the entire month of January 2015. *** Deadline has been extended to February 13th. 

How does voting work?
Voting will run from February 16th through midnight on March 1st.  Individuals are allowed to vote once per day for as many entries as they desire.  Voters must verify their identify with their personal Facebook account. Click here for details on how the voting system works.

How do I increase the odds of winning?
Get the word out!  Use your social media networks, word of mouth marketing, and other creative marketing ideas to encourage others to vote for your business. For other ideas, read this blog post on how to win the Dream Big Grow Here contest! You CANNOT pay money for online votes.  Entries suspected of violation of this rule will be promptly removed from the contest.

If I am a Grant Recipient, when will I get my funds?
As soon as possible!  Grant Recipients will be awarded funds upon submission of receipts showing funds were used towards an existing business, or business start-up. Funds may be applied in any manner that is consistent with business ideas presented in the application process.

Where can I review the Official Rules?
Click Here to view the official rules.

None of these FAQs answer the questions I have.
If your issue remains unresolved, you can email [email protected]  We will try to respond within 72 hours.  Please note that the criteria for scoring Dream Big Grow Here entries will be provided during this online webinar available for viewing 24/7.