Big idea competition to push inventors, entrepreneurs forward

Published: Jan. 12, 2017 at 7:24 PM CST
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The "What's Your Big Idea" competition is in its 10th year and supporters say it has a big impact on small towns. The Brookings Economic Development Corporation division of Entrepreneur Support is asking community members and South Dakota State University students to bring their ideas forward.

The competition allows for inventors to bounce their ideas off of local community members and experts as well as encouraging them to move forward with local entrepreneurs and small businesses.

"You know, we've got a lot of great stories here in Brookings of local entrepreneurs who have made it big. You just kind of see that mentality and that support in the community," explains Jennifer Quail, director of entrepreneur support.

Bakery start-ups, retail businesses and phone apps have all been seen during the idea competition. TractorPal is one phone app that won the competition in 2015. It was an idea that started between two friends after they wanted an easier way to track their mileage. Entering the competition and meeting other inventors was just a perk to winning.

"I was able to meet a lot of really cool people that were able to help me out along the way," says Keith King, co-inventor of the app.

Even though this phone app was already up and running before the competition, that type of experience is not needed to enter the competition. A one page description of your product or business is needed by February 14. After, the finalists will be picked and asked to present a 5 minute pitch to convince a panel of judges why they should win.

For more information on the competition or TractorPal, visit the following links next to the article.