BEMIDJI -- LaValley Industries has entered into an agreement with the Northwest Minnesota Foundation to provide $100,000 sponsorship of the IDEA Competition over the next three years, officials announced this week.

This sponsorship includes contributions from associated companies LVI Supply, Marketing Factory Group, IdeaWorks, and partnering law firm Hamre, Schumann, Mueller & Larson P.C.

The IDEA Competition, now in its 12th year, was created “to grow the economy of Northwest Minnesota by identifying the most promising entrepreneurs and ideas through a competitive process, award cash to winners and provide intensive follow-up assistance,” according to a release.

Since its inception, 24 winners have been selected and more than $400,000 has been awarded to help these entrepreneurs in commercializing their ideas.

“I started LaValley Industries in my garage back in 2006 with an idea and lots of help from my family,” Jason LaValley, CEO and founder of LaValley Industries, said in the release. “It is my hope that our sponsorship enables others in our community to develop their ideas and pursue their own American dream.”

To kick off the 12th annual IDEA Competition, there will be a community “Celebration of Innovation” from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the LaValley campus located at 1876 23rd St. SE.

The event will be centered around past winners of the IDEA Competition, who will share with the community their experiences and successes gained from participating in the competition, while also building excitement for this year’s crop of entrepreneurial applicants, the release said.

This event is open to the public. For more information about the IDEA Competition, including how to apply for the upcoming competition cycle, please visit ideacompetition.org.