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Registration now open for 14th IDEA Competition

Registration is now open for entrepreneurs to apply for the 14th IDEA Competition. The competition awards cash prizes and offers training to participants.

IDEA Competition art .jpg
Registration is now open for the 14th annual IDEA Competition.
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BEMIDJI -- The 14th annual IDEA Competition is set to get underway, with registration open for aspiring entrepreneurs.

According to a release from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, which is one of the entities involved with holding the competition, current and prospective entrepreneurs are encouraged to submit their ideas. Since it started, the competition has awarded $451,000 in cash and $32,500 via in-kind awards.

For this season, the competition will have no registration fee. Additionally, the competition is introducing a new Dream-Builders round, which will introduce categories, allowing similar ventures to compete against each other.

The competition is open to anyone who lives in or owns a business in Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau Counties.

The program identifies the most promising ideas and entrepreneurs through a competitive process, awards cash to winners and provides intensive follow-up assistance.

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"We've had great success with the IDEA Competition in the past," said Mic McCrory, IDEA Competition coordinator. "We've heard time and again from past prize winners that while the cash and awards are greatly appreciated, it is the expertise, guidance and support that the participants gain through the competition that is truly the greatest benefit."

In the last season, Kelly Van Ert of Bemidji won the competition with her Secure and Safe Shower Zone business . As part of winning the competition, her shower compartment idea was awarded $7,500 in cash and $10,000 worth of in-kind engineering, technical, patent and trademark services.

A virtual kick-off event is scheduled for noon on Wednesday, Nov. 17. For more information, visit the Northwest Minnesota Foundation's website, www.nwmf.org .

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