ABERDEEN, S.D. (Press Release) – The 2020 BIG Idea Competition was a BIG success with 245 entries involving 339 students from 29 schools. The event wrapped up Wednesday, December 9, with our virtual event on the campus of Northern State University (NSU) and the winners were determined from among the eight final entries with over $30,000 in cash and scholarships awarded. This year was the first ever virtual event, due to the pandemic. So the MC, Katie Washnok, was on the campus of Northern State University, while the students were remote. They presented their presentations to judges via Zoom and joined the live broadcast via Zoom as well. The stream was also live on our Facebook page (@BIGIdeaSD) for the public to view and can be found there.
|Place||Business Name||Team Members||School Name||School Advisor|
|Goats-2-Go: Delivering a Goat Load of Fun||Matea Gordon||Sturgis Brown High School||Independent Study|
|2nd||Cameron Waste Removal, Inc.||Cameron Gilmore||Blacksburg High School (Virginia)||Independent Study|
|3rd||Busy Bees||Megan Nash||Northwestern High School||Anne Frericks|
|SimplyCook||Jordan Schock, Rachel Schallenkamp||McCook Central High School||Terry Rieckman|
|Build A Bouquet||Kara Weiss, Sydney Tedrow||Pierre T.F. Riggs High School||Cheryl Ulmen
|Bee’s Boats||Emily Efraimson, Nathan Bellikka||Aberdeen Central High School||Brandt Munsen
|Essential Errands||Alexis Ninneman||Milbank High School||Jerry Janisch|
|LWC Welding and Repair||Ian Lehman||Pierre T.F. Riggs High School||Cheryl Ulmen|
Matea Gordon of Sturgis Brown High School took first place with Goats-2-Go: Delivering a Goat Load of Fun which is a goat rental business. Applications are for therapy and entertainment. Her prize includes $1,000 cash prize, a $2,000 scholarship to NSU, a $2,000 scholarship to Presentation College and a $2,500 scholarship to the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.
Second place went to Cameron Waste Removal, Inc., by Cameron Gilmore of Blacksburg High School (VA), which is a trash and recycling pick-up service. Second place prizes include $500 cash, $1,000 Presentation College scholarship, $1,000 NSU scholarship and $1,000 South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.
Third place went to Busy Bees, by Megan Nash of Northwestern High School, which is a bee rental and honey extraction business. Megan took home second place at the 2019 competition with a different business idea. Her idea this year was a beekeeping business that rents beehives to landowners. Third place prizes include $250 cash, $1,000 Presentation College scholarship, $1,000 NSU scholarship and $1,000 South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Megan also won the Marketing Design portion of the competition. The Marketing Design competition is an option for students to create an ad for their business idea. The award is sponsored by McQuillen Creative Group which donates $500 cash and Northern State University donates a $500 scholarship as well. This year, 66 entries were judged in this category.
The 4 remaining finalists will be receiving $100 cash and $1,000 scholarships to Presentation College, Northern State University, and the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology! The other finalists included Essential Errands by Alexis Ninneman from Milbank High School, SimplyCook by Jordan Schock and Rachel Schallenkamp from McCook Central High School, Build A Bouquet by Kara Weiss and Sydney Tedrow from Pierre T.F. Riggs High School, Bee’s Boats by Emily Efraimson and Nathan Bellikka from Aberdeen Central High School, and LWC Welding and Repair by Ian Lehman from Pierre T.F. Riggs High School.
In the Wellness Category sponsored by Sanford Health with a $500 cash prize and a $500 scholarship to Northern State University, 58 entries were submitted. The winner was SimplyCook by Jordan Schock and Rachel Schallenkamp of McCook Central High School. Their idea was an app to help people cook at home.
Agriculture Innovation, received 63 entries. The South Dakota Agriculture Foundation sponsors the $500 cash prize and Northern State University donates a $500 scholarship. The winner this year was Erdmann Precision Field Analysis by Tessa Erdmann from Groton High School. Her idea was a nutrient sampling business.
The final event required finalists to make a 6 minute presentation on their idea for the four final judges – Chad Evans of Centennial Homes, Paul McDonald, Rod Tobin of Siegel Barnett and Schutz, and Paula Carlson. Students also heard from business economist Joe Mahon of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Joe spoke about the importance of small business to the economy.
This year’s BIG Idea competition also included an honorable mention award for those applicants who scored within 10% of the finalists. The 78 honorable mention idea and 5 honorable mention marketing designs school names are attached.
The Partners in Business Award is sponsored by Angelhaus to reward the networking and mentorship experiences teachers have incorporated into their classroom. This year’s recipients of the Partners in Business award are Joe Dalton of Waverly-South Shore High School, Cheryl Ulmen of Pierre T.F. Riggs High School, and Brandt Munsen of Aberdeen Central High School.