IDEA Competition Northwest Minnesota's competition for breakthrough business ideas
turning great ideas into
great businesses
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Gold Level

Northwest Minnesota Foundation

Silver Level

University of Minnesota Crookston

360 Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence

Bremer Bank Crookston and Warren
Warren and Crookston

Northwest Regional Small Business Development Center

Bronze Level

Border State Bank

Minnkota Power Company

Ultima Bank Minnesota





Anderson Lawyers


Bemidji State University

Northland Community and Technical College




IDEA Competition Awards Banquet

Celebrating Innovation in Northwest Minnesota

The IDEA Competition announced its 2015 winners and runners up at its annual banquet, April 22 at University of Minnesota Crookston.

This year's winners were Will Weaver for "LitWeaver," Paul Eickhof for the "Eickhof Columbaria Ossuarium," and Tim and Adam Wagner for "Vertical Malt." Runners up were Mychal Stittsworth for "Stittsworth Meats," Eric Niskanen for "NISKY, LLC.," and Edwin Dale Hahn for "Trinity Land Craft." read more...


More about IDEA...

IDEA is a competition that turns great ideas into great businesses. Through an annual process, IDEA provides training, business coaching, and capital for northwest Minnesota entrepreneurs who want to turn an idea into a fast-growth business. 

Entrepreneurs who participate in IDEA receive:
    Valuable tools and business development resources
    A business coach
    Open access to all IDEA labs
    A chance to present their business idea to potential investors and business leaders
    A chance to win one of our $10,000 cash prizes to get their business moving
    A chance to win valuable professional services such as accounting, legal, and marketing

Check out our past winners.


2015 Hall of Fame

Douglass Steiger, 2015 Hall of Fame

The Steiger Family was inducted into the IDEA Hall of Fame. Douglass Steiger, who created the original Steiger tractor, together with his father and brother, was present to accept the award.

The Hall of Fame was established to recognize the accomplishments of the region’s legacy innovators—those within the region who have inspired others with their entrepreneurial vision, leadership and achievement. Read more...

Featured Speaker

Brian Berdahl, Creator of Spot-Knot

Brian was a 2013 winner of the IDEA Competition. Since that time, he and his wife, Coreen, have grown their company exponentially. Their products are now for sale in Scheels Sporting Goods, more than 200 Walmart stores, and several other locations.