Dream Big Grow Here grant asks businesses to shoot for the stars

Entrepreneurs and small business owners have an opportunity to receive a cash grant through the Dream Big Grow Here competition.

Dream Big Grow Here, offered through the Iowa Innovation Gateway, is giving a $5,000 grant to help entrepreneurs or small business owners start or expand their business.

“This is really an opportunity for people to kind of shoot for the stars and go after that idea that they might not go after if they were to go through an out of pocket financial situation,” said Tom Deimerly, Marshall Economic Development Impact Committee president.

Deimerly said any business or entrepreneur new or existing in Marshall, Jasper, Mahaska, Marion, Poweshiek or Story County, with 50 or fewer employees, can compete and the competition is free.

Anyone interested can go online to the Dream Big Grow Here website and submit their business dream. The deadline is Oct. 4.

From Oct. 7-17, customers, friends, family or members of the community are able to vote online for their favorite business or entrepreneur.

The top four businesses, plus one wild-card entry, then advance to the regional pitch-off event, where their ideas are presented to judges who determine who receives the $5,000 grant.

This is the third year the Dream Big Grow Here competition has been held. Last year, Marshalltown’s Cryogen Design was selected for a grant which enabled the business to move forward with production of a line of 3-D printers it designs.