Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)


Annual competition will have new look, no application fees!


November 2, 2021

November 1, 2021 (Bemidji, MN) – The 14th season of the IDEA Competition has a fresh approach to encourage all current and prospective entrepreneurs throughout Northwest Minnesota to submit their great ideas so they can be further explored and developed for success.

In this 2021-2022 season, the annual competition will require no registration fees and an all-new Dream-Builders Round will introduce categories, allowing for similar ventures to compete for cash and prizes with similar ventures.

A free, virtual event will be held at Noon on Thursday, Nov. 17, to talk through the competition process and to answer questions. Details on the event, which will also be recorded and made available online, can be found at

“We’ve had great success with the IDEA Competition in the past,” said Mic McCrory, IDEA Competition Coordinator. “But we wanted to broaden the competition this year to be more open to exploring and supporting all of the great ideas in our Northwest Minnesota region.”

The IDEA Competition was designed for one purpose — to grow the economy of Northwest Minnesota by outfitting the next generation of homegrown innovators for success in the global marketplace. The competition is run and coordinated by the Northwest Small Business Development Center and has been described as an accelerator program of the SBDC as it offers business training and guidance in a compacted timeframe, meeting the IDEA Competition timeline and making its participants eligible for cash and in-kind awards.

To date, the IDEA Competition has awarded $451,500 in cash and $32,500 via in-kind awards.

“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,” McCrory said.

The IDEA Competition is open to anyone who lives in or owns a business in one of the following Northwest Minnesota counties: Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau.

The application period opened today, November 1, and will close January 3, 2022.

For more information, or the review a list of Frequently Asked Questions, visit

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation is a public, charitable foundation serving 12 counties of

Northwest Minnesota by investing resources, facilitating collaboration and promoting philanthropy.


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