$2,500 in prize money awarded

Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) announced the winners of the annual Idea Competition on Friday, Feb. 28 at a public reception held at the Innovation Center. This year marked the thirteenth year of the contest, which encourages Brookings area residents and SDSU students to think about starting new businesses or expanding product lines for existing businesses.

This year’s competition included 22 different business or product ideas. The field was then narrowed to seven finalists who pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. First-place prizes of $1,250 was awarded to the team of Brooklyn VanDerWolde, Craig Jibben and Katelyn Hilson for their “Visual CPR Simulator” product idea. Second place went to Dakota Community Market Food Co-op with a prize of $750. Mukesh Roy with his idea of an “Automatic Plant Health Detection Device” took third place and a prize of $500.

“We continue to be impressed with the variety and quality of ideas that are submitted by community members as well as SDSU students,” said Jennifer Quail, BEDC Director of Entrepreneur Support. “We will be working with the competition winners and other participants to help them take that next step in growing their businesses.”

During this year’s reception event, BEDC also gave out two new awards. The Youth Innovator Award was presented to Jacob York for his work on creating a “strum buddy” attachment for a ukulele to assist a fellow Mickelson Middle School student. In addition, two Youth Mentor Awards were given to Mickelson Middle School teaching staff, Alexa Kapp and Lisa Weier, for supporting Jacob and his innovative problem-solving methods.

The idea competition is just one of BEDC’s many events and programs that are part of the Brookings Start-up Hub, supporting ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship in the Brookings region. For more information, visit startupbrookings.com or contact BEDC at (605) 697-8103.

About Brookings Economic Development Corporation

Brookings Economic Development Corporation is the primary engine for promoting economic growth in Brookings, South Dakota and the surrounding area. The organization’s mission is “To build an economy that supports the community’s vision of a quality place to live, work, and play”.  BEDC designs and implements a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy to grow the area economy through the process of business retention, creation and recruitment; and through the development of an ecosystem supporting the creation and advancement of business and industry. For more information on projects and initiatives go to: www.BrookingsEDC.com.

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