BROOKINGS, SD – April 13, 2021 – The Brookings Economic Development Corporation held the 14th annual Idea Competition this past month. Inventors and entrepreneurs, both students and non-students, from the Brookings area submitted entries. “Anyone who had a business or product idea was eligible to enter,” said BEDC Director of Entrepreneur Support, Jennifer Quail. Six finalists pitched their idea to a panel of judges. “This gave entrepreneurs experience focusing their ideas and presenting its potential value,” Quail said.

The top prize of $1,000 was awarded to Aysia Platte for Tend, a child-care concept. Cash prizes of $500 were also awarded to Marilyn Mendenhall (children’s book concept); Bill Ross (a farm/nature based experiential youth education program); and Cody Ferguson (school bus tracking concept).

Entrants were required to submit a one-page description to include their product or business name, description, the problem it solves, market description, and stage of development. “We simply want to help grow great ideas in our community. We will be working with the competition winners and other participants to help them take that next step in growing their businesses,” remarked Quail.

The idea competition is just one of BEDC’s many events and programs that are part of the Brookings Start-up Hub, local organizations supporting ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship in the Brookings region. For more information, visit 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:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email