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The Idea Challenge Finalists Announced

Posted by Becca Coleman on November 12th, 2019

Dozens of new business ideas are being kicked around this year, right here in the Chippewa Valley. With that, there are countless questions that a new entrepreneur is facing, mainly how to I turn this idea into a reality? This is where the Eau Claire Area EDC can help with use of The Idea Challenge!

The Idea Challenge is an annual contest where individuals in the Eau Claire Area can submit their idea for a new product, service, or process. Entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs submit their ideas to The Idea Challenge where the Eau Claire Area EDC then walks them through the process of taking an idea and moving it into the marketplace.

Launched by the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation in 2007, The Idea Challenge has been supporting local entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers within our community for over a decade. In 2011, Northwestern Bank became the financial sponsor, giving The Idea Challenge the opportunity to offer cash awards and reimbursements to the contest’s finalists.

The Idea Challenge 2019 finalists are (in no particular order);

  • Farm Doc Microgreens, by Dr. Dan Czelatdko – A year-round business, featuring microgreens grown in a controlled indoor environment. The microgreens, the seedlings of plants, are grown using non-GMO organic seeds and harvested and delivered fresh to local retailers, restaurants and markets.
  • ToyVentive, by Tomi Stoyanova -ToyVentive’s specialty is combining educational toys, and board books into the perfect gift set! Responsibly designed for toddlers and preschooler, ToyVentive brings versatile, minimalistic, and reducing clutter toys.
  • SMARTcare by Scott Zielski SMARTcare is improving the home caregiver to patient experience by developing advanced machine learning home care software to create better matches between caregivers and patients.  These stronger matches will drive increased engagement between those giving care and receiving care leading to reduced turnover levels, improved home care outcomes and better overall care of our aging population.
  • Zaba Sports Cards by Hunter AngellProfessional grade trading cards for K-12 Student Athletes and their families. Share memories of your child’s best sports moments with custom professional grade trading cards.
  • Eau Pour Mobile Bartending by Liz Fagen – Eau Pour provides fun, professional, and insured mobile bartending services, using locally sourced beers and liquors, for events in the Chippewa Valley.  Eau Pour helps to make dream weddings and events a reality by providing individualized luxury-feeling services, while being budget friendly.


The final pitches and awards ceremony will be held at 9am, on December 10, 2019 at Co-Lab (312 S Barstow).  The format will be 10 minute presentation, followed by 5 minute question & answers, from a panel of judges.  The public is invited to attend the final pitches and awards ceremony and hear about potential new business they may see in the near future.

The Idea Challenge is open to any individual or company with an idea for a new product or service. For over a decade The Idea Challenge has been assisting entrepreneurs in getting connected to community resources, practicing their pitch, assisting in getting their idea into the market, and –of course- the chance to win $5000 in reimbursable business expenses to advance their idea!

The Eau Claire Area EDC accepts applications and works with individuals for The Idea Challenge year round and is currently accepting applications for 2020



Becca Coleman
Project Manager, Eau Claire Area EDC

2 thoughts on “The Idea Challenge Finalists Announced

  1. Roger Gostomski

    Is this the same competition as the Jump Start Downtown Business Challenge or is this something different?


    1. Becca Coleman Post author

      These are two different competitions. The Idea Challenge is a business idea competition that can be located anywhere in the Eau Claire area. I believe, the other must be located in downtown Eau Claire. Thanks for asking!


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