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Finalists are announced in the 2020 The Idea Challenge

Posted by adminALT on December 2nd, 2020





Given the uncertainty that has come with 2020, it takes real courage to start a business at this time.  One of the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation’s missions is to cultivate innovative thinkers and entrepreneurship. Innovative business thinking is important, especially now, as some traditional employment may feel on rocky ground. With use of The Idea Challenge, the Eau Claire Area EDC will help elevate five business ideas and help them launch into the marketplace.

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 2020 finalists are (in no particular order);

  • The Hippie Banker, by Beth Crowell – A business loan consultant and life coach, using a holistic approach to help women get their businesses founded, funded, and grounded.
  • Tennis Ball Scoop, by Kevin Neff – An extremely light weight, rubber device that is easily fastened to the top of a tennis racquet for versatile use by dog owners and casual tennis players.
  • UpStream AV by Jim McDougall Wireless and adaptable audio visual solutions unique to the market, aimed to provide solutions that always work and save money.
  • Portable Multi-Cam & Live Streaming by Kyle Lehman Ivy Media is offering a multi-camera and live streaming video package to bring your event to life. The high quality and 4k deliverable offers crystal clear video with lighting fast delivery.
  • Green Fleet by Bill Lobner – Sustainable, luxury ride service, featuring Tesla electric vehicles, that operates within a 100 mile radius of Eau Claire.


The final pitches and awards ceremony will be held at 1pm, on December 15, 2020 virtually via Zoom. The format will be 10 minute presentation, followed by 5 minute question & answers from a panel of judges.  The public is invited to virtually attend the final pitches and awards ceremony and hear about potential new business they may see in the near future.

Zoom Link to view the final pitches on December 15, 2020:

Meeting ID: 823 8881 0156

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! All finalists will receive $500 and several marketing and business services incentives to help launch their business idea.

The Eau Claire Area EDC accepts applications and works with individuals for The Idea Challenge year round and is currently accepting applications for 2021.



Becca Coleman
Community Project Manager, Eau Claire Area EDC

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