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The Idea Challenge has a Grand Prize Winner!

Posted by adminALT on December 15th, 2023

On December 14, 2023, The Idea Challenge, a local business idea competition, held the final pitch session for five finalists.  Heard by a panel of industry experts,Fitness & Strength Aquatics was named the winner and will receive $5000 to support the new business, thanks to a sponsorship by Northwestern Bank.  The $1000- Business Services Award went to Kate Felton, Eau Claire Outdoors.

Fitness & Strength Aquatics plans to bring private swimming lessons and hydrotherapy services to Eau Claire with the innovative use of an endless pool system.

According to founder and UWEC student, Jackson Anderson, Fitness & Strength Aquatics, plans to use the Grand Prize money to invest part into the website and implement a digital scheduling system for clients. The bulk of the prize money will go towards a deposit on an endless pool (pool w/ self-propelled current),  when the business is ready to move into a facility.

“Thank you to everyone involved in putting The Idea Challenge together, this couldn’t have come at a better time, as I graduate (from UWEC) this Saturday!”

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.  In addition, Co-Lab and WESTconsin Credit Union has donated money or services to the prize package.

The Idea Challenge 2023 Finalists:

  • EloRose Diagnostic Ultrasound Direct-Pay Clinic, Jillian Rogers– A Sound Alternative for Affordable Ultrasound Imaging.
  • Eau Claire Outdoors: Outdoor Rental Program, Kate Felton– Helping the Chippewa Valley discover new adventures by making outdoor gear cheaper and more accessible through a rental program which will provide high quality gear for kayaking, canoeing, camping, backpacking, skiing, snowshoeing, and more!
  • Fitness & Strength Aquatics , Jackson Anderson – Delivers private swim lessons, to all ages, looking to learn or improve their skills, utilizing an endless pool with potential to offer hydro therapy as well.
  • Planette Kids, Jill Heinke Moen – Downtown Eau Claire retails space that celebrates the whimsy and delight of the early years with ethically sourced, socially responsible, and/or eco-friendly children’s clothing and wares.
  • Tiny Homes Saunas, Graham Barnes – Mobile sauna builder that utilizes materials from deconstructed buildings to create one-of-a-kind saunas for sale in the Midwest.