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
“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!”
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.
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
- 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.