Local businesses compete in The Innovation Challenge at Kish

By Ashley Dwy

The Innovation Challenge, a competition for local entrepreneurs and business owners to present their ideas and compete for prizes, will take place 4 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Kishwaukee Conference Center. 

The competition is sponsored by Kishwaukee College, Rochelle Retail advisory board, and Illinois Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College. The event is free and open to the public. 

The Innovation Challenge is a “business idea” competition that focuses on innovative ideas for existing businesses as well as innovative ideas for launching a new business, ccording to 94.9 WDKB. Competitors will pitch newly formed ideas, fully developed business plans, and/or ideas for business expansion.

“We, as a committee, are just trying to support new businesses and new entrepreneurs or businesses looking to expand locally,” LaCretia Konan, Director of Business and Training Partnerships, said.

Each competitor will give a three minute oral presentation in front of an expert panel of judges. The top three competitors will receive prizes that include cash, in-kind packages, and incubator space.

“The in-kind packages and incubator space is at the judges’ discretion. Anybody could win that, but we ideally would want to award it to the top three competitors,” Konan said.

Competitors will receive invaluable feedback, a fun experience, and exposure to investors, city governments and the media, according to the Kishwaukee College website.

“We want to promote people starting businesses locally and give them an opportunity to get their ideas out there,” Konan said.