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$10,000 small business grant winner announced

May 27, 2014

Rob Williams, business analyst, Regional Business Center, 319-273-4333,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Hundreds of people gathered at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City earlier this month to attend the Dream Big Grow Here statewide pitch-off event and to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship in Iowa.

The winner of this year's grand prize of $10,000 was Deborah VanderGaast with Tipton Adaptive Daycare in Tipton. Second place went to Hoovers Hatchery in Rudd; third place went to The Outside Scoop in Indianola; and the people's choice award winner was Crown Clinics in Royal. The celebrity emcee for the Dream Big Grow Here pitch-off was Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Dream Big Grow Here is a statewide business grant contest for entrepreneurs and small-business owners to win cash to start or grow an Iowa business. To participate, small-business owners simply upload their 'dreams' to, then encourage friends, customers and other business owners to vote for them. One hundred and eighty companies competed in one of 10 regional contests. More than 100,000 online votes were cast, thousands of comments of support were made and more than a half million unique page views were logged.

Dream Big Grow Here is a program of the University of Northern Iowa Business and Community Services. For more information on Dream Big Grow Here, contact Rob Williams, business analyst for the Regional Business Center, at (319)-273-4333