Big Idea Competition

Hattie Muellenbach, left, and Aiden Boerger are Milbank students who competed in the South Dakota Big Idea competition. Muellenbach placed third.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified a scholarship sponsor of the BIG Idea competition. The correct sponsors are Northern State University, Presentation College and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. We regret the error. 

Hattie Muellenbach, a Milbank agriculture education student, placed third in the South Dakota BIG Idea competition in Aberdeen on Dec. 5. Muellenbach received a $250 check for her placing. Aiden Boerger also participated.

Muellenbach’s business idea was The Wich Doctor, a local food truck business. Boerger’s business idea was Best-A-Essay, a business to assist students with term paper writing. Each student had to present up to a 5-minute presentation on their business idea and do a 30-second elevator pitch to a group of four judges. Muellenbach and Boerger were paired up with an Aberdeen business mentor to assist the students with their presentation and elevator pitch.

The BIG Idea Competition is a business idea competition for high school students created to help enhance the entrepreneurial spirit in our state’s youth. Participation this year included 244 entries submitted from 35 schools. Only eight of the entries advanced on to the presentation round in Aberdeen. High school students were invited to work individually or in small teams to produce a description of a business idea and enter it at by Oct. 31. After judging by hundreds of volunteers statewide, the top eight finalists presented their ideas at a final event in Aberdeen. Winners received cash prizes and scholarships from Northern State University, Presentation College and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. The BIG Idea also includes a marketing design competition sponsored by McQuillen Creative Group in Aberdeen, a wellness category with a prize sponsored by Sanford Health, and a food animal agriculture category sponsored by Midwest Ag Supply.

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