ABERDEEN — The BIG Idea Competition is launching its 15th competition this fall. High school students across South Dakota are invited to compete in this business idea competition where nearly $35,000 in cash and scholarships are awarded.

Students will be able to submit their business idea applications online through Oct. 31, 2021. The online application, as well as various resources and examples, can be accessed at the BIG Idea website: www.BIGIdeaSD.com.

This year, there will be three special category awards that will each offer an additional $500 cash prize and a $500 scholarship to Northern State University for the best idea in their categories. These categories include: Wellness, Agriculture Innovation and Marketing Design.

Applications submitted by the Oct. 31, 2021, deadline will be reviewed and ranked by judges across the state. The eight top scoring entries will be invited to the final competition and will make a presentation for the final judging component. The top three applications will receive cash awards of $1,000, $500 and $250, respectively. Remaining finalists will receive $100 each. College scholarships to Northern State University, Presentation College and SD School of Mines & Technology will be awarded as well. One winner will be chosen from among all the marketing design entries and recognized at the final competition. One winner will be chosen each for the Wellness and Agriculture Innovation categories and recognized at the final competition.

The final competition and awards event will be held in person on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at Northern State University in Aberdeen. The day will involve final presentations, mentor conversations, business speakers and finalist elevator pitches prior to the awards presentation.

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