2015 Winners

The 9th annual BIG Idea Competition was a BIG success with 263 entries involving 414 high school students from 37 schools! The BIG Idea Committee would like to congratulate this year’s winners who received over $5,000 in cash and scholarships:

2015 Finalists

BIG Idea 2015 Finalists & Sponsors:
Seated: Ellen Schlechter, Maria Wilson, Haley Ketteler, Jenny Rooks, Brianna McGinnis, Sophie Wittenberg, and Kelly Weaver.

Standing, left to right: Cierra Veldhuizen, Mary Schlechter, Olivia Facenda, Tracy Freidel, Cheryl Ulmen, Tommy Gregg, Tony Baumann, Kristie Olson, George Bernard, Tyndall Petterson, Mark Wesolick, Bill Broucek, Eli Gerry, Jennifer Wegleitner, Charlotte Mohling, MaKayla Price, Dalton Larson, Abby McQuillen, Jared Miller, Linda Petersen, Noah Salmen, Kila LeGrand and Brady Carda.

First Place:
Bent Perspective

Bent Perspective, an Origami store focusing on teaching the customers how to make origami artwork.

Haley Ketteler of Pierre T.F. Riggs High School
Second Place:
Caveman Custom Iron

Caveman Custom Iron, hand-crafted ironwork that could be used for home décor and tools.

George Bernard and Mark Wesolick of St. Thomas More High School
Third Place:
KP Photography

KP Photography which is a photography business that gives one fifth of their profits to charity.

MaKayla Price of Wessington Springs High School

Other Finalists

The Cooler Backpack Company

“The Cooler Backpack” is a backpack with a secondary insulated pocket for keeping your food and drinks chilly solving the epidemic of having to carry a separate sack for your lunch.

Cierra Veldhuizen, Jenny Rooks, & Olivia Facenda of St. Thomas More High School
The Spink County Outdoorsmen

A hunting supplies company that is located in Spink County.

Tony Baumann of Redfield High School
All Seasons Lighting

All Seasons Lighting will take the hassle out of changing the lighting. No longer will you have to have ten different lightbulb colors for your desired occasion.

Brianna McGinnis, Maria Wilson, and Sophie Wittenberg of St. Thomas More High School
Gerry’s Pumpkins & Produce

Gerry's Pumpkins & Produce is a family owned business in eastern South Dakota that sells pumpkins and produce.

Eli Gerry of Madison Central High School
SoDak Custom Hay Co.

SoDak Custom Hay Co. is a business that produces hay for livestock owners. This company will specialize in the production of brome and alfalfa.

Dalton Larson, Jared Miller and Tyndall Petterson of West Central High School

2015 Finalist Concept Overviews

Download the 2015 Finalists and Honorable Mentions (PDF)


BIG Idea 2015 Competition Awards Presentation:


Winner of the Marketing Design competition, sponsored by McQuillen Creative Group, was:

The Calving Book
The Calving Book
First Place:
The Calving Book App
Ellen Schlechter of Faulkton High School

Thank you to our 2015 Speakers!

Brett Newton
World Classrooms

Peri Malsom
CJ’s Patisserie

Terry Schiltz
Ag Sense

Special Thanks

A Special Thanks to the teachers who encouraged their students’ participation.

Thanks to the committee members and community leaders who participated as judges, panelists and supporters.

Next year’s competition will open again on September 1, 2016.