2016 Winners

The 10th year of the BIG Idea Competition was a BIG success with 303 entries involving 467 high school students from 40 schools! The BIG Idea Committee would like to congratulate this year’s winners who received over $5,000 in cash and scholarships.

2016 Finalists

BIG Idea 2016 Finalists & Sponsors:
Seated: Christian Westhoff, Mercedes Peterson, Claire Michel, Jasmine Green, Gamellia Becker, Meghan Odegaard.

Standing: Madison Andersen, Miranda Luze, Breanne Lynch, Franklin Wustewald, Grace Bakken, Lynette Heitz, Brandt Munsen, Cheryl Ulmen, Jessiah Paul, Monica Argo, Kelly Weaver.

Standing (3rd row): Matthew Campbell, Hunter Matthaei, Andrew Miller, Brady Carda, Jerry Janisch, Brooke Lingbeck, Conner Torrence, Noah Steinlicht, Jake Sandvig, Kylee Mogen, Monica Argo, Dr. Bill Broucek, Melissa Jurgens.

First Place:
MCH Design

MCH Design creates personalized, affordable school merchandise. MCH is currently creating spirit bands and key chains to show school pride.

Mercedes Peterson, Hunter Matthaei, Christian Westhoff of McCook Central High School
Second Place:
Claire’s Sweet Treats

Claire’s Sweet Treats will be a made-to-order bakery which will offer a variety of quality baked goods at a reasonable, affordable price.

Claire Mischel of Milbank High School
Third Place:
Green Décor

Green Décor offers household artwork made out of horse shoes, bolts, screws, etc. Green Décor will build home décor out of any steel design.

Jasmine Green of Ipswich High School

Other Finalists

Once Upon a Memory

Once Upon a Memory is a party planning business that will book the location and provide all food and décor.

Monique German, Monica Argo and Kylee Mogen of Wilmot High School
Bakken’s Bakery

Bakken’s Bakery offers fresh baked goods at an affordable price and will provide food for events big or small.

Grace Bakken of Ipswich High School
ACE’s Tattoo Shop

ACE’s Tattoo Shop is a tattoo shop located in Huron focused on customer’s satisfaction in design.

Franklin Wuestewald of Groton Area High School
Bright Blasters

Bright Blasters is a laser tag business which will offer customizable laser guns to members.

Jessiah Paul of Pierre T. F. Riggs High School
Open Cage

Open Cage is a pet store where animals are not kept in cages but rather can roam freely in their own pen.

Madison Andersen and Miranda Luze of Lead-Deadwood High School

2016 Finalist Concept Overviews

Download the 2016 Finalists and Honorable Mentions (PDF)


BIG Idea 2016 Competition Awards Presentation:


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

Party Bling
First Place:
Party Bling
Gameillia Becker, Meghan Odegaard, and Conner Torrence of Aberdeen Central High School

Winner of the Wellness Category competition, sponsored by Sanford Health, was:

Conquer My Concussion

First place:
Conquer My Concussion
Noah Steinlicht and Jake Sandvig from Milbank High School

Conquer My Concussion is a mobile app that will offer different levels of cognitive tests and training programs that will first ease you into thinking and focusing clearly again and then help up your recovery from your concussion.


Thank you to our 2016 Speakers!

Jake Joraanstad
Myriad Mobile

Dawn Sahli
Dawn Sahli Photography

Jack Hollinsworth
JDH Construction

Samantha Miller
Farmer’s Wife Boutique & Lil Bean Boutique

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.

The next competition will open again on September 1, 2017.