The 2018 BIG Idea Competition was a BIG success with 244 entries involving 356 high school students from 35 schools! The BIG Idea Committee would like to congratulate this year’s winners who received nearly $15,000 in cash and scholarships.

Sitting: Hattie Muellenbach, Milbank (3rd Place); Kendra Kleven, Sully Buttes (1st Place); Avery Weinheimer, Sully Buttes (1st Place); Jade Parkin, Rapid City Stevens (2nd Place); Danielle Houghtaling, Doland (Marketing Design and Food Animal Agriculture Winner).
Standing (middle row): Vicki Lentz, Sully Buttes Advisor; Ashley Hansen, Sanford Health; Christine Stoltenberg, Northwestern; Jerry Janisch, Milbank Advisor; Aiden Boerger, Milbank; Anne Frericks, Northwestern Advisor; Maria Jenkins, Leola; Kristen Henderson, Midwest Ag Supply; DeLaney Anderson, Henry; Beth Severson, Henry Advisor; Brianna Jorgenson, Florence; Katrina Boyum, Florence Advisor; Kelly Weaver BIG Idea Coordinator; Bailey Coats, Doland Advisor;
Standing (back row): Troy McQuillen, McQuillen Creative Group; Brady Carda, Sanford Health; Cindy Burrell, Midwest Ag Supply; Nathan Gellhaus, Angelhaus; Trevor Van Tilburg, Leola Advisor; Andrew Miller, Presentation College; Joseph Wright, SD School of Mines & Technology; Leslie Barbour, CREATE.

First Place

Helping Hearts Delivery Service
Helping Hearts Delivery Service which aims to deliver groceries weekly and bring hot meals five days a week to the elderly of Onida, SD.  Kendra Kleven and Avery Weinheimer of Sully Buttes High School

Second Place

Butterstick is a product where butter will conveniently be stored and ready for use in all situations and for all ages. Jade Parkin of Rapid City Stevens High School

Third Place

The ‘Wich Doctor 
The ‘Wich Doctor is a food truck specializing in gourmet sandwiches. Hattie Muellenbach of Milbank High School

Other Finalists

Stoltenberg Fencing
Stoltenberg Fencing is a business that will come out to your farm or ranch and do your fencing work for you. It doesn’t matter whether the job is at your farm, in the pasture, or out in a field, Stoltenberg Fencing will go there and get the job done.
 Christine Stoltenberg of Northwestern High School


The goal of Best-a-Essay is to help struggling students who have a hard time writing essays to clearly and concisely organize their ideas.
Aiden Boerger of Milbank High School

New Outlook

New Outlook will help to decrease or eliminate the problem of overcrowding by taking out the inmates that are in there for just drug offenses and drug abuse.
Brianna Jorgenson of Florence High School

Watertown Community Tutor Center

The center will include free Wifi, public access to computers, and optional private tutoring for students off all ages who may need extra assistance.
DeLaney Anderson of Henry High School

Maria’s Boarding and Grooming

Maria’s Boarding and Grooming tailors to pet owners, specifically dog owners, whose pet either needs a makeover or someplace to stay for the night if their owner is out of town or is unable to care for them.
Maria Jenkins of Leola High School

Download the 2018 Finalists and Honorable Mentions (PDF)

BIG Idea 2018 Competition Awards Presentation:

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

Houghtaling Ulltrasound
Danielle Houghtaling of Doland High School

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

Helping Hearts Delivery Service
Kendra Kleven and Avery Weinheimer of Sully Buttes High School

Winner of the Food Animal Agriculture competition, sponsored by Midwest Ag Supply, was:

Houghtaling Ultrasound
Danielle Houghtaling of Doland High School

Winners of the School and Teacher Awards:

Makerspace Consultation Award 
Sponsored by CREATE
Florence High School

Partners in Business Award
Sponsored by Angelhaus
Katrina Boyum, Florence High School
Jerry Jansich, Milbank High School
Vicki Lentz, Sully Buttes High School

Thank you to our 2018 Speakers!

Blain Mikkonen
Grain Designs
Carly Pochop
Colorful Creations
AJ Hoffman
SoDak Sports

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.

Also a special thanks to all of your sponsors: Small Business Development Center, Sanford Health, East River Electric, REED Fund, Dacotah Bank, McQuillen Creative Group, Northern State University, Presentation College, South Dakota Schools of Mines & Technology, First Bank & Trust, Midwest Ag Supply, Angelhaus, CREATE, Northwestern Energy, Aberdeen Development Corporation, and the Tom & Danielle Aman Foundation.

The next competition will open again on September 1, 2019.