Tama County’s first Pitch & Build contest occurred August 28, 2012, with five concepts for home-grown business ideas or products being presented. The competition was open to anyone in Tama County to pitch their business idea to a group of peer CEOs, business development experts, and industry professionals. In return, they had a unique opportunity to receive constructive feedback on areas such as fundraising, value proposition, business plan, management team, sales/marketing/support and building strategy.
Sam Thiessen and Phillip Sankot of Ag Bio Power in Tama presented information about their gasification system. Waste items such as rubber, plastics, oil filters, and paint filters can be safely gasified using Ag Bio Power’s patented process. Corn is also an excellent biomass; though wood pellets, wood chips, and paper products could also be used. The University of Iowa is installing an Ag Bio Power unit at the Oakdale Campus in Iowa City, Iowa.
Galen Musgrave, Toledo, would like to expand his back yard hobby into a profitable business. His company, Sweet Iron, manufactures and retails metal novelties and useful products made from metal. This includes wine and beverage holders, wine bottle trees, and memorial flower stands. More projects are in the research and development stage.
Blake Waldrop of Dysart, explained that his company, RMA Supply Company, LLC, manufactures firearm lubricant and has success selling three product lines of oil. He also has major success in selling ballistic armor plates. His goal is to expand the product lines and offer customers more varieties of armor and equipment.
Todd and Mary Apfel currently own Venture Lanes in Tama and would like to develop an 18-hole miniature golf course, batting cages, sand volleyball courts, and horseshoe pits, to provide family friendly spring and summer entertainment to the Tama-Toledo community.
Sandy McAntire of Chelsea owns Shoestring Jungle, a retail and online marketing service to assist local small business, enterpreneurs, and artisans grow and create jobs. It is a complete marketing package that includes retail space, an online ecommerce engine, a social media suite, inventory management, storage, and shipping services.
The winner of Tama County’s first Pitch and Build contest is Sandy McAntire of Shoestring Jungle. She has entered her idea into the Cedar Valley’s Dream Big, Grow Here contest, which has just opened up for voting. Entrants compete online for a chance to win a $5,000 regional grant, and then become eligible to compete for a chance to win a $10,000 grand price. You can vote once a day between September 21 and October 5 at www.dreambiggrowherecedarvalley.com.
Tama County’s next Pitch & Build contest will be Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. Contact Tama County Economic Development at 641-484-3108 for more information.