Open 4 Business in Ames  

Do you have a great business idea?  Have you always wanted to own a business in downtown Ames?  Is your current downtown business planning to expand services or add a new product line?  Do you have a piece of equipment you wish you could purchase for your business?

The Main Street Cultural District is looking for interested entrepreneurs, who could some extra cash to launch or grow their business idea within the Ames Main Street Cultural District, to compete in the Open 4 Business competition.  The local prize is valued at around $2,500 but the winner will go on to represent Ames in the regional and state Open 4 Business contests worth a combined total of $28,000.

Open 4 Business in Ames Local Competition:

  • Applications accepted March 1 – April 7.   

  • Local applicants will be required to give a 10-minute “Shark Tank” pitch at the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship  on April 14, 2-4 p.m. Sales pitch may include samples and props if desired.  Be creative and have fun!

  • The local winner will receive a $500 cash prize, one year memberships to the Ames Chamber of Commerce and the Main Street Cultural District, and a professionally produced video to submit for the regional competition.

  • The winner is required to represent Ames at the regional competition held in Des Moines on June 15, 2017.  Sub-state winners will receive $8,000 and advance to the state contest which will be held in Sioux City, Iowa the evening of August 1, 2017 for a $20,000 prize.

For the regional and state prize money, a 25% cash match is required.  The funds are administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa program. 

Open 4 Business in Ames is made possible by the Main Street Cultural District, Ames Economic Development Commission, Ames Chamber of Commerce, and ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship