ScoutPro of Lone Tree, Iowa, team lead Michael Koenig, was named Entrepreneur of the Year from a field of four finalists and received a total of $30,000 in prize money to implement his business idea, which is software to assist farmers with crop maintenance.
Pasturebird, LLC of Temecula, California, team lead Paul Greive, won the People’s Choice award in the competition and $10,000 in prize money. Members of the live audience at the challenge finals competition and members of the general public voted online to select the People’s Choice winner. Pasturebird is a cost-effective method of producing pastured poultry on a large scale.
“Rural entrepreneurs continue to be a major driving force in our nation’s economy,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said. “We congratulate all the finalists and wish them well in their future business endeavors.”
The finalist businesses were chosen from more than 200 applicants. Golden Bridges, Inc. of Palmyra, Missouri, team lead Suzanne Ellerbrock, and Pulaski Grow of Pulaski, Virginia, team lead Lee Spiegel, were the other two finalists who competed in the final round of the challenge in San Diego.
“The seed money provided to entrepreneurs through the challenge will help them take their businesses to the next level, which can make a huge difference in small rural communities,” said Jeff Reid, founding director of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative.
The Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge is a key component of the Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative, a joint effort between AFBF and the Georgetown McDonough School of Business. The Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative is directly tied to AFBF’s mission of building strong and prosperous agricultural communities. Learn more at http://www.fb.org/ruraldevelopment.
In addition to the prize money awarded at the convention, each of the four national finalists received $15,000 in November for advancing in the competition.
Dr. Ron Leclerc, AgFunder; Amy Gales, CoBank; Mark Rockefeller, StreetShares.com; and Dr. Ron Hustedde, University of Kentucky and Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute, judged the live finals competition. Dave Alwan of Echo Valley Meats, a cattleman and farmer featured on Shark Tank, served as moderator.
About the American Farm Bureau Federation
With family members at the county or parish level in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the American Farm Bureau Federation is the unified national “Voice of Agriculture,” working to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities. AFBF is the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots organization of farm and ranch families. Additional information may be found at www.fb.org. Follow AFBF on Twitter: @FarmBureau.
About the Global Social Enterprise Initiative
The Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business aims to prepare current and future leaders to make responsible management decisions that yield both economic and social value. Through practical training for global business leaders, the initiative promotes transformative solutions to and impactful investments in the world’s significant challenges in health and well-being, economic growth, the environment and international development. Learn more at http://socialenterprise.georgetown.edu.
About the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative
The Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, led by founding director Jeff Reid, inspires Georgetown University students to be entrepreneurial, teaches them the entrepreneurial lessons learned by others before them, connects them to useful resources, and helps them pursue their own unique entrepreneurial interests. The initiative manages an array of courses and extracurricular programs to serve the Georgetown University entrepreneurial community, both within and outside of the McDonough School of Business, and fosters stronger connections to the vibrant Washington, D.C., entrepreneurial community and the Georgetown Alumni Association. Signature programs include the Hoya Challenge Business Pitch Competition, the StartupHoyas Incubator, the McDonough School of Business Entrepreneurial Fellowship, the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Alliance, the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Faculty Exchange, Entrepreneurs in Residence, and events such as Georgetown Entrepreneurship Day, the Venture Capital Investment Competition and Global Entrepreneurship Week. Learn more at www.startuphoyas.com.
About Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business provides a transformational education through classroom and experiential learning, preparing students to graduate as principled leaders in the service to business and society. Through numerous centers, initiatives, and partnerships, Georgetown McDonough seeks to create a meaningful impact on global business practice through both research and teaching. All academic programs provide a global perspective, woven through the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in a way that is unique to Washington, D.C. – the nexus of world business and policy – and to Georgetown University’s connections to global partner organizations and a worldwide alumni network. Founded in 1957, Georgetown McDonough is home to some 1,400 undergraduates, 1,000 MBA students, and 1,200 participants in executive degree or open enrollment programs. Learn more at http://msb.georgetown.edu. Follow us on Twitter: @msbgu.