The Georgetown University McDonough School of Business’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative and StartupHoyas joined efforts with the American Farm Bureau Federation to launch the Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. This competition, which seeks to recognize and support entrepreneurship in the farm and rural community, just named the winner of the final round of the competition: ScoutPro, a startup based in Lone Tree, Iowa, supports farmers’ crop maintenance through a software system.
The Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge, hosted in San Diego, selected finalists from over 200 applications. Four teams advanced to the final round, each receiving a prize of $15,000, to help launch their innovative farming solutions. The final competition consisted of pitching their respective businesses to a panel of judges and a live audience, competing for a grand prize of $30,000. ScoutPro’s team lead Michael Koenig was named the first ever Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the year, presenting the startup that best supports AFBF’s mission to build strong and prosperous agricultural communities.
The runner up, Pasturebird LLC, based in Temecula, California, offers a cost effective method to produce pasteurized poultry on a large scale. This startup won the People’s Choice award, selected by the live audience and general public, receiving $10,000 in prize money. Golden Bridges, Inc. and Pulaski Grow received recognition and mentorship from the competition, and still walked away with the initial $15,000 advancement prize.
The partnership between Georgetown University and the American Farm Bureau Federation seeks to identify talented, aspiring entrepreneurs from varying communities across the nation, says Jeff Reid, founding director of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative. The Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge, according to Jeff, “recognizes some of the best, and will hopefully inspire many more. And that is vitally important, since these entrepreneurs can make a huge difference in small rural communities.”