Ignite Community Innovation Challenge Winners Announced

Dec. 10, 2014 null

Ignite Community Innovation Challenge Winners Announced


December  5,  2014. Des Moines, IA: The Greater Des Moines community is brimming with innovative minds and the nonprofit community is no exception. The Ignite Community Innovation Challenge is a grant award designed to encourage nonprofit organizations to re-think, re-frame and re-imagine how they carry out their missions. The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines is proud to implement the Ignite Community Innovation Challenge along with the following Innovation Investors: Bankers Trust, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, DuPont Pioneer, Principal Financial Group, Riley Resource Group, Sammons Financial Group and United Way of Central Iowa.

Nonprofit organizations and partners were encouraged to submit innovative ideas designed to transform their work and the Greater Des Moines community. From more than 50 submissions, four finalists were selected to make a 10 minute pitch to a panel of five community leaders outlining how grant funding from the Ignite Community Innovation Challenge would provide a unique opportunity to create change. The pitch event took place Thursday, Dec 4 and the community panel then determined the winner and runner-up of the challenge.

The Ignite Community Innovation Challenge Winners:

  • First place prize of $30,000 was awarded to Robotics Retail. By placing small robotic vending-machine-style retail outlets that accept SNAP benefits, as well as other payment methods, Robotics Retail would distribute fresh produce at reasonable prices in areas of Des Moines identified as food deserts and be a first-in-the-nation model.
  • Second place prize of $15,000 was awarded to Station #1 Record Label. Station #1 Records’ innovative nonprofit approach to the recording industry provides a model of management, promotion and distribution to propel local musicians to the national stage from right here in Des Moines.

“The Ignite Community Innovation Challenge winners exemplify the goals created for this new and unique funding opportunity.  We are anxious to see these innovative ideas take off in our community and the Innovation Investors could not be more pleased with the winners of this year’s challenge,” says Angie Dethlefs-Trettin, Community Foundation vice president of community investment and initiatives.


More about Robotics Retail

Let's disrupt the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in low-income areas of Des Moines. Let's make low-cost fresh produce retail availability as simple as the corner convenience store or ordering fast food. Eat Greater Des Moines has engaged with Oasis24seven, a company which builds and sells small convenient robotics vending-machine-style retail outlets that accepts SNAP benefits in addition to other payment methods, to distribute fresh produce at reasonable costs throughout food deserts in Des Moines. Des Moines would be the first in the United States to offer this innovative food delivery model providing improved healthy options for those currently deprived of ready access to healthy food choices.


More about Station #1 Record Label

Let's flip the current for profit record label model by creating a non-profit full-service record label to manage, promote and distribute local artists and musicians from Des Moines to a national stage. Challenging the traditional for profit model of the recording industry, Station #1 Records' innovative non-profit approach allows the company to focus on promoting Des Moines and its artists instead of focusing on profits. Another benefit, the Des Moines Social Club will partner with Drake University to to offer students the opportunity to work on day-to-day operations of an entertainment company while gaining academic understanding of the industry.