Washburn County
Economic Development Corporation


Eligibility and Submissions

  1. Any individual, 18 years or older, that wants to start a new business or provide a service in Washburn County, or existing business that is planning an expansion with a new product line or service to implement a different aspect to their business. The business must be located in Washburn County.
  2. Applicant must be a for profit business.
  3. Award money can only be used for reimbursement or direct payment of qualified business expense.. $2500 first place - $1000 second place - $500 third place 
  4. Panel of judges will evaluate application and business plan based on feasibility of the idea, job creation, potential growth of the business or service, product and market knowledge.
  5. Ownership of the concept remains with the applicant. WCEDC and the panel of judges do not guarantee the confidentiality of the business concept and the applicant is responsible for confidentiality of the proposal. Winners of the contest will be announced and may be advertised and must maintain their business in Washburn County for at least one year. 
  6. The application must be accompanied with a written business plan. All applicants should submit five copies of their plan for review.
  7. Application deadline is October 1, 2016.

Download Application


About the Contest

The Creative Concept Contest is open to any potential entrepreneur or existing business planning an expansion into a new product or service. Whether you want to start a business or expand a business, we look forward to working with you. The contest is open to anyone, but to qualify the idea must be pursued within Washburn County.

Individuals interested in participating in the contest must prepare and submit a written business plan with their application.

The plans judged to have the most potential and merit will receive cash awards:

  1. First Place $2500
  2. Second Place $1000
  3. Third Place $500

The cash awards will only be issued if the panel feels the application meets all the established criteria. The cash awards may only be used for reimbursement of monies spent for a business expense. WCSW/WGMO will provide $250 radio advertising package to the contest winner,

Applications and business plans will be judged by an independent panel of members in the fields of finance, business, and service. Applicant is responsible for the confidentiality of their business idea or proposal. WCEDC and the awards panel do not guarantee confidentiality of any application submitted.

Ownership of the idea remains with the applicant. The goal of the Creative Concept Contest is to encourage idea innovation in order to foster new business within Washburn County. The contest will bring awareness to resources available for new and existing businesses and be a catalyst to starting a new business.

WCEDC will assist in answering questions regarding the application and business plan.

Application and Business Plan Submission Deadline: October 1, 2016 with awards being determined by October 15, 2016

Questions may be addressed to Washburn County Economic Development Corporation, 208 Vine Street, Spooner, Wisconsin 54801 or telephone 715-635-8242. Applications are available at the office location or may be printed. Download Application

2016 Creative Concept Contest


            The 2016 Washburn County Creative Concept Contest has come to a close.  The judging panelevaluated applications and business plans based on feasibility of the idea, job creation, potential growth of the business or service, product and market knowledge.   Several applications for the 2016 WCEDC Creative Concept Contest were received and all applications were merit worthy. We hope to continue working with all of the entrants to continue the process of expanding or starting their businesses.  There are great ideas in all corners of Washburn County! 

The following awards were presented:
  • First Place $2500:  Rurup Metal Fab 
    •  Purchase of a CNC Plasma Cutting System for making custom metal signs and manufacturing metal components.



  • Second Place $1000:  Sylvin Companies
    •  Upgrade facility for producing Ultra Coat, the world's first coating system for Styrofoam, block and poured concrete foundations or walls without using any form of mesh as well as Ultra Coat concrete Repair and Ultra Coat Stain and Restore Stain.


  • Third Place $250:  Drydenwire 
    • Expand Marketing Plan to help increase viewership over the next year of publishing news and information for Washburn County.


  • Third Place $250:  Lakes and Trails
    • Expand Marine and Small Engine Business to include Pontoons for daily and weekly rentals.


All contest winners also receive an advertising package with Zoe Communications Radio Stations.   
Thank you to all Businesses that submitted applications, the judging panel and our sponsors, Shell Lake State Bank, Bank Mutual and Bank of the West!