Celebrating Entrepreneurs: Rev Pitch Competition Gives Iowa Business Owners Boost

On Tuesday, November 1st, TS Bank, Advance Southwest Iowa, and several community partners hosted the 2022 rendition of the REV Pitch Competition. The event was held at PACE in Council Bluffs and small business owners pitched for the chance to win $14,000 to grow and scale their businesses. This year’s winners include Nesting Grounds at $10,000 and Fermented Felon at $4,000. Nesting Grounds is a female-owned business in Underwood and Fermented Felon is based in Bellevue. 

Nesting Grounds plans to use the $10,000 in REV funds for a new drive-through and walk-up menu board, microphone system, headsets, patio lighting, shades, and an outdoor speaker system. 

Fermented Felon, a business making handcrafted kombucha using natural ingredients, will use its $4,000 award to purchase two new 1,000-liter variable-volume fermenters to help defray production costs. It will also allow them to expand their distribution network into new targeted markets. 

Dozens of applications were received, but in the end, five business owners pitched to a group of judges who ultimately made the decision to distribute the funds in this manner. 

The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce was pleased to sponsor the event, and President & CEO Drew Kamp served as a judge at the event. 

“Events such as this set Southwest Iowa apart and provide opportunities for local small business owners and entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and have a higher probability of success. We thank TS Bank and Advance Southwest Iowa for making this possible and allowing us to partner with them in doing so,” said Kamp. 

TS Bank has led this initiative since its inception in 2015, and Advance Southwest Iowa joined in the effort in 2020. In that time, over $114,000 has been awarded to participating businesses. 

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“We believe our communities are only as strong as our small businesses. We want to help create a positive ecosystem for more startups in southwest Iowa. Launching REV and collaborative partnerships help spur continued growth and for more business dreams to become reality,” said Kelsey Stupfell, Director of Public Relations for TS Bank. 

Advance Southwest Iowa’s President and CEO Paula Hazlewood shares Kelsey’s sentiment. 

“Advance’s partnership with TS Bank in 2020 to relaunch REV has proven to be an important component to ramp up the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Southwest Iowa. The 2022 REV event was a great opportunity for the community to support our entrepreneurs and small businesses as they pitched their ideas and showed their passion for growing their businesses. Advance’s LaUNch initiative was strategically designed to assist those founders that are working from their barns, garages and kitchen tables . . . dreamers are “always” welcomed @ https://advancesouthwestiowa.com/startup%2Flaunch.”

TS Bank, Advance Southwest Iowa, and participating community partners are very excited to see what REV will have to offer in 2023 and beyond, as the entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to grow throughout Southwest Iowa. The Entrepreneurial Task Force, led by Advance Southwest Iowa, with the support of the Iowa West Foundation, stands ready to serve this critical demographic going forward.

Save These Dates:

December 07: Legislative Kickoff
CB Chamber discusses public policy.

December 07: Impact CB Holiday Party
Network with young professionals!

December 08: Women Inspiring Women
Connect with Inspiring Women in our Community!

December 13: Coffee & Contacts
Great opportunity to network!

December 15: Workforce Lunch & Learn
Network Opportunity with HR Professionals!

December 15: Chamber Mixer
Great Opportunity to Network!

January 26, 2023: Chamber Annual Meeting
Annual update on chamber programs.

Holiday Season

The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes the holiday season…the decorations, the lights, the music, and best of all, the food, and gifts. We have all heard of the many benefits of shopping locally. Most importantly, such sales provide a significant economic boost to the local community and local business owners alike via the taxes and fees every purchase creates. These dollars are then reinvested back into the community, which is the greatest benefit of all.

According to Forbes.com, small businesses reinvest in the local economy at a higher rate than chains do. For every $100 spent at a local business, approximately $68 stays in the community. This is more than two times the amount that national chains reinvest into the local community. 

Our metro area has numerous independent businesses that need your support this holiday season. The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce encourages consumers to find ways to support these local independent businesses on Small Business Saturday on November 26, 2022. 

We encourage everyone in the community to show their support for local independent businesses on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season by doing one or more of the following:

– Purchasing a holiday gift
– Purchasing a gift card
– Eating at your favorite local restaurant
– Ordering take-out or delivery
– Posting a positive review
– Sharing a social media post
– Signing up to receive newsletters or promotional emails
– Complementing service employees for their work
– Tipping generously
– Register for a class or workshop
– Purchasing tickets to attend shows and events

These are but a few ideas for consumers to make a difference. CB Chamber encourages everyone to find a way to support independent businesses in your area, and do your part to grow the local and regional economy!


Address: 149 West Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51503
Contact Us: (712) 325-1000 | drew@councilbluffsiowa.com
Website: www.councilbluffsiowa.com
Social Media: www.facebook.com/CouncilBluffsChamber