Hy-Vee awarded $50,000 to local minority- and women owned businesses during the Hy-Vee OpportUNITY Inclusive Business Summit at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The event was the third summit Hy-Vee has hosted in support of underrepresented groups to provide these business owners with access to funding and valuable business development resources.
During the pitch competition portion of the event, 15 companies from around Minnesota had the opportunity to present to a panel of judges and more than 350 event attendees. Each company leader demonstrated their product or service for the chance to win a small business grant.
A committee of community business experts and Hy-Vee executives served as judges and selected the finalists from a pool of nearly 150 applications.
Hy-Vee recognized the following during an awards presentation:
Grand prize winner – $30,000: Momease Solutions Inc., Plymouth, Minnesota
Momease Solutions is a women-owned company founded in September 2021 by Ashley Mooneyham after she struggled to pump breast milk while working full time. The business aims to create an innovative warming and massaging pumping bra to facilitate fast, comfortable and complete milk extraction while using a breast pump.
Category: food and beverage
- 1st place – $5,000: All Clean Food, Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area, Minnesota
All Clean Food was founded by Laura Meemken to make eating well easier for all, including those with food allergies and sensitivities. The company sells organic, gluten free, plant-based pasta meals that are free from the top 14 food allergens. Meals are made with real ingredients and is ready to eat in 12 minutes.
Category: innovation and technology
- 1st place – $5,000: TurnSignl, Minneapolis, Minnesota
About: TurnSignl is a Black-owned mobile platform that connects drivers to attorneys through video chat during traffic stops and car accidents. The award-winning app is live in more than 20 states nationwide. TurnSignl’s mission is to protect drivers’ civil rights, deescalate roadside interactions and get everyone home safely.
Category: health, wellness and beauty
- 1st place – $5,000: Dress Up to Calm Down, St. Paul, Minnesota
Dress Up to Calm Down helps kids with sensory processing difficulties, autism and anxiety calm down using weighted costumes. The costumes provide a fun alternative to the weighted vests and blankets on the market right now. Additionally, the organization is working on launching a line of discreet weighted everyday clothing for kids.
Soul Grain from St. Paul and Silk Road Wellness from Bloomington were presented with the Judge’s Choice Award and received $2,500 each.
In addition to the above winners, the following companies were also selected to participate in the pitch competition: No Sugar Baker Treats from Eagan; LOV3 IT S3ASONING from Minneapolis; Voices of Effective Change GBC dba Lutunji’s Palate from Minneapolis; The Beauty Lounge from Minneapolis; Kobi Co. from Minneapolis; Suite Surroundings from Andover; Soak iT Up (Clards.com) from Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area; Forever Ware from Minneapolis; and Kinbee from Bemidji.
The event also featured an expo offering resources for small businesses and learning opportunities through presentations and panel discussions, as well as the chance to learn about local brands. The event space was provided courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings.