Corridor joins forces with Buena Vista University in winning Google grant

23 Aug 2019

Press Release, Grants, Buena Vista University, Partnerships

Vote for People's Choice now through August 30th!


Storm Lake, Iowa (Aug. 23, 2019) – The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation (Corridor) in partnership with Buena Vista University (BVU) has won a prestigious Google grant to advance programming aimed at facilitating business transitions across Iowa.


The Corridor joined with BVU’s Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business to embark on a “Match, Learn, Launch” initiative. This project pairs retiring business owners with up-and-coming business operators throughout Iowa and provides mentoring and educational support to new entrepreneurs from succession match to new launch.


The partnership won a $175,000 competitive grant from Google through the company’s Grow With Google Program which seeks to aid the nonprofits as they work to create economic opportunities for entrepreneurs of all ages. Grow With Google aims to help everyone across America access the best of Google’s training and tools to grow their skills, careers, businesses, and nonprofits. A portion of this initiative is the Impact Challenge Iowa, which awards $1 million in grant funding to nonprofits in support of big ideas to create opportunity in Iowa.


A “match-making” app will link business owners who seek assistance in finding a successor for their enterprise with new entrepreneurs educated for sustained success. The need is critical as 71 Iowa counties have lost population in the last decade, and half of the state’s business owners are older than 50. This project aims to help solve the succession gap, keeping ideas, wealth, and people in Iowa.

“The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation and Buena Vista University both are leaders in building the economy of northwest Iowa,” said John Tatman. “Working together we can make important strides in helping area business owners find interested buyers for their companies.”


“Our board and investors have identified business succession as an opportunity to differentiate the Corridor region positively,” said Kiley Miller. “We are confident that both business buyers and sellers are here and only need to be connected and assisted, which this generous grant from Google will make possible.”

The Corridor’s joint effort with BVU represents one of five winners in Iowa that qualified for a $175,000 grant and training assistance from Google. The public has the chance to vote for a favorite idea among those winners through Aug. 30. The idea earning the most votes, dubbed the People’s Choice, will receive an additional $125,000. Vote for the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation and BVU’s “Match, Learn, Launch” project at


# # #


The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is the regional economic development agency for Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties. Its mission is to foster, encourage, aid, promote or otherwise assist in the economic growth and development of the region. For more information about the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, call 712-264-3474 or visit



Since 1891, Buena Vista University has prepared students for lifelong success and blends liberal arts with real-world applications. Our traditional campus on the shores of Storm Lake hosts students in a variety of majors and pre-professional programs, including elementary, secondary, and special education; business and accounting; and biological and chemical sciences. Our degree-completion locations, online, and graduate programs expand student potential with a pace and academic rigor designed for working adults and a variety of class formats that make scheduling even more convenient. With an average scholarship of more than 50 percent off of tuition, BVU is an affordable option for all students. Visit