Fast Pitch Competition seeks entrepreneurs & businesses

Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2013, 12:59 pm
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Press release submitted by University of Illinois Extension

Fast Pitch Competition Seeks Entrepreneurs & Businesses in Henry and Stark Counties to Reward
with Cash and Prizes for Great Business Ideas–Find out Meeting - March 11, Kewanee, IL
When it comes to creating jobs in Henry and Stark Counties, a team of local economic development leaders are putting together the 2nd Annual Fast Pitch Competition. They are looking for people willing to share their ideas for a new business, invention or a way to grow an existing business to a panel of judges for a chance to win cash and prizes that will help turn their ideas into reality.
The contest will take place on Tuesday, April 30 at Black Hawk College's Community Education Center in Kewanee, IL. "Entrepreneurs are the heartbeat of the economy – they represent ideas, innovation, talent, organizational skills and risk." said Joel Youngs of the Small Business Development Center who is among the groups helping to organize the upcoming competition. "The vast majority of jobs in the US are started by small business. We wanted to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs in Henry and Stark Counties to achieve success and hopefully, in the long run, to spur the creation or growth of a business and jobs in our local community."

Adults ages 18 and older who live or own a business in Henry and Stark Counties are invited to share their ideas for new retail, manufacturing, technology, agriculture and other businesses, or their ideas to improve an existing business or retail. Eligible participants will have 10 minutes to "pitch" their idea for a business, retail or invention that would be developed in Henry or Stark Counties. They make the presentation to judges during individual, confidential sessions for a chance to win cash, prizes, in-kind radio advertising from Regional Media, and professional consultation advice from members of the Midwest Intellectual Property Management Institute (IPI) who will help them learn what it takes to advance their ideas into reality.

Entries will be in the following categories Existing Business Expansion - This category is for those whose venture has already been in operation for 3 or more years. They are invited to share their idea on how to expand their current business. Prize Package includes $5,000 cash ($2,500 given at the Awards event and $2,500 given after consultation services are completed) 10 hours of professional business consultation services ($1,000 value) $15,000 in radio advertising from Regional Media and $260 in advertising from Stark County News. Runner-up will get $500 Cash and a free waiver to Black Hawk College's Small Business Development Center ($400 value).

Two Got an Idea Categories: Retail - This category is for those with a plan to start a new retail/sales business in Henry or Stark Counties. Non-Retail/Manufacturing - This category is for those with a plan to start a new business or develop a product in Agriculture, Manufacturing, and/or Technology. Prize Packages: In these two categories the 1st place winners will each receive $2,500 cash, ($1,250 at Awards event/$1,250 after consultation services are completed) 10 hours of professional business consultation services and $5,000 in radio advertising from Regional Media! Runners-up will each get $500 Cash and a free waiver to Black Hawk College's Small Business Development Center ($400 value).

Applications are due by Monday, 18. Those interested in applying are encouraged to attend a Find out Meeting on Monday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Community Education Center, 404 East 3rd Street, Kewanee, IL. This informational meeting will help participants learn what a Fast Pitch is and all that is involved in entering the competition. RSVPs are appreciated. Call University of Illinois Extension at (309) 853-1533 (Galva) or (309) 756-9978 or online at and look for Look for Henry Stark Fast Pitch Find Out Meeting under "Register online" on the right side.

Approved applicants will have the opportunity to participate in a Mock Fast Pitch on March 25. The actual competition will take place on April 30 at the Community Education Center, Kewanee, IL. Applications can be filled out online at: . Henry Stark Fast Pitch Application under "Register online" on the right side. or call (309) 756-9978. More information and applications can also be found at the Henry and Stark Counties Fast Pitch web site:

The team organizing the Fast Pitch includes Black Hawk College, Galva Economic Development Corporation, Grant Consulting, Henry and Stark Counties Development Network, Henry County Economic Development Partnership, Illinois Small Business Development Center, Stark County Economic Development, and University of Illinois Extension. Sponsors include: B and B Printing, Big River Resources; Bruner, Cooper & Zuck, Inc; Galva Chamber of Commerce; City of Galva; City of Kewanee; Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs; Kewanee Economic Development Corporation; Midwest Intellectual Property Management Institute, Peoples National Bank; Prairie Shopper; Regional Media; State Bank of Speer; State Bank of Toulon; Stark County; The Stark County News


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