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GREAT BEND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

PRESENTS

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A "Shark Tank" inspired competition to drive entrepreneurship in Barton County!

HOW IT 
WORKS

Watch this short video to learn all about how IGNITE works! We'll walk you through what the competition is, the deadlines for each round, and the rules and requirements for entering your business. Good luck!

ROUND 1

Pitch Your 

Business

You'll provide us with a 5-minute video pitch and a business plan. Need help with your business plan? We have professional help available at no cost!

DEADLINE:
JUNE 13, 2024

ROUND 2

Professional Coaching

The top 25 participants will be selected to move on to round two. In this round, you will receive professional coaching to improve your business plan for round 3.

SELECTION:
JUNE 28, 2024

ROUND 3

Semifinalist Selection

The top 10 participants are selected to move on to round three. At this point, you will be paired with a business mentor that will stay with you to the end.

SELECTION:
AUG. 2, 2024

SEMIFINALS

Committee Interviews

In the semifinal round, the top ten participants are interviewed by the IGNITE selection committee, with the top five advancing to the final round.

SELECTION:
SEPT. 27, 2024

FINALS

The Live Five

The top five participants will make a Shark Tank style pitch to a live audience during our finale event, held at the Crest Theater in Great Bend!

LIVE SHOW:
OCT. 10, 2024

READY TO 
TAKE YOUR SHOT?

IGNITE FINALE

PARTICIPANT
TESTIMONIALS

Hear how IGNITE has helped past participants gain invaluable skills and knowledge for growing successful businesses.

"The mentorship we received throughout the process was invaluable. Hearing from another business owner who was open and honest with us helped us feel better equipped to start our business."

Andrea Bauer

Greystone

"The IGNITE competition was exhilarating, scary, and so much fun all at the same time. We learned so much through the different phases of interviews, and the night of the finale was incredibly memorable for us."

Brittney Bailey

10-39 Cafe

"Going through the IGNITE program helped give me more confidence, both professionally and personally. Our mentor also helped us a lot with new ideas, how to advertise, and general wisdom for running a business."

Johan Sanchez

Hatchet Axtion

MEET THE 2023
FINALISTS

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10-39 CAFE

Chance & Brittney Bailey Jarrett & Audrey Mermis

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GREYSTONE

Rob & Andrea Bauer

Matt & Dena Hiss

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HATCHET AXTION

Sage Cauley & Johan Sanchez

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MANASES TURF

Raza Manase & Kevin Manase

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RÜHE DAY SPA

Danielle Lee

2023 WINNERS

1st Place - Greystone

2nd Place - 10-39 Cafe

3rd Place - Hatchet Axtion

People's Choice - 10-39 Cafe

WHAT IS OUR
GOAL?

To empower, support and cultivate entrepreneurs. In Barton County we strive to champion creativity and innovative thinking and compliment a project or idea with the tools, resources and investment necessary to see it thrive. We aim for this competition to be the first of many efforts to continue that mission in a positive and impactful way.

To bring new and innovative business ideas to Barton County that will provide new industry, new jobs and an entrepreneurship culture now and in the future.

START UP
SUPPORT

Click here to view available classes and trainings to help you in your start up business. Whether you're planning to compete in IGNITE or not, these classes are designed to help entrepreneurs thrive in the business world!

COMPETITOR
PORTAL

Once you've signed up as a competitor, your competitor portal will help guide you through the entire process. Click the button below to log in.

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SPONSORSHIPS

IGNITE is made possible by generous investors like you! Click the button to the right to learn more about becoming an IGNITE sponsor.

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THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS
SPONSORS

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