The Process



Applications will be assessed based on the following key criteria:

  •   Compelling business venture with innovative focus
  •   Rapidly scalable, large market opportunity
  •   Strong, committed and coachable team


Pitch Schools Round One

All Category Entrepreneurs – September 20th, 2016

Successful applicants will participate in a three hour pitch school, led by Spark Advisor Bob Weese.  Applicants will learn the art of making a 1 minute elevator pitch in preparation for the Ignite Pitch Competitions to be held the following week.


Pitch Competitions Round One

Young Entrepreneurs – September 27th, 2016
General Entrepreneurs – September 28th, 2016
Student Entrepreneurs – September 29th, 2016

Each Ignite startup will have a chance to make their pitch to a Power Panel made up of local entrepreneurs and business leaders. The Power Panel will be responsible for judging each pitch and selecting finalists who will move on to the Central Pitch Competition.


Pitch School Round Two

All Category Entrepreneurs – October 4th, 2016

Before participating in the Central Pitch Competition participants will have a chance to refine their pitch further with Spark Advisory team.


Pitch Competition Round Two

All Category Entrepreneurs – October 13th, 2016

Finalists from each Local Pitch Competition will participate in a Central Pitch Competition. Each team will have the opportunity to deliver a 3 minute investment pitch to the Ignite Power Panel. After presentations are complete, a Student Entrepreneur will be selected on site and awarded $5,000 and 5 Ignite finalists will be chosen to advance to the next round. These finalists include 2 Young Entrepreneurs and 3 General Entrepreneurs.


Boardroom Bootcamp

The selected finalists (2 Young Entrepreneurs and 2 General Entrepreneurs) will participate in a bootcamp lead by Spark Advisors and local business leaders to develop a formal 20 minute investment presentation. The bootcamp will provide insight into the real process of investment presentations and the type of questions that presenters will be faced with.


Boardroom Presentations

Young & General Entrepreneurs – November 15th, 2016

The final step in the Ignite process – the 4 Ignite finalists will each deliver a 20 minute investment presentation to the Ignite Power Panel. The presentation will be followed by a 10 minute Q&A session, where team will face real scrutiny from entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders who have been there and done that. Following the Boardroom Presentations, our Ignite Power Panel will select the two Ignite winners!


Awards Ceremony

Young & General Entrepreneurs – November 17th, 2016