The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is looking for entrepreneurial small business owners to participate in the annual Starke Tank Countywide Business Pitch Competition. It will take place Sunday, August 20 at 3 p.m. CDT at Knox Community High School in Knox, Ind.
Contestants do not have to reside in Starke County; however, they must operate a business there or be willing to establish one within the county limits if they win. Small businesses that have been open for three years or less, new businesses that are not yet operational, and established businesses that have changed ownership within the past three years are all eligible.
So are businesses that have been in operation for more than three years that are developing growth through a new product, service line, expansion, or implementation of a new strategic plan. The company’s growth plan must be clear to be eligible.
Starke Tank is in its fourth year, and its second as a countywide competition. Last year 10 contestants took part. Irelynd Alexis Boutique in downtown Knox won the $12,000 first prize. Bone Boss Game Calls placed second and won $6,000.
Local businesses, utilities, corporations, banks, Realtors, and governmental entities donate toward the prize money and provide door prizes, which are given away to audience members during the event.
“Our sponsors recognize that a vibrant small business community is critical to Starke County’s growth and continued success,” SCEDF Executive Director Lisa Dan said. “We hope to make this year’s Starke Tank our biggest and best yet.”
There is no cost for contestants to enter. They will receive free coaching from an Indiana Small Business Development Center advisor and will be required to participate in a dress rehearsal. Applications and a complete list of rules can be found online at www.scedf.biz.
“Starke Tank” provides great exposure for the participants and the sponsors,” Dan said. “Audience members will learn about each business, and the sponsors will be featured in the event program as well as at the venue.”
Contact the Starke County Economic Development Foundation at 574-772-5627 or email@example.com for more information about Starke Tank 2023 sponsorships.
Eligibility Rules and Requirements
- Starke Tank is open to start-up businesses which commenced business operations less than three years ago as well as new businesses that are not yet operational. This includes established businesses that are under new ownership within the past three years.
- Companies that are older than three years may apply IF they are developing growth through a new product, service line, expansion, or implementation of a new strategic plan. The company’s growth plan must be clear to be eligible.
- The competition is not limited to Starke County residents, but the prize is contingent on the winner locating and maintaining the business in Starke County.
- Your business idea must be original work that you will be fully able to disclose.
- Nonprofit organizations are not eligible.
- Applicants must agree to the terms of the Starke Tank 2023 – The Countywide Business Pitch Competition rules and requirements.
- Applications for the Starke Tank 2023 – The Countywide Business Pitch Competition must be received by Friday, June 30, 2023 and sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications can also be mailed to Starke County Economic Development Foundation, 1915 S. Heaton St., Knox, IN 46534, or delivered to the office between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. CDT. Mailed applications must be postmarked by June 30, 2023. SCEDF is not responsible for lost or misdirected mail.
- Applications are available on the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) website, www.scedf.biz.
- Submissions may be entered by individuals or teams. For the sake of this document, everyone will be referred to as “teams” or “participants.”
- All application forms must be complete at the time of submission. The accompanying business plan and financial projections are due by July 28, 2023, and must be submitted to participate. These documents will be shared with the Starke Tank judges but will otherwise remain confidential. Some applications may not be accepted.
- All participants selected as finalists must take part in one participant development session with officials from the Indiana Small Business Development Center and SCEDF prior to the competition.
- All finalists must participate in a rehearsal on Saturday, August 19, 2023, at Knox Community High School.
- The competition will take place on Sunday, August 20, 2023, at 3 p.m. CDT at Knox Community High School. Participants are encouraged to present in-person, but video presentation submissions are allowed. Please let SCEDF staff know as soon as possible if you will be presenting in person or via video. Contestants are strongly encouraged to provide a copy of their presentation for each of the judges.
- Each individual or team has up to five (5) minutes to present their pitch. The judges will have an opportunity to ask questions after each presentation.
- Teams that plan to use any audio-visual materials (including but not limited to PowerPoint presentations, videos, and music) must provide media files on a flash drive in a format compatible with Microsoft Office applications. It is the responsibility of the individual or team to ensure their presentations are compatible and to bring any adapters necessary to ensure that everything works. The media files will be managed on our system.
- Only the product and/or service can be presented for the audience and judges during the presentation.
- Participants will be disqualified if they, or someone on their behalf, attempt to approach a judge in connection with this competition.
- Participants who promote activities which are illegal, illicit, unethical, immoral or which may be considered unworthy of association with SCEDF and/or ISBDC will be disqualified.
- By entering the competition, all participants agree to allow SCEDF to use their application materials, photos, likenesses, presentations, and other such information to market, promote and provide information about the event without expectation of financial compensation.
The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is a nonprofit local economic development organization (LEDO) providing economic development opportunities on behalf of Starke County, Indiana, the City of Knox, and the Towns of North Judson and Hamlet through the development of industrial parks, rail spurs, greenfield sites, shovel-ready sites, infrastructure, and workforce development. For more information regarding the Starke County Economic Development Foundation, visit www.scedf.biz.