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Ignite! 2012 Ideas Contest
Everything You Need to Know
$5000 to Kickstart Your Ideas
Deadline to Apply - October 26
Attention all start-ups, small business owners, social entrepreneurs, savvy students, big thinkers, and go-getters. We’ve got a proposition for you...
EngenuitySC and Wells Fargo are teaming up to give away $5000 for your ideas!
Send us a video by October 19th outlining your original idea or business solution to start or grow a Columbia-based initiative, and we'll hook you up with a chance to be 1 of 3 presentations at Ignite! 2012. We'll put you on stage to pitch your idea to our audience of 500+. They will vote live via text for the winner, and you could walk away with $5,000.
Who can enter? Am I eligible?
- Individuals or organizations can enter the contest. If entering on behalf of an organization, be sure to list your pitch person as the main contact. There is serious money on the line, and we need to know our applicants are in it to win it and committed to their cause.
- Ideas should be well-thought out, exciting, and represent a chance to use $5000 to start something innovative. It can be a new product or a novel business solution. If your idea is similar to someone else's, that's okay! Your challenge is to tell us why your solution is unique and scalable.
I’m definitely interested - how do I enter?
We understand the importance of keeping things simple - especially for busy folks like yourself - so we tried to make this process as easy as possible. To enter,here’s what you’ll need with the associated dates to do it by:
- Fill out the form at the bottom of this page by October 26th. It will include a space for a 250-word summary of your idea, outlining the idea, your solution, and how $5000 could kickstart your plan.
- Record a two-minute video highlighting your creative presentation skills. Remember, you're trying to sell someone on your idea - get creative and have fun with it! Samples from last year's finalists are below.
- Our judges will narrow down the entries to five finalists by November 2.
- If selected as a finalist, you’ll present to a panel of judges the week of November 5.
- The judging panel will select the top three by November 9.
- If you’re in the top three, you’ll be invited to present live at the event on November 14.
What should go in my video? How do I win?
- Why you’re participating
- What’s your big idea? (Quick summary)
- Concept pitch - Details on what it is and why it matters.
- Relevancy to Columbia - What need does it address and why implement it here?
- Potential impact - How is it going to help our community, create jobs, etc?
- Realistic execution - How exactly will you use the prize money to pull it off?
- Special sauce - What makes your idea the best?
Our panel of community leaders will select the top submissions with the best presentations. Take a look at some of the finalists' videos on the Ignite! 2011 Ideas Contest playlist.
If you're selected, we'll put you on stage at Ignite! 2012 to pitch your idea to our audience. They'll vote by text for their favorite, and Wells Fargo will be on hand to immediately distirbute the $5000 on the spot! And don't forget to get your friends involved - the more supporters who attend, the more votes you get for your idea!
Have more questions or need help? Check out our FAQ's page.
Timeline of Events
- Ignite ideas contest submission closes - October 26th
- Top 5 submissions are notified - November 2nd
- Interviews - November 5th
- Top 3 selected and notified - November 9th
Ready to enter?
Fill out the form below. If you have more questions, we have a full list of additional information below. Now - go make movie magic!