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BLAZE: NEI Regional Pitch Competition Sparks Entrepreneurial Investments

Founders Spark, Start Fort Wayne and Venture Club of Indiana have partnered to create BLAZE, a regional pitch competition created to bring together the top entrepreneurial talent in the northeast Indiana region on July 9 at The Philmore on Broadway from 5:30-9:30 PM.

Entrepreneurs from northeast Indiana submitted applications to be selected to pitch their businesses to a panel of investment judges and the community. Each competitor will have four minutes to pitch their idea to the panel and the audience. After pitches have been made, the judges will choose a first and second place winner. Second place will win a cash prize of $2,000, and first place will win a cash prize of $3,000 as well as advance to compete at the Venture Club of Indiana’s 2019 Innovation Showcase on August 22 in Indianapolis. There will also be a People’s Choice Award that will be voted on by the community and wins a cash prize of $1,000.

Dave Sanders, Founder and Board Chair of Start Fort Wayne says this about the upcoming competition: “It is important for our region to hold events like BLAZE to showcase our local startup talent. As our nascent startup culture grows in northeast Indiana, it’s crucial to have events like BLAZE to highlight the enormous amount of talent we have in the region, and to inspire others with great ideas to step up and get started. Start Fort Wayne is proud to be a part of creating this event in our region, and it’s a key part of the work we’re doing to help build a growth oriented startup culture in northeast Indiana.”

The following ten entrepreneurs were invited to pitch their businesses at this event:

1. Melanie Watson (Blaire Biomedical)

2. Daniel King (Stash Duell LLC)

3. Donald Reynolds (Bespokely, LLC)

4. Jack Patton (STRE.ME)

5. R Wesley Gensch (CoolCorp Inc)

6. Robert Johnson (Bukál Beverage Co)

7. Kyle Craig (Apollo Dynamics Inc)

8. Justin Sheehan (Emporia)

9. Melissa Hall (Sample Snap)

10. Mitchell Skees (3B Apps)

This event is free to attend, but tickets are required. Tickets are available at:

BLAZE is sponsored by SEED Fort Wayne as well as supporting sponsors STAR Bank, Elevate Northeast Indiana, Greater Fort Wayne, Inc, and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.