Business pitch competition returns to Hayden

Nick LaGorga won the Hayden Business Pitch competition last year to boost his business, Yampa Valley Entertainment.
Nick LaGorga/Courtesy Photo

The Hayden Business Pitch Competition will return for its second year in 2022, offering local entrepreneurs a chance to earn seed money while bringing new ideas and business to the community.

“It’s just a really great opportunity for someone who’s thinking about it to really get into the realm of entrepreneurship,” said Tegan Ebbert, the city’s director of community development. “We definitely want to support our small businesses in Hayden, support entrepreneurship… We really want this to be an opportunity right now for people in this community who want to be entrepreneurs and who want to start a business that’s going to serve the community. ”

The deadline to apply for the Business Pitch Competition is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 23. Ebbert said those who wish to enter the competition must provide basic information, provide a general business concept and answer a few questions about what market solutions they are trying to solve or gaps in the economy they are trying to solve. try to fill.

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“This midnight Sunday is not the deadline for the fully formed business pitch,” Ebbert said. “This is basically a letter of intent in which you imply that you are going to enter the business pitch contest.”

Ebbert said that once applications are collected, Ashley Pines of the Small Business Development Center and Randy Rudasics of the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center will hold office hours in Hayden and meet with applicants in a mentoring role to improve pre-competition presentations.



“We’re going to require each of the applicants to participate in this small business counseling or mentoring – at least one appointment before the November 12 launch,” Ebbert said. “We will have help available to fully form their pitch or fully form their business idea because what we really want as a result of this is real businesses coming to Hayden.”

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She added that one of the interesting things about last year’s business pitch competition, which was won by Nick LaGorga of Yampa Valley Entertainment, was that many of the contestants – including those who won money and those who did not – opened businesses in the region.

This year, the first prize is $10,000, with the second taking home $5,000 and the third $3,000. If the winner represents a women’s or minority-owned business, they will receive an additional $5,000.


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The competition is open to businesses that are still in the planning stage or started in 2022. These businesses must be located in the Hayden School District, but the applicant or business owner can reside anywhere where. There will be a Business Pitch Contest event tentatively scheduled from 1-5 p.m. on November 12 and is open to the public. This event will be followed by an awards ceremony and mix from 5-7 p.m.

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“Our hope is that maybe some of our other small business owners in the community or other community members will come and hear about the businesses featured, so maybe there are some partnership opportunities or opportunities of support that people can create,” Ebbert said. “We just want to build excitement around these potential businesses.”

Ebbert said anyone interested in entering the business pitch contest can contact her at 970-457-7216 or email [email protected] with questions.

“Our goal is to connect them with resources because the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center and SBDC provide a wealth of resources that Hayden may not have access to that can help connect them with mentorships at term for small businesses, or an understanding of components of business ownership that they might not have thought of,” Ebbert said. “We really want real business to come out of it.”



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