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Columbus News

Posted on: October 5, 2023

Big Idea Columbus aims to help and inspire entrepreneurship


You don’t have to swim with sharks to get your dream of entrepreneurship in Columbus off the ground.

The Central Community College Entrepreneurship Center has officially launched “Big Idea Columbus.” Based on the hit ABC TV show “Shark Tank,” up to 10 area residents will be asked to make a two-minute pitch for a product, service or invention in front of judges beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Columbus Innovation Center, 2311 14th St. 

But first, anyone who wants to submit an idea can do so now through midnight Thursday, Oct. 12, by clicking here. It doesn’t matter if your idea is for a business, a nonprofit or product – the goal is just to help people pursue their passion.

“I am excited to be part of an event that supports local business development and entrepreneurship in the Columbus area,” said Kelli Faltys, CCC-Columbus Entrepreneurship Center coordinator. “This is a great opportunity for would-be entrepreneurs to turn their dream of owning their own business into reality. Whether an idea is in the infant stages or ready to be launched, Big Idea Columbus gives dreamers a unique platform to share it.”

Those who might be nervous about making a live pitch in front of a panel of local entrepreneurs and an audience need not worry. Faltys said she will work with all finalists beforehand to make sure they’re fully prepared.

The audience will ultimately help select the overall winner, who will receive a $5,000 prize that consists of cash and services in helping that person bring their idea to life. The second-place prize is worth $1,000 and third-place prize is worth $500.

Applicants ideally are at least 19. Those under 19 will need to provide their parents’ permission.

“We encourage students, locals, retirees, veterans, and anywhere in between to submit an idea,” Faltys said.

Columbus Mayor Jim Bulkley brought up the competition during the Oct. 2 Columbus City Council meeting, praising the concept that is based on supporting local entrepreneurship.

“It just sounded kind of neat,” Bulkley said. “A thing that would be nice to promote in our community.”

The Nov. 9 event will be free and open to the public.

Faltys is undoubtedly eager to see what comes out of Big Idea Columbus.

“I’m passionate about my community,” she said. “And this is just a great way for someone who has an innovative idea to share and get it out there.”

For more information, contact Faltys at 402-562-1242.

Copyright © 2023 City of Columbus

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