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IGNITE Rural Business

Great Bend, KS

Business application deadline
June 13, 2024
Judge sign-up deadline
Entry fee
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Great Bend Economic Development presents the 2nd annual IGNITE Rural Business. This competition exists to empower, support and cultivate entrepreneurs and foster new business in Great Bend and the surrounding area. Here in Barton County we strive to champion creativity and innovative thinking and compliment a project or idea with the tools, resources and investment necessary to see it thrive. We aim for this competition to be the just one of many efforts to continue that mission in a positive and impactful way.

Schedule and key dates

June 13, 2024 All application components due.

June 28, 2024 Up to 25 applicants will be selected to engage in a one-on-one meeting with a business planning professional here in Great Bend or virtually should you be outside of Barton County.

*In this phase, the business planning professional will assist in strengthening the the applicants business plan. The business planning professional will then assess all of the businesses on  innovation, creativity and long term business strategy and viability.

August 2, 2024 Up to 10 applicants that complete the pre-selection process will be selected as Semi-Finalists.

*In this phase, all semi-finalists will be matched with one or more business mentors to strengthen their business idea. The semi-finalists will then meet in person in Great Bend with the IGNITE jury. The semi-finalists will each be provided ten (10) minutes to present their company and to convince the members of the jury of the merits of their business concept. Every pitch will be followed by up to ten (10) minutes of Q&A conducted by the jury. The jury will assess all of the businesses on innovation, creativity and long term business strategy and viability.

September 27th, 2024 Up to 5 applicants will be chosen to continue on and compete at the live event on October 10th, 2024 as Finalists to see who will win big money to start their business in Barton County!

October 10th, 2024 The top 5 will compete live at the Crest Theatre in Great Bend, KS for a chance to win the following prize monies:
1st place: $50,000
2nd place: $30,000
3rd place: $10,000
Peoples Choice: $5,000

*Finalists will be required to present their concept in a live event. A tradeshow-like presentation and/or other innovative ways to show off your business concept are encouraged for this final round.

Visit for more information and to follow along with the competition. 

Organized by

Great Bend Economic Development, Inc.

Date and time

Address and location

1905 Lakin Ave
Great Bend, KS 67530


Rules and Guidelines

All Applicants are required to read and sign the attached IGNITE GB Contest rule...

Weight: 20%
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Business Plan

The business plan is your opportunity to explain your businesses further objecti...

Weight: 30%
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Video Pitch

In this component you'll pitch your business and explain what you would plan to...

Weight: 50%
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Custom Component