Business pitch competition returns to Hayden

Nick LaGorga won last year’s Hayden Business Pitch competition 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 the opportunity to earn start-up cash while bringing new ideas and businesses to the community.

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

The deadline to apply for the business presentation competition is Sunday, October 23 at 11:59 p.m. market solutions they are trying to address or what gaps in the economy they are trying to fill.

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“That Sunday at midnight, the deadline is not for the fully formed business pitch,” Ebbert said. “It’s essentially a letter of intent that you’re implying that you’re going to enter the business presentation competition.”

Ebbert said that once the applications have been collected, Ashley Pines with the Small Business Development Center and Randy Rudasics with the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center will have office hours in Hayden and meet with applicants in a mentoring role. to improve throws before the competition.



“We’re going to require every single applicant to participate in that small business counseling or mentoring at least one appointment before the launch takes place on November 12,” Ebbert said. “We will have help available to fully form your presentation or your business idea because what we really want as a result of this is real business coming to Hayden.”

He 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 applicants, including those who made money and those who didn’t, opened businesses in the area.

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This year the jackpot is $10,000, with second taking home $5,000 and third taking home $3,000. If the winner represents a minority or woman-owned business, she will receive an additional $5,000.


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The competition is open to businesses that are still in the planning stages or established in 2022. Those businesses must be located in the Hayden School District, but the applicant or business owner may reside anywhere. There will be a business presentation competition event tentatively scheduled for November 12 from 1-5 pm and is open to the public. That event will be followed by an awards ceremony and mixer from 5 to 7 p.m.

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

Ebbert said anyone interested in entering the business presentation competition can contact her at 970-457-7216 or via email at [email protected] with questions

“Our goal is to connect them with resources because both the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center and the SBDC provide a wealth of resources that Hayden may not have access to that can help them connect with long-term small business mentors, or an understanding of components of business ownership that you may not have thought of,” Ebbert said. “We definitely want real business to come out of this.”



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