FORT WAYNE - Founders Spark, Start Fort Wayne and Venture Club of Indiana have partnered to create BLAZE, a regional pitch competition. Competitors will today have a chance to win cash prizes and a spot at the Venture Club of Indiana’s 2019 Innovation Showcase August 22 in Indianapolis.

The contest will take place Tuesday at The Philmore on Broadway in Fort Wayne from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

 Each BLAZE competitor will have four minutes to pitch their idea to the panel and the audience. Then, 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.

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.

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)

"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," said Dave Sanders, founder and board chair of Start Fort Wayne.