Do you want the opportunity to get your business idea off the ground and grow it into a fully-fledged venture? Apply to Spark Tank!
Phase 1: Training and Mentorship
Qualified entrepreneurs will receive six months of training in mindset orientation and business idea development, including ideation, business planning, financial forecasting and pitching to investors, using the proven FastTrac® education model developed by The Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City.
Classes will be taught by instructors from the School of Business at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and will take place both remotely and in-person locally. Throughout their training, entrepreneurs will be supported by mentors to help them further explore, evaluate and grow their ideas and plan for a business in the community.
Phase 2: The Spark Tank Pitch Event
After completing their training and refining their business ideas under the advice of mentors, participating entrepreneurs move on to the Spark Tank pitch event! Entrepreneurs pitch their business plans to judges and potential investors, in front of an audience that includes:
- Members of the community
- Program supporters, mentors and volunteers
- The “Spark Team,” a group of professionals (accountants, marketing specialists, engineers, etc.) who are interested in joining a start-up enterprise as a part-time or full-time employee.
Phase 3: Building the Startup
The day after presenting at the pitch event, entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to review backgrounds, interests and resumes for the Spark Team professionals who were in the audience during the event. After making selections, entrepreneurs “draft” members to their entrepreneurial venture, and the teams begin their journey together. This makes the Spark Tank a full-community investment experience!
Finally, to facilitate fully launching these new endeavors into growing businesses, the Spark Tank program provides startup resources to the newly formed entrepreneurial teams. These resources may include shared office and meeting spaces, computers, phones, and more! Check out program locations to learn about the resources available for a specific program.