Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley

2018 Launchpad Competition

Ready to “Launch” the Next Great Idea?

By now, most of the civilized world has seen an episode of “Shark Tank.”  An entrepreneur is launching a new business or posing the next great invention to a panel of judges, hoping one of them will approve of the concept and invest in the venture. 

What if you had the chance to do that locally?

Guess what?  You will!

A team from the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council (MOVRC) is hosting its 3rd annual business pitch contest called “Launchpad.”  The MOVRC is a regional agency comprised of elected officials and economic development professionals who come together to work on regional concerns that affect all our communities in an eight-county region (Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood.)  And new business development is one of our key goals!


Who qualifies to pitch an idea in the Launchpad contest?

Since the MOVRC covers these eight counties, contestants for our Launchpad contest must be from one of these counties.

If I’m already an existing business, can I enter the contest?

To enter you must be a new business start-up (in idea phase) or have been in business for less than two years.

What’s the first step?

You must complete our short three-page application.  We will want to know a little about you personally, your business concept or product, your target audience for the product, and what type of financing you need to make your idea a reality. 

The deadline to submit an application is July 31.

What comes next?

Applications will be reviewed and the top prospects will be invited to the Launchpad event on the evening of September 13. The event is open to the public to come and hear your ideas – in fact, the public will be allowed to vote on their favorite presentation from those that present that evening.  Combining the points from the judges’ panel and the public votes, a winner will be presented with prize money to help launch their idea.

Will the judges be rough on me like Mr. Wonderful is to the contestants on Shark Tank?

It is our goal to provide an environment that supports entrepreneurs!  We can promise no one will be too tough on you.  The judges will have the opportunity to ask a few questions after your presentation to help aid in their decision to select a winner.  No one from the audience will be allowed to ask questions. 

Did you say “prize money”??

Yes, you read that correctly.  We are currently securing sponsors for the event and the money will be used to help you “launch” your idea.  While we won’t be on the same financial level as Shark Tank financers, we are excited that we can help fund a portion of your next great idea and see a new business venture come to fruition.  In addition to a prize of at $5,000, the winner will make connections with several business development professionals in the area served by the MOVRC.  

We are hopeful this Launchpad initiative will further encourage and entice entrepreneurship and grow new business in the area.  So start preparing your materials and practice your 5 minute pitch – you could be the next contestant for the MOVRC Launchpad!