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'Launch Fostoria' competition offers 1-year lease, consulting for new business

The competition will award the winning idea with a community vote on July 23, 2021.

FOSTORIA, Ohio — If you've been dreaming of starting your own business, there might be a great opportunity in one northwest Ohio town.

A new competition has been started by the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce, called "Launch Fostoria."

With similar rules to the popular TV show "Shark Tank," anyone with a new business idea can submit their business plan. Six to eight semi-finalists will be chosen, and a panel of judges will then move four to six business ideas to the finals.

The public will be invited to vote on their favorite ideas still standing.

The winner will receive funding to cover a year's lease, free consulting services, classes and training, and a $1,000 grant.

The goal is to get this new business into a vacant downtown storefront, but it can be anywhere in the city of Fostoria if need be.

The ultimate goal is to not only help an entrepreneur get a jump start on their new business, but to also help get the gears turning for other potential businesses as well.

"It's part of the reason we wanted to do it. We want to jump-start everyone's ideas and really get a new business in Fostoria. But we also want to help identify other viable business opportunities," Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Director Sarah Stephens-Krupp said.

The deadline to register your new business idea is May 7. The finals will be held in downtown Fostoria on July 23.