Ignition Challenge, Presented by MidCountry Bank

ABOUT THE IGNITION CHALLENGE

Amidst the pandemic, the PenFed Foundation Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program (VEIP) realized the opportunity to prepare and strengthen veteran-owned small businesses to better serve the economy and create meaningful jobs. Military entrepreneurs are perfectly poised to act on this opportunity, as they have the resourcefulness, grit, and flexibility needed to succeed.

VEIP’s Ignition Challenge is a competition in which military entrepreneurs with a new business or an idea for a business can identify their business impact and goals, compete for votes, and winners will receive both funding and mentorship.

VETERAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The military provides veterans with the exact skills – leadership, teamwork, discipline, and flexibility – needed to launch successful businesses. Approximately one-in-four veterans has expressed interest in starting a business. When veterans are successful in launching businesses, they tend to out earn non-veteran entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, veteran entrepreneurship has declined because of limited professional networks, as well as lack of access to capital: veterans are 30 percent more likely to be turned down for a request made for credit than non-veterans.

VEIP’s mission is to provide veteran-owned companies the resources and network to access capital to build and grow their businesses, and we will support military entrepreneurs in the Midwest through the Ignition Challenge.

WHO SHOULD APPLY

  • All veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or military spouses;
  • Living in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, or North Dakota;
  • With a business idea or new company that is at least 50% military-owned and operated.

All Ignition Challenge applicants must agree and adhere to Terms & Conditions.

PRESENTED BY:

KEY DATES:

May 17 - 29, 2022 – Applications Open

June 8, 2022 – Finalists Announced

June 20 - 29, 2022 - Public Voting

June 30, 2022 – Top 5 Finalists Announced

July 14, 2022 – Pitch Competition at MidCountry Bank HQ

AWARDS:

First Place: $25,000 & Promotional Video
Second Place: $20,000
Third-Fifth Places: $10,000 Each

ALL FIVE FINALISTS RECEIVE:

- Pitch Preparation
- Digital Marketing
- National Promotion

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