Apply to compete in Fostoria’s own version of Shark Tank! This business pitch competition will end with a LIVE public event where attendees vote on the winner.


The winner will receive a prize package valued at almost $18,000 and includes a one year lease, consulting services, advertising packages, and more.


Completed applications may be emailed to: or dropped off to the Fostoria Learning Center, 342 Perry St, Fostoria, Ohio during business hours. All applications must be submitted by May 7.


Am I eligible…

Launch Fostoria is open to anyone interested in opening or growing a business in Fostoria.  Eligible applicants must be a for-profit business, that has not earned more than $250,000 in revenue in the past year.  Eligible applicants must also be able to attend all scheduled in person events listed on the event timeline below. 

How the selection process works…

All applications will be reviewed by a panel of judges and 6-8 businesses will be selected to move on to the Launch semi-finals.  Semi-finalists will be given the opportunity to attend a pitch workshop to create and refine their pitch prior to pitching to a panel of judges on June 16. 

4-6 business will be selected from the semi-finals to move on to the Finals, a live public event on Friday evening July 23.  Finalists will give their pitches to the public and anyone from the public wishing to vote may pay $5 to do so.  A winner will be announced live at the Finals. 

What will I win….

The winner will receive a prize package valued at almost $18,000 and includes:

  • One Year Lease in downtown Fostoria (or equivalent dollar amount in appropriate space-valued at approx. $8,000)
  • Advertising packages for print and radio courtesy of The Review Times and WKXA, The Fox, WFIN (approx. $1,000)
  • Branding & Marketing Services from JYoakam Communications (valued at $5,000)
  • $1,000 Shuff Family Small Business-Entrepreneur Grant
  • Trainings of your choice at Fostoria Learning Center offered by Northwest State Community College (valued at $500)
  • $400 in Trainings of your choice at the Fostoria Learning Center
  • One Hour Legal Advising (approx. value $250)
  • Three Hours Accounting Advising (approx. $875)
  • CO.STARTERS Course ($250)
  • One Year Chamber Membership ($200)

What happens when I win…

First, we celebrate!  Second, we work with you to get your business up and running in Fostoria through our network of resources and support. 

Third, it is important to note, there are a few requirements for the winner:

  • Report your award use and expenditures
  • Complete a business financials tracking form for three years after the award is received
  • Document quarterly for the first with photos if applicable the use of and the impact of the award 
  • Be available for Social Media, blog, podcasts and website marketing
  • Return to next year’s finale and provide business updates

Event Timeline…

  • April 5-May 7: Applications Accepted
  • May 11-13: Application Review & Selection
  • May 14: Contest Decision Notices Sent
  • May 19: Pitch Clinic: A best practice workshop of how to Pitch
  • June 16: Semi-Finals: First round of pitches to judges and Q & A
  • July 22: Live Pitch Event Dress Rehearsal & Tech Check
  • July 23: Finals: Public Event where public votes on winner


Launch Business Competition Application