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MANSFIELD -- The organizers of the first-ever Richland Idea Audition hope to attract people with great ideas.

The Richland Area Foundation and others announced Wednesday night that an “idea audition,” or pitch contest, will be held October 16 at the Ohio State University-Mansfield Founders Hall.

The focus of the contest is to support new business, help entrepreneurs get a new business off the ground and introduce entrepreneurs to the community for support.

“It is a way for the Foundation along with local organizations to build a culture of entrepreneurship," said Richland County Foundation President Brady Groves. "Small business is the heart and soul of a community and it is a key driver to economic success in Richland County.” 

Entrepreneurs will have four minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win a top prize of $5,000. The second-place idea will receive $2,500 and third place, $1,000. Those who make it through the preliminary round will pitch during a final round of judging.

A reception to showcase all the entrepreneurs will be held while the judges select the winners.

“I am really excited about this collaborative opportunity to raise the visibility of entrepreneurship in our community. Richland County is a great place to launch a business and we wanted to drive that home by hosting this unique and exciting event,” said Richland Area Chamber of Commerce president Jodie Perry.

Partners in this pitch event include: The Richland County Foundation, Richland Area Chamber of Commerce, Richland Community Development Group, the Ohio State University at Mansfield, Braintree Business Development Center, Small Business Development Center at Ashland University and SCORE of North Central Ohio.

Complete details, rules and an application are online at richlandcountyfoundation.org.  The deadline to apply is August 30.

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