NIU EIGERlab welcomes final FastPitch ideas

It’s “Shark Tank,” Rockford-style!

This year marks the 10th anniversary of NIU EIGERlab’s FastPitch Competition. Because the competition has been so successful year after year, attracting upward of more than 40 presenters, organizers can only venture to guess that’s why ABC started “Shark Tank,” a reality television series, that is very similar in scope.

Local innovators and entrepreneurs are invited to share their products, service or “ideas on a napkin” for a chance to win a $5,000 first prize in addition to outstanding mentoring and exposure.

This year’s FastPitch Competition will be held Wednesday, Sept. 28, at NIU-Rockford.

Planning for the 10th annual FastPitch Competition is well under way. NIU EIGERlab is coordinating and promoting FastPitch, which offers entrepreneurs, inventors, startups, pre-startups, existing business owners and students (high school seniors and college) the opportunity to “pitch” their business idea or innovative business to a panel of esteemed judges from the business and investment community. Winners take home not only a cash prize, but in addition, receive exposure to investors, business leaders, media and potential mentors.

FastPitch presentation training sessions are scheduled from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, and Thursday, Sept. 22, at the NIU EIGERlab. Training to assist applicants with fine-tuning their presentations is strongly suggested (preferably Tuesday). The cost is $15 for both sessions; past winners have stated that the presentation training has proven invaluable.

For more information or to register visit

Previous FastPitch Competition Presenter highlights
  • Two pitchers have appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” and one received a deal.
  • One has appeared on the Home Shopping Network.
  • More than 400 people have pitched during the past nine years.
  • Many presenters still have thriving businesses in the community.
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