Driving Innovation Through Ideation & Entrepreneurship

Big Challenges Worth Tackling

The Stark Community Challenge is a six-month, technology-based initiative aimed at showcasing homegrown innovation and talent.

Teams comprised of 3-4 local entrepreneurs and subject matter experts will compete for a share of $20,000 in prize money while solving some of the region’s biggest challenges. Additionally, participants will have an opportunity to engage with community leaders and develop critical skills needed to launch and grow a tech startup.

Click below to explore each challenge.

Key Dates & Deadlines

  • Call for Proposals | April 5 – July 19
  • Finalist Announcement | August 12
  • Pitch Development | August 16 – September 13
  • Demo Day & Showcase | September 22

The application is now closed.

Check back soon for more information on the upcoming demo day and showcase.

Community Challenge Problem Statements

Community Health

The coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented demand for virtual office visits and in-home healthcare. This demand has led to a need for stepped-up security, in-home monitoring devices, and reliable internet access. 

How can we increase efficiencies, improve health outcomes, and increase digital reliability as virtual office visits and in-home care becomes the norm moving forward?

Quality Places

As remote work increases, there is a nationwide trend toward moving to smaller cities and towns that offer a lower cost of living and better quality of life. These remote workers are looking for affordable housing, fun, engaging community experiences, an inclusive culture, and access to good jobs and job training.

How do we communicate to our current and future residents that Stark County is the perfect place to learn, live, work, and play? How do we ensure that we have adequate affordable housing, a culture that invites diversity, an abundance of fun, entertaining activities, and educational opportunities that lead to true career entrance and advancement?

Access To Home & Business Funding

Wealth in America is often generated through home and business ownership and access to lending can be the key to making the dream of home and business ownership come to life. Unfortunately, much of our population is unaware of programs that can help them build a banking relationship and prepare for the lending process. Fear of phishing scams and other cyber-security threats has hindered attempts at traditional outreach, especially among women and minorities.

How do we securely bring awareness of mortgage and business loan programs to help our residents reach that dream of home and business ownership? How can we empower individuals to reach out to lending institutions, ask questions, and gather appropriate documentation to create solid banking relationships?

Sports and eSports

Sports in America is a $75 Billion industry and Esports is quickly rising in popularity. With 2.7 Billion gamers worldwide, Esports is expected to grow from $1 Billion in 2019 to $4.28 Billion by 2027.

How do we take advantage of our proximity to the Hall of Fame Museum, Hall of Fame Village and Entertainment, and the recently announced Hall of Fame Esports League to engage our community and encourage those outside of the region to see Stark County as a leader in innovation and entertainment?

Eligibility Requirements

GENERAL RULES: All Stark Community Challenge participants must be 18 or older, and live or work in Stark County, or run their pilot in Stark County. Each participant grants JumpStart, Inc. permission and authority to use, re-use and license the use of their voice, name, photograph or likeness in any promotional activity related to their being an applicant and that they are entitled to no compensation from JumpStart, Inc. for said usage. By entering the Stark Community Challenge, applicants accept and agree to be bound by the rules and decisions of the judges awarding the prizes, which are final, binding and conclusive on all matters relative to this contest. JumpStart, Inc. reserves the right to disqualify applicants who fail to follow these rules or who make any misrepresentations relative to their businesses. By voluntarily submitting an application, applicants agree to release and hold harmless JumpStart, Inc. and its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, representatives, agents and employees, from any and all liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising from or in connection with, either directly or indirectly, participating in the Stark Community Challenge. Taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of winners. Winners may not substitute or transfer prizes. Employees of JumpStart, Inc., their dependents and immediate families, are not eligible to participate. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

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