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Have a great idea you want to pitch for Dayton? UpDayton’s director has some advice

“Deadline” can be a scary word. Especially when we’re talking about the chance to participate in one of Dayton’s most-anticipated events of the year. 

>> Daytonians plan and prepare ahead of UpDayton Summit 2018

Since 2008, UpDayton has been a powerhouse of ideas and people who understand Dayton’s greatest potential. The UpDayton Summit is an annual platform for the best ten or 12 ideas projects to be presented to over 300 influential, energetic people from Dayton. 

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The audience then votes to decide which creative community leaders will receive $3,000 each in seed money and the support of UpDayton to bring their ideas to action. 

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With the UpDayton Summit project pitch March 2 deadline quickly approaching, you can take a deep breath. We asked UpDayton Executive Director AJ Ferguson for some useful advice for anyone wanting to submit an idea. 

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What makes a great UpDayton project? 

1. People Power 

Great projects capitalize on the support of volunteers to maximize their impact. Through events, work days, and other calls to action the project provides compelling ways for community members step in and help out. 

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2. Focused Impact 

The $3,000 in seed money and one-year timeline isn’t enough to solve giant community issues. Instead, these projects build momentum in the community by delivering decisive victories within a larger opportunity. They rally new people to a cause. When project leaders approach us with big visions, we encourage them to focus on step one. Sometimes the first milestone is an entire project. 

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3. Mission Accomplished 

Strong project visions have a clear and attainable definition of success. It’s better to start small and then build on that win. 

(Photo by Knack)

4. Partnership 

UpDayton helps project leaders build a team, rally volunteers, and keep the project on track. Project leaders are encouraged to seek out additional partners connected to their project’s particular community topic. These partners provide expertise, guidance, and a network to help the project succeed. 

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5. Red Flags

The Summit Team will coach leaders away from projects that: 

-Duplicate an existing effort 

-Create significant liability concerns 

-Have unrealistic scope for the provided timeline and budget 

-Provide direct financial benefit to the leader or their for-profit business 

(Photo by Knack)

6. No Pressure 

If you’re uncertain about your project, reach out to the Summit Team for some extra insight. If your idea is still a work in progress, submit it anyway. The Summit Team will make sure you and your idea are ready to pitch. 

Want to submit?

Individuals or teams who want to pitch a project at the Summit should submit their idea at updayton.org/summit by March 2. In March and April, the Summit Team will work with them to develop their concept into a strong project and a great pitch.

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