June 2023 cohort winners

As a part of our toolkit of resources, Ignite offers a variety of programming, including office hours with industry experts, an engaging speaker series, and Ideas 2 Enterprise, our signature program for business planning fundamentals.

Red Bolt

Ideas 2 Enterprise

June I2E awards
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Ideas 2 Enterprise is a game-changer for local entrepreneurs in Washington County. With its unique offering of a five-week course on creating a formal business plan, it provides access to essential resources that can help reshape the identity of the region. This program is a key element in creating and sustaining Ignite's impact, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship that can lead to the development of new businesses and job opportunities. If you're an aspiring entrepreneur in the area, be sure to check out Ideas 2 Enterprise to take your business idea to the next level. The end of the series is an exciting opportunity for the participating entrepreneurs to pitch their business to judges for a chance to win capital grant money.

Take the first step towards igniting and fulfilling your entrepreneurial dreams!

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Week 1: Visioning, Business Planning and Market Research Framework
Group 108
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Week 2: Understanding Marketing vs. Sales
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Week 3: Operations Framework
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Week 4: Financial Modeling Including Building ProForma Statement
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Week 5: Pitching 101- Best Pitch Tactics

Next Ideas 2 Enterprise cohort is February 2024 - Get on the waitlist now!

Ignite Your Curiosity

SBS 2023 with QR code 2

Know about events happening at Ignite and locally in our area. Learn, grow and be supported in a community that values education for all ages!


Click on each of the logos below to discover local events in Downtown and throughout Washington County!


Agtech Hackathon

Join us here at Ignite for an all-day hackathon focused on solving a huge issue in the ag industry: the high price of farming equipment. Ignite has joined forces with Mimetic for this collaborative hands-on event!

Ignite Insights Speaker Series

Red Bolt

These one-hour sessions at IGNITE will feature an industry expert sharing insights on a specific topic related to business; from social media strategies to strategic thinking techniques for startups and small businesses, there are topics to engage everyone. Bring your lunch with you or plan to grab a bite to eat Downtown afterwards!

Upcoming Speakers

Speaker Series - Fall 2023

Past Speakers

Learn about our past speakers, who they are and the topic they presented. Questions? Contact us!

September 28, 2021

Marketing and Sales Fundamentals

Presented by Jordon Rooney, Founder and CEO of Built Different Creative

Digital storytelling and brand development have entered a new era - whether driven from the pressures of a pandemic, changing laws and regulations (think: Name, Image, Licensing), and the ongoing shift to online engagement. Companies and organizations no longer have the luxury to avoid building a digital brand. They must. 

October 28, 2021

Fundraising Essentials

Presented by Dan Law, Senior Director of Capital Development & Strategy at The Andy Warhol Museum 

The Pittsburgh region is one of America's largest social enterprise and nonprofit epicenters. With leading foundations and thousands of organizations, Southwestern Pennsylvania is poised to be a national leader for others to follow in terms of public and nonprofit innovation and entrepreneurship. So, what's your big idea and how do you fund it? Dan Law shared how to engage with funders and donors and break fundraising records for game-changing ideas. This session really spoke to non-profits and there was a takeaway for everyone who attended - "Don't be afraid to talk about the challenges you face-believe in your product!"

Maddi Love-event day
November 30, 2021

E-Commerce Marketing Analytics 

Presented by Maddi Love, Director of Marketing at WH Digital, a Digital Marketing Instructor at Academy PGH, and serves on the Executive Committee at Work Hard Pittsburgh.

Just in time for the holidays, Maddi really gave a detailed overview on what it means to use your own data to drive business to your e-commerce site. Maddi touched on the three pillars

  1. Social Media Marketing (Organic vs. Paid)
  2. Google Marketing (Organic vs. Paid)
  3. E-Mail Marketing

We learned why cross promoting is important and how the optimization score correlates directly to the relevancy of your message and ultimately how much money you will spend per click! How can a small business maximize its budget? Target the appropriate market. Consider partnerships with like minded audiences where both businesses will benefit from the relationship.

January 27, 2022

Organize Your Digital Life

Kristopher LaGreca, Director of Digital Strategy at Washington and Jefferson College shared tips, tools and tricks to optimize your work and life. Feel like you are drowning in a digital sea? The goal of this workshop was to get your life organized and for you to be more efficient.

Stay tuned for the recording to be posted here following the event.

February 22, 2022

Pathways to Success

This session was led by Craig Markovitz, W&J '91. He shared lessons learned from his 30+ years experience in the entrepreneurial world. Key takeaways? Be in charge of your own destiny. Be tenacious! Craig helped attendees think through how their product or service is validating a problem. How can we hook our customers and keep them curious enough to want to learn more. During this session Craig was able to speak directly with entrepreneurs to provide applicable insights to their business. 

March 17, 2022

Share an Effective Message

Getting your message to stick is more than content. Whether you are looking to improve your B to C or B to B conversations, sharpen your interview skills or take on your sales pitches with valuable tools, listen to Jeremy Widenhofer, owner of Chitwood Communications as he guides you through leveraging your story in your message!

October 20

Leadership and Culture Panel Featuring Women in Business and Governance 


We were thrilled to welcome our panelists: Senator Camera Bartolotta, Dean Eva Chatterjee-Sutton of Washington and Jefferson College and co-owner of Chicco Baccello, Lisa Aprea. Our moderator, Carole DeAngelo of the Observer Reporter guided conversations around the evolving role of women in the workplace and encouraged the panelists to share their experience and advice for the next generation of women in the workforce and what it means to be a leader in society.

Missed the event? Stay tuned for a recording of the session!

October 25

Strengthen the Health of Your Small Business 

October 25th 12pm-1pm


This informal conversation covered the topics you need to know for your small business - related to financial, legal, tax, insurance and more.

rob litchfield
December 1, 2022

You need more bad ideas! 

This session focused on sparking creativity across the entrepreneurial journey. Rob Litchfield, Associate Professor of Business and the coordinator for programs in International Business and Human Resource Management, 


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Red Bolt

57 East Chestnut Street, Washington, PA 15301

Downtown Washington, PA • Adjacent to main campus of Washington & Jefferson College • Convenient to I-70 and I-79

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