GO Pitch

Do you have the next great business idea? If so, it’s time to GO Pitch!

The Greater Owensboro Pitch Competition is presenting Owensboro’s version of Shark Tank. Pitch us your business idea and you could be on the way to winning a $5,000 cash prize!

The competition will take place at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in the Woodward Theatre. If you would like to attend the GO Pitch Competition, you can register here.




Aaron Kizer is a successful entrepreneur and world-renowned artist from Owensboro. He is the owner of Kizer Arts and Kizer Construction, and Creative Director of Green River Distillery.  He has worked with multiple well-known brands, including Aria in Las Vegas, Maker’s Mark, NASA, Jim Beam, the University of Kentucky, and Ritz Carlton, among others. His construction company is in high demand and continually works on new, unique projects. His work has taken him around the world, but he continues to give back to the Owensboro community. 

Allison Ross is a native of Lewisport, KY and a proud 2002 graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College.  She began her finance career in long-term healthcare at Wells Health Systems as the General Accountant and later was promoted to Senior Accountant.  She held a brief stint as the Controller at Kentucky Wesleyan College before securing her MBA from Western Kentucky University in 2010.  Allison then moved on to the aluminum industry where she worked for nearly 9 years.  She held various roles of advancing responsibility at Century Aluminum, Southwire and later culminated as the Senior Finance Manager at Aleris overseeing the finances of a $500 million expansion at their Lewisport, KY campus.  In July 2019, Allison moved on to her current company Gryphon Environmental in Owensboro, KY where she was initially hired as the CFO.  A shift in leadership moved Allison into a Chief Operating Officer/Vice President role in April 2020 where she resides today.  Gryphon Environmental manufactures industrial dryers for a myriad of applications.  The patented, advanced drying technology of Gryphon Environmental can be found at Tyson in Robards, KY, in an egg farm in Loda, IL or in several wastewater treatment plants in the United States including Lenoir, NC, Endicott, NY and Chalfont, PA.  Allison and her husband Kyle live in Lewisport on her family farm with their 3 children, Izzy, Eli and Brayden.

Michael J. Kane (Mike), Ph.D. is President of Commonwealth Seed Capital, a 21-year-old evergreen fund that invests in early-stage companies based in Kentucky.  He is also a fellow entrepreneur having started several technology-based ventures in China, Europe, and Israel. Dr. Kane is a former senior executive of IBM and Lexmark where he led manufacturing and supply chain management operations around the world.  Most recently, he retired as the founding Dean of the Howard and Beverly Dayton School of Business at Asbury University.  He is member of the Academy of Management, Academy of International Business, and the Venture Capital Association. Dr. Kane’s international business expertise has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Business Week, The Economist, and other leading business publications around the world.  He is author of several books, and his academic research has been published in leading journals. Mike lives in Lexington, KY with Jennifer, his spouse of 36 years, where they raised three adult children.

John Marshall Moore is an Owensboro native. As a fourth generation, multiple business owner, he believes that entrepreneurship is the key to continued success for our region. He is the current President/Managing Partner of the Moore Automotive Team, consisting of 14 franchises and almost 300 team members. He is the Fund Manager of Marshall Ventures, and early-stage venture fund with seven portfolio companies. He is the founder of CarJockey.com, the first company in the US to auction vehicles online and develop a dealer network of over 400 auto dealers. Moore is the founder/operator of Auto Business Consultants, a firm the audited over 200 auto dealerships building forecasts, financial plans, managed ongoing operations, and liquidations. He is the current owner of Legends, a retail store for active people. He is a current board member of the Commonwealth Seed Capital Fund, a state funded venture capital fund with over $40 million in total assets. He is a board member of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation. John has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Centre College and a MBA from Indiana University.


New and developing ventures or start-ups founded in 2019 or later with less than $100,000 in revenue are eligible to apply for the competition. Teams must be located in the Owensboro/Daviess County area. Team members must be 18+ years of age to pitch.

How It Works

Teams will fill out an intent to submit by February 18th at 4 pm for consideration to pitch at the event.

Next, your team will put together a business plan and turn it in by April 1st at 4 pm. Please see format for business plan below.

The top five plans will be picked by a committee to pitch to a live audience at the GO Pitch event on Thursday, May 5th at noon.

The grand prize winner will win $5,000. Second place receives $2,500. There will also be a crowd favorite that will win $1,500.

Questions can be emailed to Jamie Johnson at Jamie.Johnson@uky.edu or Brad Davis at bdavis@owensboro.com.

Business Plan

The business plan needs to be a brief document that outline the fundamental problem and solutions the business is addressing. The purpose of the document is to convince the reader that the business is viable and could operate in the real world. It includes the most interesting and important aspects of the business. The business plan should be no longer than eight pages, not including cover page. All pages, except the cover page, need to be numbered.

The plan needs to include the following:

  • Company overview: Include the most important points about your business idea – your history/story, product or service, mission statement and legal structure if applicable.
  • Product or service: Describe product or service for sale, the problem you’re solving, stage of development, market differentiation, and intellectual property if applicable.
  • Market: Describe the market where you aim to sell your product or service. Include target market, competitors in the market, and an analysis of your competitive advantage.
  • Sales Strategy: Explain how you will go about selling your product or service while increasing profits. Include marketing strategy, distribution channels, key partners, and relationships.
  • Revenue model: Describe how your business generates revenue. Include the cost to produce, cost to sell, customer acquisition strategy, and market price for the product or service.
  • Team: Describe who is currently on your team, their role, education, and experience. Why are you the right team to start this business?

You will be contacted if your team is chosen to pitch in the competition.