Join Alton Main Street and the Skandalaris Center at Washington University for this fun, fast paced elevator pitch competition and networking event featuring the area’s best and brightest! Any idea is acceptable to pitch, including new businesses, public art or other creative enterprises, needed social services in the area, etc.

IdeaBounce® is an event for sharing ideas and making connections. This is an opportunity to pitch your idea (no matter how “half-baked”), get feedback on it, and make connections. Inventors, founders, startups and creatives from all across the region, and those interested in supporting them, are invited to attend on Thursday, September 30th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Jacoby Arts Center, located at 627 E. Broadway in Alton, Illinois.

Everyone will have two minutes to deliver an elevator pitch on their idea, and participants will then convene at a reception in the gallery to support the ideas in moving forward.

15 people will be chosen to present; to submit your idea for consideration all you need to do is visit and click “Share Your Idea” to give a brief description. Then fill out this online form to register for the event by September 15th, and applicants will be informed whether they have been chosen as one of the presenters on September 17th.

To see what others in our region are working on, visit, and browse the ideas or use the search function to focus on different sectors and keywords. If you think an idea is cool, give them a thumbs up! If you can help with the idea, click the message button and send a note to the poster.

To assist with advancing the ideas, $1,500 in prize money will be awarded by a panel of esteemed judges: Rhonda Breslin, Assistant Vice President at Busey Bank, Todd Kennedy, owner of EastGate Plaza in East Alton and serial entrepreneur, and Dr. Ken Trzaska, President of Lewis and Clark Community College. A people’s choice vote by the attendees will determine the winner of a complimentary month of private office accommodations donated by Alternative Office Space, a new state of the art co-working facility in East Alton.

“Alton Main Street is excited to be collaborating with Washington University’s Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship to take our pitch competitions to the next level,” says Sara McGibany, Executive Director of Alton Main Street. “This is another example of the advocacy and support that our organization has been providing for new and existing small businesses and our creative community members for decades.”

Alton Main Street and its partners are available to help entrepreneurs and small businesses navigate any obstacles they may face. “Our goal is to provide guidance, resources and information.” said Penny Schmidt who serves on the Economic Vitality Committee for Alton Main Street, “Providing entrepreneurs and creatives with access to this high-quality expertise enables them, and Alton, to flourish.”

Alton is fertile ground for entrepreneurs to grow and thrive.  For many communities like Alton, fostering startups and small business growth has been the key to transitioning from a formerly manufacturing-based economy. The concept of fostering entrepreneurship to accelerate urban revitalization has been embraced by a wide spectrum of supporters, from artists and cultural organizations to business leaders and financial institutions.

The event is presented by Alton Main Street, with support from Washington University, Busey Bank, First Mid Bank & Trust, Lewis and Clark Community College, Simmons Hanly Conroy, the City of Alton, Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau,, The Telegraph, AdVantage, and WBGZ Radio.