Judges announced for upcoming ‘Shark Tank’ style competition, winners to receive cash awards

March 16, 2022 | 12:08 am

Updated March 15, 2022 | 5:58 pm

The Greater Owensboro Pitch Competition (GO Pitch), will feature local residents pitching their best business ideas to Owensboro’s sharks, local entrepreneurs, community stakeholders, and investors.

A “Shark Tank” style competition is coming to Owensboro-Daviess County on May 5. The Greater Owensboro Pitch Competition (GO Pitch) will feature five local residents pitching their best business ideas to a four-person panel of judges that was announced Tuesday.

The judges for the GO Pitch Competition will be Aaron Kizer, Allison Ross, David Oetken, and John Marshall Moore. Short biographies on each judge can be found below.

Contestants will be eligible to win a first-place prize of $5,000, and second place will receive $2,500. There will also be a “Crowd Favorite” award of $1,500 picked the day of the competition by the audience. 

The Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation (GOEDC) and the Owensboro Small Business Development Center are working together to host the competition, which will take place at 12 p.m. on May 5 at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. 

Anyone who would like to attend the GO Pitch Competition can register here. Lunch will be provided at 11:30 a.m. 

About the judges

Aaron Kizer is an entrepreneur and renowned artist from Owensboro. He is the owner of Kizer Arts and Kizer Construction, and he is the creative director of Green River Distillery. He has worked with multiple well-known brands, including Maker’s Mark, NASA, Jim Beam, the University of Kentucky, and Ritz Carlton. 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 and a 2002 graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College. Ross worked in the aluminum industry for nearly 9 years, holding various roles of advancing responsibility at Century Aluminum, Southwire and Aleris. In July 2019, she started at Gryphon Environmental in Owensboro, where she was initially hired as the CFO. A shift in leadership moved Ross into a Chief Operating Officer/Vice President role in April 2020. Gryphon Environmental manufactures industrial dryers for a myriad of applications. 

David Oetken currently serves as the Center Director of the Louisville Small Business Development Center. He was previously the Managing Director of Business Advising Services at Greater Louisville Inc.’s EnterpriseCorp. He has extensive small business experience owning and operating businesses in hospitality, commercial real estate, professional sports, manufacturing, and distribution. Oetken is a Certified Commercial Property Manager, Economic Development Finance Professional, Certified Exit Planning Advisor and Certified Mergers & Acquisitions Advisor.

John Marshall Moore is an Owensboro native and the current President/Managing Partner of the Moore Automotive Team. He works as the Fund Manager of Marshall Ventures, an early-stage venture fund with seven portfolio companies. He is also the owner of Legends, a retail store for active people. Moore is a current board member of the Commonwealth Seed Capital Fund. He is also a board member for the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation. 

March 16, 2022 | 12:08 am

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