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City’s Ignite event offers rapid-fire innovation

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Expect a fast-paced evening when the Columbus Young Professionals organization provides a stage for innovative ideas to be pitched.

During Friday’s debut Ignite Columbus, 12 presenters will showcase their ideas for community improvement in a rapid-fire pitch at Hotel Indigo.

Ignite rules mandate that all presenters have five minutes and can use 20 slides, which advance every 15 seconds, so the presentations are rapid-fire and entertaining.

From about 20 presentations that were submitted, Ignite organizers selected 12 in two categories: Best Community Project and Most Enlightening Presentation.

Community project presenters compete for $2,000 for their project. Ideas pitched must benefit Columbus in some way, and community project themes have ranged from community art to bicycles.

“It took days of deliberating,” said Allison Schultz, an Ignite organizer. “The biggest criteria was the creativity — how creative is the idea — and then the community impact, project feasibility and time frame.”

Ignite events are being held in cities around the country, including nearby Bloomington.

Local Ignite organizers did not limit the subjects or type of presentation. CYP chose to focus on community projects because “we are a very community service-oriented town,” event organizer Heather Dunn said.

“Columbus is made of a community of creative people,” said Christopher West, an independent curator and art consultant who will present a community project focusing on marrying contemporary designers with the historically significant architecture in Columbus.

“Having an outlet to share innovative ideas is important,” West said.

Competitors in the Most Enlightening Project, which will teach the audience something, will vie for $250. Audience members will help determine the enlightening presentation winner through a cellphone vote.

Prize money is coming from the Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County and the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.

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