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Pitch Your Business. Win $10,000!
Fortress Bank continues to recognize the importance of small business owners in our communities and their positive impact they have on our local economies. Our mission is to empower fellow visionaries and small business owners to fulfill their dreams.

Our 1st Annual Fortress Bank Tank Pitch Contest will take place on February 8, 2023 from 5:00pm-8:00pm at The Figge Art Museum- 25 W. 2nd Street, Davenport, IA 52801. With a live audience the pitch contest will start after music and drinks. The winner will be announced at the end of the night. This event is open to the public. 
Accepting applications starting November 11, 2022. See full contest details below. 


  • $10,000 to an existing or start-up small business with a bold vision looking to launch a product or service or expand a current  product or service. 


  • Applicant must be 18 years of age or older
  • If you are a small business owner looking to launch a new product/service or looking to expand your business and wish for an opportunity to present at our Fortress Bank Tank Pitch Contest, please complete the video submission (detailed below)
  • Applicants must live or do business in the following market areas - Quad Cities, Central Illinois, Western Illinois or Des Moines, IA
  • Business must be for-profit
  • If chosen for the next round you will be required to submit a business plan
  • Applicants do not have to be a customer of Fortress Bank to participate
  • Fortress Bank employees and Fortress Bank Board of Directors are ineligible 


  • Applicants are asked to submit an online application
  • Each application will include, name, name of business (or idea), details of your business or concept, and what you will use the money for.
  • Also, please follow us on the following social media platforms
    • Facebook: @fortressbanktank @bankfortress
    • Instagram: @Fortressbank
  • Your applications will stay confidential unless you are chosen as a finalist to pitch on February 8, 2023
  • If you are chosen as a finalist, we may promote you and/or your business/business idea on our website and social media platforms
  • A selection committee will screen all applications and a minimum of five (5) applicants will be selected to submit their business plans. 


  • A selection committee will screen all applications and a minimum of five (5) applicants will be selected to submit their business plans
  • After receiving the selected business plans three applicants will be chosen to “pitch” their idea live at The Fortress Bank Tank event
  • The final three businesses will be chosen based on their bold vision
  • Applicants will be notified by email no later than January 8, 2023
  • It is difficult to obtain detailed information about the selection committee’s decisions about the applications eventually chosen, so you should not anticipate detailed feedback if your business is not selected
  • In true Shark Tank style the live presentations will be no longer than 10 minutes. Presentations will be timed and once a presentation has reached its limit, the presenter will be asked to stop immediately
  • Participants will take part in a brief Q & A with a panel of local successful business owners
  • The panel will then score based on four categories (idea, business plan, presentation and financials). They will deliberate and select a winner that night.

Fortress Bank has additional small business resources to help you manage and grow your business.
If you would like additional resources or have any questions, please contact


*COMING SOON! To assist applications in preparation for their "Pitch", Fortress Bank will record a podcast called "Pitch It Good", a detailed conversation about the application process and the event itself along with some coaching focused on developing winning pitches. We highly recommend listening to the recording.