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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.

Fortress Bank Tank Contest is our version of Shark Tank, where any current business or upstart can pitch their business vision for a chance to win $10,000. The pitch contest will take place on  February 8, 2023,  from 5:00pm-8:00 pm at The Figge Art Museum - 25 W 2nd St, Davenport, IA 52801. The pitch contest will start after music and drinks in front of a live audience. The winner will be announced at the end of the night. This event is open to the public.
Video submissions open on July 15th. 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


  • A selection committee will screen all video submissions, and five (5) applicants will be selected to submit their business plans
  • After receiving the five 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 November 11th
  • 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.

APPLICATION (Video Submission)

  • Applicants are asked to submit a video via social media (Facebook) with the following information included - Name, business name (if an existing business), description of their bold vision, and how they would use the money
  • Each video should be up to 1 minute long
  • When posting a video submission, we ask that you use the following items in your post description
    • #fortressbanktank
    • @fortressbanktank
    • @bankfortress
  • Your video submissions may be used on our website and/or shared by Fortress Bank
  • We also ask that you like and follow @fortressbanktank and @bankfortress
  • After receiving the business plans three applicants will be selected to “pitch” their idea live at The Fortress Bank Tank event
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


To assist applicants in preparation for their “Pitch”, Fortress Bank has a recorded 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 this recording.