What is FLEX?
FLEX stands for Fitzgerald Leadership & Entrepreneur X-perience
To create prosperity and revitalize Fitzgerald’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through the education of Fitzgerald High School College and Career students on the rewards, sacrifices, and processes incurred in the establishment of small businesses.
Round 1: Student entrepreneurs form teams, referred to as companies, and submit a business plan application to be judged by a panel of local business leaders. It will be a blind submission process. Out of the initial applicants, 10 will be selected to advance to the next round. Applications are due September 28th and can be turned in to the Guidance Counselors’ office. Business Plans must be submitted by November 3rd. The top 10 companies will be announced on November 10th.
Round 2: The selected 10 companies will receive a $100 loan for seed money. They will then operate their businesses for 11 weeks, while participating in workshops and completing assignments that will provide tools to increase the success of their business. At the end of the 11 weeks, companies will complete a business evaluation and submit their financial statements for review by a non-local panel. Three companies will be selected to advance to the next round. The top three will be announced on February 9th.
Round 3: The top 3 companies give a “Shark Tank” style business pitch to a panel of judges made up of non-local business leaders in front of friends, family, and their peers in the FHSCCA Auditorium on March 30th.
1st Place Team: $5,000 cash and prizes
2nd Place Team: $3,000 cash and prizes
3rd Place Team: $1,500 cash and prizes
1st Place Advisor: $500
2nd Place Advisor: $300
3rd Place Advisor: $150
● Companies must be composed of 1 to 3 students. All team members must be current students at FHSCCA or Irwin County High School.
● Companies must have an advisor from Ben Hill or Irwin County School System.
● The competition is open to 9-12 grade students.
● Former FLEX champions may not compete again, but finalists are eligible.
● Companies must pay back their $100 loan to be considered for Round 3.
The opinions and decisions made by the panels of judges at each round of the competition are final. The opinions of the judges are independent of FHSCCA, Irwin County High School, FBHCDA, Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Chamber of Commerce, and the sponsors of FLEX.FHSCCA FLEX Dates
- Sept 12th - FLEX Video will be sent out via email and social media
- Sept 15th - FLEX Applications will be emailed to all students
- Sept 28th - FLEX Application is due
Oct 6th - FLEX Workshop
Nov 3rd - FLEX Business Plans are due
Nov 10th - Round one judging
Feb 9th - Round two judging - (location unknown at this time)
Mar 30th - FHSCCA FLEX finals
April 13th - State FLEX finals