• flex


    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 6th. 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 2nd.

    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 22nd.


    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.


    2023-2024 Timeline


    September 8             FHSCCA staff meeting

    September 11           Release Promo Video

    September 14           Applications available to students

    September 21           Applications Due


    October 5                  Business Plan Workshop (9am @ FHSCCA Performing Arts Center - Sheri Brown)


    November 6              Business Plans Due

    November 9              Round 1 Judging (9am @ Chamber office)

    November 10            Announce Top 10 Companies

    November 15            Promissory Note Signing (Jason Dunn)

    November 30            Finance Workshop – (9am Barry Peavey @ CBC)

    December 7              Marketing Workshop – (9am Susan and Dill Driscoll @ Irwin)


    February 2                 Round 2 Judging Pitch Day and FLEXpo (FHSCCA PL Room and FHSCCA Courtyard)


    February 6                 Video Marketing Workshop (2:20pm in A/V lab with Mr. Wise)

    March 19                   Top 3 presentations due

    March 21                   Dress Rehearsal for local finals (FHSCCA Performing Arts Center)


    March 22                   Round 3 Judging “FLEX Day” (FHSCCA Performing Arts Center)


    April 12                     State FLEX Finals (FHSCCA Performing Arts Center)