Hornitos Tequila is giving entrepreneurs a chance to make their business goals a reality with an elevator pitch contest, “A Shot Worth Taking,” in collaboration with Chicago Ideas, a non-profit platform for innovators. 

During Chicago Ideas Week, “change-makers and shot takers” 21 and over will pitch their ideas to a panel of three industry leaders for the duration of a 40-floor elevator ride and try to convince them that their pitch is worthy of a $10,000 grant, courtesy of Hornitos Tequila. 

Five selected finalists will proceed to the next round in which they pitch their ideas to a live audience during a branded Hornitos Tequila networking event on the 40th floor. In the end, two entrepreneurs will walk away with $10,000 each.

Now through October 4, interested entrepreneurs can apply by emailing a 300-word description about their business idea to the public relations firm representing the event. Chicago Ideas and Hornitos Tequila will assess entries based on entrepreneurial spirit, originality and idea viability. 

Fans who are 21 years and older can also attend the event with a $15 ticket to donation to Chicago Ideas, and cast their vote for the final two winners.

The pitch contest will take place on October 16 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Hornitos Tequila created the “A Shot Worth Taking” campaign in 2017 to coincide with its 1950 launch and Mexican Independence Day. Digital and online video ads for the campaign featured several young adults starting their own ventures who Hornitos scouted from crowdfunding pages. In return for their participation in the videos, Hornitos provided financial support to each. The campaign is rooted in the brand’s founding principle that nothing great ever happens without taking a risk.

In the spring of 2018, the brand launched the campaign’s first television spot, 30- and 15-second versions, featuring risk-takerHornitos Tequila s who leave their comfort zones to pursue meaningful goals, such as performing on stage or quitting a job they dislike. The spots aired through the summer.