Gignite Launches in Dayton

March 13, 2018

Gignite, a new workshop designed for entrepreneurs, hobbyists, and 9-to-5ers looking to break free, started in Dayton on February 26th.

Gignite is an 8-week incubator for side-gigs, passion projects, and hobbies. That provides the time, space and accountability to help you make progress on your goals while connecting with like-minded go-getters.

Dayton is the second city to host a Gignite cohort. Former Daytonian Oliva Barrow created Gignite in Madison, Wisconsin, and is expanding the idea into Dayton. AJ Ferguson, director of UpDayton, will be facilitating the session, with remote support from afar coming from Barrow.

Gignite meets for 3 hours on Monday evenings that began February 26th. The first hour is dedicated to a facilitated discussion and group bonding activity that can be more serious and practical, or sometimes more fun and creative. Each week, participants are asked to set goals and to share an update on those goals with the group. It’s super supportive, and any amount of progress is celebrated.

Carole Trone, who used the fall session in Madison to work on launching a consulting business, returned for the second Madison session.

“I knew that joining this group would push me beyond my comfort zone and allow me to engage with entrepreneurial people,” Trone said. “We hear so much buzz about the importance of innovation and building new business concepts, but much less opportunity to truly engage with this culture. Gignite has provided a good structure for moving along on my passion project and finding inspiration and support from others who are doing the same.”

Past participants have used Gignite to collaborate with team members for side-gigs, to launch freelance businesses, and to accomplish personal goals. Some of the projects past Gigniters have tackled include:

  • Writing a novel about a blind werewolf
  • Improving and practicing drawing skills
  • Launching a newsletter called Understanding College
  • Making nerdy jewelry (Mitosis earrings anyone?) and improving marketing for an Etsy site
  • Finishing a T-shirt quilt
  • Launching an eCommerce site for clothing to raise awareness about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and other health issues

The Dayton session runs from Feb. 26 to April 10 at the Nucleus (411 E. 5th St.) from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The cost is $150 up front, with a $50 refund if you make 7 out of 8 sessions (and you’re allowed one Virtual Make-Up Day, so you can technically miss 2). Some scholarships are available. Contact Olivia Barrow with questions: [email protected]. For full details, and to sign up, go to the website: