Students learn to pitch in kickoff event


Photo courtesy of Entrepreneurial Studies Institute

A kickoff meeting on Thursday prepared student entrepreneurs for a November business pitch contest that will award cash prizes.

Ellianna Shields, Reporter

Would-be student entrepreneurs on Thursday learned how to compete in a November competition that could earn them prizes of up to $1,000.

The kickoff meeting was a prelude to November’s Big Idea Competition, when students who want to compete for prizes will submit videos explaining their ideas for small businesses or solutions to local issues.

A panel of judges will decide who wins money to help them get started.

“We worked in small groups [and] had a couple of different resources … to create some ideas for establishing a small business that would help out the target audience that we needed,” first-year business transfer student Robert Patterson, who participated in Thursday’s Big Idea meeting, said.

The deadline for students to submit pitch videos of their ideas is Oct. 31.

The panel will vote for three winners. The idea that wins first place on Nov. 17 will get $1,000 to help make that idea a reality. Second place will receive $500 and third will win $250.

Stephanie Goldenberg, Entrepreneurial Studies Institute academic chair, said the kickoff gave students a chance to learn how to express their ideas “quickly” and “succinctly” in preparation for their final pitch video.

First-year business student Joseph Lizzi said he enjoyed the event, adding it was good to meet with mentors to help him flesh out his idea.

“I thought it went really well,” Lizzi said. “It seemed like everybody was enthusiastic about it. … It gets you thinking.”

Patterson said the event helped students take the “first steps” toward forming a business pitch. He added that the Entrepreneurial Studies Institute is doing students a “big favor” with the event “by helping them hone and refine their ideas.”

“I think it would actually help me in competitions moving forward,” Patterson said “I can use [the resources] as a way to refine my ideas from there and then possibly lead to the execution phase.”