Elevator Pitch Competition winners announced

Grove City College student entrepreneurs earned cash prizes and valuable experience in the final round of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation’s 2016 Elevator Pitch Competition.

Students had just two minutes to make the case for their start-up ventures in the competition’s final round, held Oct. 29 in Sticht Lecture Hall on campus. A panel of judges – mostly Grove City College entrepreneurship alumni who participated in the competition during their student days – heard pitches from 20 students about their ideas for social and commercial enterprises.

“We are delighted that almost 90 students from 26 different majors participated in the GCC Elevator Pitch Competition. Our students are actively discovering innovative ways to solve many of the problems that exist in today’s world, and this competition is just the first step,” Yvonne English ’97, executive director of The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, said.

Winners in the Commercial Enterprise category are:

  • First place: Jordan Hörst ’18, an entrepreneurship major from Aurora, Ohio, for Studio Song, a mobile app that streamlines the songwriting process.
  • Second place: Ben Tobias '19 , an entrepreneurship major from Davisburg, Mich., for Riot Racing, a live networking site for radio-controlled car racing. Tobias was also a 2015 Elevator Pitch Competition winner.
  • Third Place: Angela Kim ’18, a communication studies major from Novi, Mich., for (re)Fresh Apparel, an online thrift clothing store

Social Enterprise winners: 

  • First place: Hannah Hastings ’19, an entrepreneurship major from Andover, Mass., for Fearless Children, a nonprofit that assists children of mentally ill parents.
  • Second place: Sarah Klein ’17, an entrepreneurship major from Billings, Mont., for Butterfly Net, an app alert system designed to help self-harm victims. Klein is also a repeat winner, placing in the 2014 competition.
  • Third place: Stephen Weaver ’19, an entrepreneurship major from Cedarburg, Wis., for Print It, 3D printed housing for those in need in developing nations.

Cash prizes were awarded to winners in both categories: $500 for first place, $400 for second and $300 for third.

The Elevator Pitch Competition is just one way Grove City College fosters the next generation of great entrepreneurs, according to English.

“The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation has a variety of programs and events to help our students to continue to bring their ideas to life, and we’re excited to do so with this year’s group of innovators,” she said.

In the qualifying round on Oct. 26, 89 Grove City College students from 26 different majors delivered 96 pitches to a panel of judges drawn from the College’s administration and faculty. The top 10 pitches in each category advanced to the final round. 

Judges for the final round in Social Enterprise were: Zoe Simek ’14, stunt performer, SAG-AFTRA; Logan Hammerschmitt ’16, co-founder, Immerse, and Pittsburgh Fellow working for Victory Media; and Kyle English, executive director of the Community Foundation of Western PA & Eastern OH. In the Commercial Enterprise category: Jon Graber ’16, Pittsburgh Fellow; Benjamin Marasco ’16, co-founder & CEO, Carefinder; and Herschel Miller ’15, owner & COO, Brookstone Industries.​

For more about Entrepreneurship at Grove City College, visit www.gccentrepreneurship.com


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