Elevator Pitch winners gain entrepreneurial experience

Grove City College student entrepreneurs earned cash prizes and valuable experience in the Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation’s 2017 Elevator Pitch Competition.

Students had just two minutes – the time an entrepreneur might have riding in an elevator with an investor – to make the case for their startup ventures before a panel of judges. The competition is divided into two categories – commercial and social enterprises – and is open to students and teams of students from all majors. 

The goal of the Elevator Pitch Competition is to teach students to communicate effectively and allow their charisma and positive characteristics to shine through in just a short pitch. The Elevator Pitch Competition demonstrates the networking and presentation skills essential to any entrepreneur or business professional.

Nearly 200 students from 28 majors made pitches in the competition’s preliminary rounds, which were judged by members of the College’s faculty, staff and administration. After advancing past both the qualifying and semi-final rounds, 22 students advanced to the final round, held Nov. 28 in the Hall of Arts and Letters on campus. 

Cash prizes were awarded to winners in both categories: $500 for first place, $400 for second, $300 for third and $200 for fourth.

Winners in the Commercial Enterprise category and their business idea names are:

  • First – Alex Bailey ’20, an Entrepreneurship major from Sinclairville, N.Y., The Shammy Shield. 
  • Second – Adam Densmore ’21, an Accounting and Finance major from Denver, Colo., TeleTalk.
  • Third – Hannah Vaccaro ’18, an Entrepreneurship major from Merrimack, N.H., PeeWee Packs.
  • Fourth – Heather Hondel ’21, an Entrepreneurship major from Oil City, Pa., Dance Tracks.

Social Enterprise winners and their business idea names are: 

  • First – Cody Gustafson ’21, an undeclared major from Newburg, Pa., Mathletics.
  • Second – Zachary LaValla ’21, an Entrepreneurship major from Lansdale, Pa., Missing Link.
  • Third – Abby Messinger ’18, a Communication and Visual Arts major from Frederick, Md., Trade for Trade.
  • Fourth – Michaela Cashmer ’18, an International Business major from Weedville, Pa., Scoops & Smiles.

Final round judges were drawn from the ranks of alumni entrepreneurs. They were: Logan Hammerschmitt ’16, Josiah Hoffman ’07 and Brent Moon ’06.

The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Grove City College seeks to raise the arc of innovation across campus and elevate the discussion of what matters – values, judgment, and character within the field of entrepreneurship education. Fostering a robust entrepreneurial culture maximizes individual and collective economic and social success on campus and throughout society.

The Center provides real-world entrepreneurial experiences that allow students to build relationships and expand possibilities, and promotes an entrepreneurial culture across the College through interdisciplinary collaborations, raising awareness among all Grove City students to the possibility of entrepreneurial activity as a choice at some point in their careers, whether it be through their own ventures or as an employee within an organization.

The Elevator Pitch Competition is just one way Grove City College fosters the next generation of great innovators. As well as the College, the competition was sponsored by Beans on Broad in Olde Town Grove City.

Elevator Pitch winners gain entrepreneurial experience

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