Student entrepreneurs won startup cash and gained valuable experience at The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Grove City College’s 2019 Elevator Pitch Competition.
In this exciting pitch competition, student competitors from 15 different majors each had just two minutes to make the case for a new product, business, nonprofit, or service to a panel of judges. This year’s contest, which consisted of both preliminary and final rounds, saw 144 students making pitches with 24 advancing to the finals on Oct. 30 at the College.
This year’s top winners are working on ideas to help people stay safe in a busy world.
Sophomore Peyton Brogan ’22, an Entrepreneurship major from East Lansing, Mich., won first place in the Social Enterprise category with FlyMarlee, a service to help those with special needs navigate airport security. Senior Gabriella Yonkers ’20, a Communication and Visual Arts major from Aurora, Ohio, took first place for the Commercial Enterprise category with Audisense, headphones with sensors to warn of impending danger. Each won a $500 prize.
Rounding out the Social Enterprise winners are:
- Second place ($400): Meredith Basham ’23 for ClayMotion, a cost-efficient mobile kiln to aid in ceramics education.
- Third place ($300): Nathan Warrick ’22 for NGO Source, a resource clearinghouse for nonprofits.
In Commercial Enterprise:
- Second place ($400): Alex Minotto ’23 for InCase, a phone case with an alert system, tracking system, and recording device.
- Third place ($300): Karsten Lagerquist ’22 (Finance) for Gecko Sheets, magnetic sheets that stay on the bed.
- Fourth place ($200): Matthew Williams ‘23, Business Analysis, for EasyTie, an app to help tie the perfect necktie.
- Fifth place ($100): Laura Mosley ‘22, Communication Studies and Management, for Muse, a website that helps people be confident in their writing abilities.
Olivia Whiteman ’23, an Entrepreneurship major from Ford City, Pa., won the Grove City Foundation Social Impact Prize, a new award sponsored by the Grove City Foundation, for her pitch for Quick Trips, a transportation service for senior citizens living in rural areas. The award included a $250 prize. When presenting the award, Grove City Foundation Board member and judge, Dorene Powell, stated that an idea like Quick Trips “has the potential to make a real difference in the local community.” The Grove City Foundation is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Western PA and Eastern OH.
Elevator pitch is a frequently used term in business that means, essentially, “tell me about your new venture within the time it would take to ride up an elevator.” 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 competition demonstrates the networking and presentation skills essential to any entrepreneur or business professional.
“It’s wonderful to see the continued evolution of our program as students are pitching ideas to create a better world in both the social and commercial sectors. That type of thinking is exactly what we need from our next-gen leaders,” stated Yvonne English, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Grove City College (E+I), which hosts and coordinates the competition.
The Elevator Pitch Competition is sponsored by Beans on Broad, Grove City, Pa. Final Round Judges were Drew McCandless ’84, Brittany Hampe ’09, Lisa Pritchard, and Dorene Powell.
For more about The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation (E+I), visit gccentrepreneurship.com.