Ninety seconds was all it took for each entrepreneurial team of UC students to pitch their idea for an innovative new company and win over a panel of discerning judges.
Seven teams emerged victorious from a field of nearly 100 teams hailing from three UC campuses in this year’s Innovation Quest Elevator Pitch Competition (IQ E-Pitch Competition). Each of them shared a compelling new startup idea with strong investment potential.
Graduate winners included Barbara Alison Watson, PharmD '15, Caroline Barone, PharmD,' 15), Jessica Hatton, PharmD '15, Emily Kolb, PharmD '15, Danielle Soriano, PharmD '15, for their virtual pharmacist concept: My Home Pharmicist (1st Place); Justin Straub, BS '14, MBA '14, and Zhen Li, PhD '14, for their alternative fuel manufacturing business which will produce a cost effective and environmentally friendly substitute for coal: Fuellet (2nd Place); and Jensin Wallace (MDes, 2014), for her innovative new clothing line concept: Jensin Wallace Designs (3rd Place).
Undergraduate winners included Andrew Kordahi, BS '14, Cristyn Scarbrough, BS '14, Kerry O'Connell, BS '14, and Andy Robinson, BS '14, for their medical device concept: Speculum 2 (1st Place); Jon Kosenick, BS '14, for his east coast-oriented skate shoe venture: Irving Footwear NYC (2nd Place); and Andrew Savitz, BA '15, for his virtual dressing room for online shoppers: Mirror (3rd Place).
These winners were among some 240 UC students from the Lindner College of Business, McMicken Arts & Sciences, College-Conservatory of Music, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, College of Engineering & Applied Science, and the College of Pharmacy, who made a 90-second “elevator pitch” to judges to sell them on their entrepreneurial idea.
The evening started with a rousing address by President Santa Ono who enthusiastically welcomed participants to the competition and encouraged the pursuit of entrepreneurship at UC as a vehicle for economic growth in our region. Lindner College of Business Dean David Szymanski presided at this year’s event with Professor Thomas Dalziel, competition founder and executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research. 2014 Event Chair, Professor Catalin Macarie, emceed the event and led a group 26 expert judges and more than 40 student volunteers who together helped the event run smoothly. Special guest speakers included local entrepreneurs, Trew Quackenbush and Corey Ward of TOM & CHEE, who regaled participants with the story of their entrepreneurial journey.
The competition is organized by UC’s Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research in the Lindner College of Business and was made possible by generous support from numerous sponsors including Capacity Energy Solutions, Capstory, Charitable Words Scholars, Easley Enterprises, International TechneGroup, Inc., Lindner College of Business Student Action Team, O’Keeffe PR & Marketing Solutions, SS&G, and Target.