The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Grove City College’s 16th annual Elevator Pitch Competition finals are set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9 in Sticht Lecture Hall of the Staley Hall of Arts and Letters on campus.
The event is free and open to the public. It will be livestreamed at gccentrepreneurship.com.
The Elevator Pitch Competition (EPC) provides student entrepreneurs an opportunity to “pitch” their ideas for a new commercial or social enterprise to judges in a two-stage contest. Each student has two minutes – about the time it takes to ride in an elevator with a deep-pocketed investor – to convince the judges that their ideas have merit and potential.
“A record number of students registered for this year’s Elevator Pitch Competition, which is an exciting indication that our students are brimming with ideas to address existing problems ranging from those smaller problems that are found in daily life to more serious problems affecting our world. The Elevator Pitch Competition is always a fun and inspirational event, and we’re blessed to have so many people come together to review ideas, help our students hone their pitches, and to produce the event,” Yvonne J. English, executive director of The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation and professor of entrepreneurship, said.
One hundred and fifty-six students from 30 different majors registered for the EPC and submitted video pitches for commercial and social enterprises that were evaluated by a team of 69 reviewers in the preliminary round.
Fifteen finalists from eight different majors were selected for the final round in two divisions:
- Color by Note – Naomi Ng ’26, Design and Innovation. Coloring books matched to classical music.
- Cinq – Joe Gray ’23, Entrepreneurship. A social network that gives people friends and plans.
- Flyer – Caleb Einolf ’26, Design and Innovation. An app that combines school information, grades, and communication.
- Gunslingers – Ayden Gutierrez ’24, Communication Arts. An app that allows young quarterbacks to train from the best in the game.
- MadeFree – Sarah Welker ’24, Design and Innovation. An allergen-free protein bar.
- Stradivarius Tuning – Jacob Huber ’26, Electrical Engineering. String pickups to assist all elements of playing.
- Ease for Ears – Megan Dewing ’26, Political Science. Replacement aviator headset ear cushions for pilots.
- Breathe Easy – Nicholas Heltzel ’26, undeclared. Breathing product to help suffering athletes during play.
- SoloCollar – Shelton Brower ’24, Marketing. An electronic dog collar.
- Book N Bullet Foundation – Luke Mantzell ’24, Entrepreneurship and Finance. Dedicated to fixing the declining hunting population.
- Rarefinds – Mara Brak ’26, Design and Innovation. An e-commerce marketplace catering to petite women.
- Art on Wheels – Mary Golias ’26, Design and Innovation. Serving low-income communities with art education and spiritual support.
- Adopt a Golfer – Benjamin Lockwood ’23, Finance. Connecting at-risk youth with golf mentors.
- Safety Net – Ella Medairy ’25, Design and Innovation. An app that allows you to make your location known when you are unable to.
- Revelare – Rachel Petschke ’26, Design and Innovation. A newsletter that reveals greenwashing.
The pitches will be heard by three judges: Tim Daigle ’84, senior business advisor, AXIA Consulting; Carrisa Habsburg ’11, tax director, Sisterson & Co LLP; and Brian Gongaware ’92, principal, regional managing director, and director of advisory services, McKinley Carter Wealth Services, Inc.
Dorene Powell, vice president, The Grove City Foundation, will determine which enterprise wins the Social Impact Prize.
The Fan Favorite award will be determined by a vote of the audience, both in person and online.
The EPC is open to students from all majors and ideas may be at any stage of development, from creation of concepts or ideas to an established venture. The goal 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.
EPC sponsors include Beans on Broad and the Grove City Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.
For more about The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation, visit gccentrepreneurship.com.