Grove City College held the final round of the 2015 Elevator Pitch Competition on Oct. 31.
The Elevator Pitch Competition affords all students the opportunity to pitch their new venture ideas to a panel of judges, offering cash prizes in two categories: commercial enterprise and social enterprise. This year’s competition had 102 students from 17 different majors participate.
“Elevator pitch” is shorthand for a short, concise description of a business idea that can delivered in the time it would take to ride an elevator with a potential investor. The goal of the competition is to teach students to communicate effectively and allow their charisma and their venture’s positive characteristics to shine through in just two minutes. The competition tests students’ networking and presentation skills, which are essential to any entrepreneur or business professional. Ideas for the competition may be at any stage of development from creation of concepts or ideas to an established venture.
“We’re extremely excited to see the continued growth of our Elevator Pitch Competition across several majors on campus. This year alone, we had a 20 percent increase in student participation, which continued last year’s trend. Entrepreneurship is alive and well at Grove City College,” Yvonne English, Executive Director of the College’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, said.
This year, Transform Furniture by Benjamin Marasco ‘16, of Washington, Pa., took the first place prize in the commercial enterprise category. He also took first place in last year’s competition. Ben Tobias ’19, of Davisburg, Mich., took second place and Karolina Lagerquist '16, of Pittsburgh, Pa., came in third in that category.
Under the social enterprise category, Foster Freedom by Anabelle Rutledge ’17, of Carmichael, Calif., won first place. Joanie Brown '19, of Harrisburg, Pa., came in second and Christina Vilbert '17, of Downingtown, Pa., took third place.
First place winners received a $500 cash prize, second place won $400 and third took a $300 prize.
The final round judges were young entrepreneurs, most of whom are also Grove City alumni who majored in entrepreneurship and participated in the competition while they were students. The judges under the Social Enterprise category were Brittany Hampe ’09, Zoe Simek ’14, and Ellie Stanchak ’13. The Commercial Enterprise judges were Joshua Fisher ’13, Jayna Grassel ’11, and Nick Marts. Grove City College administration and faculty from a variety of disciplines served as judges for the qualifying round.
For more information on Grove City College’s Entrepreneur Department: www.gccentrepreneurship.com.