Students Get Advice, Awards in Elevator Pitch Contest

Pensacola – Imagine standing before a group of industry professionals and pitching your business idea. Now, imagine having only four minutes to do it.

Eight student teams took that challenge on March 25 in the UWF College of Business’ Elevator Pitch Contest.

“This is a great opportunity to build your confidence,” said Aaron Gipson, a student whose pitch for mobile detailing service College Crew won the top prize. “It gives you a chance to really step outside the box and pitch to professionals and get their feedback.”

The presentations included:

  • Advanced Device Manager – An application that allows users to monitor all their devices from one central location.
  • Infiniteen – A preparatory seminar that teaches graduating high school students life skills, such as filing taxes and preparing for job interviews.
  • Tier Art – A social network for artists that helps protect copyright.
  • Mt. Etna Antico Wine – Wine from Sicily, housed in bottles made from volcanic ash.
  • College Crew – A mobile detailing service that employs college students and focuses on the college campus market.
  • Healthy Start Reminder – An application designed to help expectant mothers keep doctor’s appointments.
  • Med Data – A bracelet device that reminds users to take their prescriptions and provides digital medical information in case of emergencies.
  • DateNite – An application that curates local experience packages that appeal to couples.

The judges offered their feedback after each presentation and were impressed by the participants.

“All of these ideas could be winners,” said judge Robert Foster, director of Venture Hive, a business accelerator. “But often, the money is looking at the person, not the gizmo.”

Judge Patrick G. Rooney speaks to participants during the Elevator Pitch Contest.

The judges also included Dr. Mona Amodeo of idgroup; Matt Hayes, director of Client Services for Chemistry South; Patrick Rooney, a CPA and lead consultant for CoastalCxO; and Caron Sjoberg, president and CEO of Ideaworks.

The winner, College Crew, received $1,000. Two second-place finishers, Med Data and Tier Art, received $500, and three third place winners, Infiniteen, Healthy Start Reminder and DateNite, received $300 each. The event was funded through a UWF Quality Enhancement Plan grant.

Tier Art’s Buu Tran Duong said the contest was not only a valuable learning experience, but also a rare opportunity.

“Where else would you ever get this many different types of professionals together to offer their feedback on your idea?” she said.