Wukich Center plans another year of activities

The third annual Elevator Pitch Competition will take place on Oct. 29 at 6:00p.m. in Cecilian Hall. The competition is sponsored by the Wukich Center, a center focusing on entrepreneurial guidance and small business development. It also aims to give back to the community and Seton Hill University. The Elevator Pitch competition is geared toward doing just that.

Sign-ups were held outside of Lowe Dining Hall from Sept. 17 to 21 during lunch hours. Students can still enter the competition if there are open spots available by emailing Abby Leone at leo5658@setonhill.edu.

The Wukich Center recently hired an Entrepenuer-in-Residnce, Micheal Pochan. Pochan offers small business counciling to students and alumni at Seton Hill University as well as faculty. Eleven students have already employeed the help of POchan on thier busi- ness ideas and plans for marketting and execution. Pochan’s statement for his mission is, “I want every student to have a better chance to succeed if they launch a business.”

The Elevator Pitch competition challenges students to pitch a business idea in 90 sec- onds for a chance to win $1,000. Students can test business ideas that they come up with for the competition specifically or ones they have been working on for a while. First place receives $1,000, second $500 and third $250.

According to Douglas Nelson, participants should care about what they are pitching and have energy when presenting. The ability to present an idea is not only important in business, but it’s important to every student no matter what his or her field. Presentations will be scored in two areas, idea and presentation and hold equal weight.

The last Elevator Pitch Competition final round took place on April 3, 2012. It was in- spired and funded partially by the Westmoreland Keystone Innovation Zone and nearly 50 students competed. First place winner Bovey Masiole pitched his idea of raising money for African children by selling handmade bracelets. Joseph Kralik placed second and Gretchen Horrell placed third.

“My advice for anyone who wants to participate in the competition is to take every opportunity beforehand to improve on your public speaking. I’ve never had an issue with speaking in front of people, but I found it hard to express myself physically to make my speeches more animated,” said junior Carolyn Bringe, a finalist in the past two years of competition.

The center is also working on the Wukich Venture Fund. It offers students and alumni the opportunity to use funds from the collection instead of trying to borrow from a tradi- tional bank. The Venture Fund Committee will approve proposals up to $50,000, depend- ing on the ideas. When asked about the Venture Fund last year Nelson said, “If you go to a bank if you haven’t made money yet, the bank will say no. We are trying to eliminate that barrier.”

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