Elevator Pitch Competition revamps contest

The semiannual Elevator Pitch Competition (EPC) will be welcoming new participants and implementing new prizes for their fall event.

Presented by the Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities, the EPC is held to give students an opportunity to present a business idea for the possibility of winning various cash prizes.

This year, Seton Hill University (SHU) opened the competition to students from Saint Vincent College and University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. They also expanded their prize categories from top three to top ten. First place is still $1000, followed by $500 and $250 for second and third places respectively. There will be six additional prize categories to be announced and honored with various gift cards.

“It provides idea development, presentation experience and gives students a chance to make a business idea a reality,” said Wukich Center graduate assistant Abby Leone.

Douglas Nelson, professor and director of the Wukich Center, noted that you don’t have to have a business or financial background to participate. You also do not have to be a business major—all majors and studies are welcomed.

“Just ask yourself, ‘How can I make a living around my passion?’ All you need is an idea or a better way of doing something,” said Nelson.

Participants have 90 seconds to sell their idea to the judges. “When interviewing for a job or internship, you have roughly 90 seconds to sell yourself. If they’re not convinced, then you’re probably not getting a job,” said Nelson. “This is an excellent opportunity to practice public speaking and gain confidence.”

 The Wukich Center receives grants for their services and part of that is budgeted for the cash prizes. On average, the EPC has roughly 30 participants.

“Think about it. If there are 30 people competing, you stand a one-in-30 chance of winning $1000. That’s better odds than the lottery. Whether it’s spending money, study abroad funds or savings, it’s going to really help someone. Just give it a shot,” said Nelson.

“Nothing like this has been done before and it’s great to see local schools come together to foster entrepreneurship: which, overall, is what the competition is really about,” said Leone. “It’s fitting that a liberal arts university hosts the competition, too. As liberal arts students, we have to dabble in a little bit of everything, just like an entrepreneur.”

An informational meeting will be held on Oct. 14. There will be a makeup session for interested students unable to attend the first meeting.

The competition will be on November 4. Participants must register prior to the event by contacting Nelson or using the QR code on the fliers around campus.

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