Students dominate Elevator Pitch Competition


Sophomore Shaqui Scott won $1000 at the annual fall Elevator Pitch Competition on Monday night. His business idea was for energy-saving headphones that pause your music when the buds are removed from your ears.

The second place prize for $500 went to University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg student Anthony Lembo followed by the third place prize of $250 to Toni Antonucci.

A certificate with an iTunes gift card were awarded to Feiyan Chen, Michael Weidman, Maury Smith, Chelsia Pole, Krista Braha, Danielle Keiser and Carolyn Bringe. Ashley White, Alvine Rackliff and Nikkell Oyungi also won iTunes cards and gift baskets.

“I was very impressed by the diversity, creativity and delivery of the pitches,” said professor and event host Doug Nelson. “The distribution of winners demonstrates anyone can win. Additionally, two or the three winners were non-business majors who brought their great idea and passion to the stage.”

The EPC is an event that gives students the opportunity to practice selling business ideas. Contestants are given 90 seconds to pitch their concept to a panel of judges.

Various students and faculty from SHU were in attendance, including Interim President Bibiana Boerio and University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg’s President Sharon Smith.

The night began with Michael Weidman and his proposal for a training rescue dogs to be service dogs. Scott Szypulski had the business idea for a Greensburg Drive-in. It would be complete with fire pits and would accommodate sporting events, birthday parties and family reunions. “Every family has a summer bucket list. Why not place the Greensburg Drive-In at the top of that list?”

Reformed justice programs for youth, a freezer-wave and a Swiffer for carpets were among other ideas presented.

Adult student Louis Tommasini proposed a tax app that uses an animated character to help users answer questions about filing taxes. Another adult student, Nikkell Oyugi, promoted her Financial Peace University idea to give applicants confidence and leadership in overcoming economic burdens.

Maury Smith continued the evening with her idea for a campus radio station. She noted that it “has a lot of potential for student involvement,” as it utilizes technical, business and music students.

Candace Kearse wanted to “create a relaxing atmosphere for students or faculty to work on homework or catch up with friends” with a Starbucks on campus. In addition, Carl Koelher presented his idea on creating a smart suspension system that would “allow the vehicle to shift weight and improve the overall performance.”

Chinese exchange student Feiyan Chen noted the differences between Chinese and American pregnancy care in hospitals and wanted to develop a system to help Chinese women adapt or to modify American prenatal care.

“I am extremely appreciative and proud of every student who had the courage to step up to the microphone and deliver their pitch,” said Nelson.

The event was originally scheduled for November 6 and was postponed because of the late President Emerita Boyle’s funeral viewings.


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