The annual Stu Lieblein ’90 Pitch Contest has once again attracted top entrepreneurial talent on campus, as nine individuals and one group of three students have moved on to the semi-finals. Chosen by a selection committee for their innovative ideas, this year’s proposals range from creative companies to non-profits and social enterprises. In the coming months, the semi-finalists will refine their ideas through workshops led by the Centennial Center, before pitching them to expert panelists in order to win $10,000 to launch their startup.
“We’ve seen an impressive range of ideas from this year’s semi-finalists that include clothing companies, platforms to address social issues, and new ways to use social media,” says Margiloff Family Entrepreneurial Leadership Fellow Ed Bizari. “The selection committee chose these students because of the potential viability and impact their ideas could have in the marketplace.”
Since The Pitch was founded in 2012, contestants have gone on to found downtown Geneva businesses, launch companies in Ghana and build energy-efficient greenhouses in New York State. Contestants also have the opportunity to workshop and strengthen their proposals with alums that have extensive entrepreneurial experience. Last year’s judges included: Sabrina Horn ’83, managing partner and technology practice leader at Finn Partners; Peter A. Luchetti ’77, managing partner of Table Rock Capital and vice chair of the California Infrastructure Bank; Steven A. Neimeth ’90, former senior vice president and portfolio manager of SunAmerica Asset Management, LLC; and Angelo Santinelli P’18, senior executive at Dakin Management and adjunct lecturer at Babson College.
“The Pitch offers a structured program that presents access to resources like seminars and a mentor that will further the development of (my proposal) “Revolve,’” says Andrew Silard ’19, of his concept to increase fundraiser engagement by building a platform with photo, video and status updates. “I hope through the Pitch to develop my idea into a more organized strategy and to make it more attractive for seed funding.”
The semi-finalists will pitch to selection committee who will determine the finalists.
The full list of semi-finalists and their proposals include:
Jane Blumin ’19 – Blu Designers, a fashion company that creates handmade jewelry at a reasonable price
Tristan Cotter ’21 – LIVEFREE, a branded line of clothing and accessories that encourages people to express their individuality
Harrison Demaira ’19 – Demaira Social Media Advertising, a platform that allows social media content creators to connect with brand owners running advertising campaigns
Matthew Benton ’18, Charles Moore-Gillon ’18, Massimigliano Jones ’18 – Duck Down Outfitters, a sporting apparel company that creates functional and fashionable clothing for the refined outdoor enthusiast
Maura Moran ’18 – Frontier Financial, a financial budgeting tool for young professionals determined to lay a foundation for a financially independent future
Andrew Silard ’18 – Revolve, a social media platform committed to ending child poverty through crowd-funding
Shivam Tewari ’18 – SIX, a proximity-based social media tool that would leverage existing social media platforms to build personal networks through in-person connections
Alexander Cohen ’20 – $wagonomics, a service for colleges and universities to increase alumni and alumnae donations and contributions
Benjamin Greiner ’18 – TalkAboutDepression.org, a charitable non-profit organization that promotes awareness and skills around how to communicate with individuals with depression
Nhung Nguyen ’19 – Yellow aPeril, a social enterprise that challenges xenophobia in Western society through provocatively messaged clothing
The 2018 Stu Lieblein ’90 Pitch Contest will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2018 in the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center.