Two students from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg competed for a $1,000 top prize when they participated in Seton Hill University’s Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities third annual Elevator Pitch Competition. Pitt-Greensburg’s Anthony J. Lembo won the second place prize of $500 when he pitched his idea for “Anthony’s List,” a service, similar to Angie’s List, that would screen services and vendors for senior citizens and their care-givers. He is a senior accounting major from Connellsville, PA.
Scott Szypulski, a senior majoring in accounting with a double minor in actuarial science and visual and performing arts (theatre), pitched his idea for a state-of-the-art drive-in movie theater in the Greensburg area. A graduate of Penn Trafford High School, he is the son of Robert and Linda Szypulski of Irwin.
The two joined approximately 35 students from Seton Hill University at the event held Monday, November 11, in Seton Hill’s Cecilian Hall. While the event was started in 2011, this is the first year that students from Pitt-Greensburg competed.
Much like ABC’s popular reality TV show, “Shark Tank,” Seton Hill’s Elevator Pitch Competition gives contestants a small window of opportunity to impress a panel of judges with their business idea. In addition to the top prize of $1,000, students could have won a $500 second prize or $250 third prize. The Elevator Pitch process is designed to help the students to distill their dream, vision, and passion down to its purest essence. It helps them to articulate what really matters to them and to focus.
Competitors delivered their best 90-second pitch to wow the judges with why their idea is “the next big thing.” Students needed to convey all the essential information in a clear and concise manner, communication in a tone that was likeable, passionate, compelling, and credible. The 90-second time frame was meant to mimic the time someone would have if pitching an idea during an elevator ride. The elevator pitch is not designed to take the place of a solid business plan but is simply intended to capture the attention of a potential investor. Participants were judged on the content of their pitch as well as their delivery.
The contest was sponsored by the Seton Hill University Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities. It is financed in part by a grant from the Westmoreland Keystone Innovation Zone (WKIZ) and the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland County. Seton Hill University created The Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities in 2009 as a result of a $2 million leadership commitment by Daniel J. Wukich, the founder of Quest Healthcare Development, Inc., to enhance the University’s Signature Degree Programs in Business and the Health Sciences.