Three students from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg will compete for a $1,000 top prize when they participate in Seton Hill University’s Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities third annual Elevator Pitch Competition.
More than 50 students from Seton Hill University and the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg are expected to participate in the event to be held Monday, November 11, at 6 p.m. in Seton Hill’s Cecilian Hall. While the event was started in 2011, this is the first year that students from Pitt-Greensburg will be competing.
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 can win 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.
Erin Frey, a senior double majoring in accounting and business management, will pitch her idea for a new wine bar that would be located outside of Pittsburgh. A graduate of Hempfield Area High School, she is the daughter of Donald and Paula Frey of Jeannette, PA.
Anthony J. Lembo is a senior accounting major from Connellsville, PA. He opted not to share his idea, and instead noted, “I felt it would be interesting and fun to come up with an idea to enhance a product or service that affects this area.”
Scott Szypulski, a senior majoring in accounting with a double minor in actuarial science and visual and performing arts (theatre), will pitch his idea for a 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.
Competitors will deliver their best 90-second pitch and wow the judges with why their idea is “the next big thing.” Students must convey all the essential information in a clear and concise manner, communication in a tone that is likeable, passionate, compelling, and credible. The 90-second time frame is 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 will be judged on the content of their pitch as well as their delivery.
Students participated in a first round of competition on October 28 with the final round to be held November 11. The event was open to all undergraduate and graduate students at the two universities.
The contest is 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. The Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities equips students with the entrepreneurial skills needed to address the challenges of an evolving global market – whether a student’s career path includes running his or her own business or serving as a leader within an existing one. The Wukich Center supports students through the creation of the Wukich Scholars and Wukich Interns Programs; through the initiation of The Wukich Venture Fund; and through collaborative efforts that align with E-Magnify, Seton Hill’s Women’s Business Center, and the University’s Career and Professional Development Center. The Wukich Center also supports research and curriculum development for Seton Hill faculty.