Student Entrepreneurs Face Judges in Business Competition

If you’ve seen “Shark Tank,” you know the drill.

A budding entrepreneur must step up to the mic to make their pitch in front of a panel of judges, who listen and wait to ask questions about the viability of the idea.

For Janae Robinson, a senior management major, the experience was a little nerve-wracking. But theidea she pitched to the three judges was one that was very personal to her.

“I don’t love public speaking, so that wasn’t fun,” she says. “But it was cool to get their feedback on something that’s been floating around in my brain for a few weeks.”

Robinson’s idea for a personalized storybook for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease won her $200 during the Entrepreneurship Club’s first student pitch competition, held this spring in the North End Zone Facility. She was among a handful of students participating in the event, with each one given 90 seconds to make their presentation – which could be for a product or a service – in front of the judges.

Judges evaluated each pitch based on its feasibility, the impact it could have, how it will serve the market, and the quality of delivery. Participants pitched ideas such as a travel service for university students; an online, one-stop shopfor people experiencing mechanical difficulties with the car; and an app for students that consolidates all the important information they need on a given day.

Winners of the competition were to have the opportunity to continue on to the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization’s Midwest Entrepreneurship Conference in April.

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