Last year's pitch contest drew more than 50 student teams with ideas from a method for creating hydrogen energy to a service that delivers groceries to students and elderly residents. Watch the video to hear some of the pitches.
Release Date: April 10, 2014
BUFFALO, N.Y. — It’s a nerve-wracking minute-and-a-half: You’re standing in a room full of aspiring entrepreneurs, you’re presenting an idea for a business to a panel of judges, and you have just 90 seconds to do it.
That’s the type of drama the University at Buffalo’s second annual Elevator Pitch Competition will deliver.
The contest, which takes place April 16, is open to students from across UB.
It’s like ABC’s Shark Tank — only faster. At last year’s competition, the atmosphere was collegial but tense, with competitors practicing rapid-fire talks outside the room before taking the stage. There were meltdowns and mistakes, as well as moments of perfection.
This year, first-place winners will get a cash prize of $1,000.
Who: Seventy-five student teams have signed up to present. Students can pitch business or other ideas that provide novel solutions to real-world challenges. No notes, slides or other visual aids are allowed.
When: Wednesday, April 16, at 1 p.m. Good visuals: The contest is expected to last about four hours, with back-to-back pitches. Winners will receive giant checks.
Where: Student Union Theatre on UB’s North Campus. The Student Union is building No. 28 in the yellow section of this map: http://bit.ly/1jq1rRX.
On-site contact: Hadar Borden, administrative director, UB Undergraduate Academies
Sponsors: UB Entrepreneurship Academy; UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR); and UB School of Management. Prizes are supported by the Bruce Holm Memorial Catalyst Fund.
Why: The pitch competition gives undergraduate and graduate students the chance to generate novel ideas, connect with peers with similar interests, and learn how to pitch to potential investors and supporters.
“The pitch competition is part of a growing effort at UB to promote entrepreneurship, to realize the promise of UB 2020 and to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Western New York,” said Yong Li, PhD, academic director of UB’s Entrepreneurship Academy and an associate professor of operations management and strategy in the UB School of Management.
VIDEO of last year’s contest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoXjQam0-xY
Other UB programs that support business-minded students included: