Annual elevator pitch competition takes place in library


Benjamin Warner, a senior computer science major, delivered his business pitch at LaunchNET’s elevator pitch competition at the KSU Library Thursday Oct. 19, 2017.

Taylor Robinson

Twenty-two contestants participated in the 5th annual elevator pitch event in an actual elevator on the second floor of the University Library Thursday.

“The idea is to prepare your elevator pitch and be ready to share a brief, compelling story about yourself or your business,” said Julie Messing, the executive director of LaunchNET, which hosted the event. “You never know who you will be in the elevator with or in line with someone that can make a difference in your career.”

Contestants had 90 seconds to pitch their personal or business idea to compete for prizes to further their ideas. The contestants were on the elevator with someone timing them and a camera that displayed their pitch to an audience and a panel of three judges.

Contestants competed in two categories, one for venture or business and the other personal, Messing said.

“I’m freaking out,” contestant Jennifer Uren, a junior marketing major, said before giving her pitch. “I’m really nervous.”

Contestant Tyshaia Earnest, a sophomore fashion merchandising major, said she felt nervous before and during her pitch, but felt relieved when she came out of the elevator.

“Obviously, everyone is a little nervous,” said contestant Kevin Dubos, a senior entrepreneurship major. “But there’s nothing to lose.”

The event had audience superlatives for the first time this year. Three contestants took home gift cards for the most eco-friendly pitch, most polished and professional pitch and best sense of humor.

Julia Hazel, a junior communication studies major, took home $400 for best personal pitch and senior fashion merchandising major, Annie Skoch, took home $400 for best business pitch.

Zach Mikrut, the program manager of LaunchNET, thanked the entire team, TeleProductions and Zaria Ware, the student fellow who organized the event.

Mikrut congratulated all contestants and encouraged them to come to LaunchNET if they want to pursue their ideas further and make a plan of action.  

“Congratulations and good job. I encourage you all to keep practicing,” the judges said to the audience. “You get better by practicing and you all have a such a big platform to jump off of and keep rolling.”

Taylor Robinson is the libraries reporter. Contact her at [email protected]