Pitch Competition Showcases Innovation

In April, aspiring Truman entrepreneurs competed for $6,000 in prize money during the third annual Bulldog B.I.T.E. elevator pitch competition.

An elevator pitch outlines the concept or idea for a product, service or project in a short period of time, typically from 30 seconds to three minutes. Bulldog B.I.T.E., which stands for Business Innovation by Truman Entrepreneurs, allows participating students to pitch a for-profit or not-for-profit concept. The length of the pitch mirrors the time spent waiting for and riding an elevator in a high-rise building. The purpose of the pitch is to spur the interest of a potential investor or financial backer.

Six teams were selected by judges to attend the live pitch competition and present their idea to a panel. Contestants were judged based on the problem, product/service solution, market, competition, value creation, seed money, a Q&A session and the presentation of the concept. The winner received a cash prize of $3,000, and second and third place received $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

The 2018 first-place winner was Jonathan Scheeler, a senior business administration finance major, for his drone data servicing concept. In second place was Shane Legatzke, a senior accounting and business administration finance major, for his pitch of a system of grants to educate high school students on financial literacy. The team of Joey Goldman, a sophomore business administration marketing and management major, and Victoria Kleitz, a senior business administration management major, finished third for their pitch of an application that allows users to find charities that are credible and donate to them.

Daymond John from the television series “Shark Tank” made a guest appearance at the end of the competition. He shared with the contestants a few words about prevailing as a young entrepreneur. John was visiting Truman as the guest speaker for the Holman Family Speaker Series.

The final-round judges for Bulldog B.I.T.E. were Jim Cunningham (’97), Paul D. Garnett (’73), Amanda Gioia (’93), Mike McClaskey (’85) and Brian Roth. The first-round judges for the competition were alumni Amy Gryder (’97) and Ron Thomas (’65). 

Alumni Doug (’94) and Diane (’95) Villhard, along with Express Scripts, sponsored the 2018 Bulldog B.I.T.E. competition.

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