Four students take home prizes from inaugural Iowa State pitch contest
Shaun VanWeelden (left) won the Innovation Pitch Commpetition's Best Overall Pitch, which earned the Iowa State sophomore a $300 prize, presented by Karina Crosignani of Renewable Energy Group.
Four Iowa State University students who pitched their business ideas last week at a new pitch competition walked away with cash in their pockets and a stamp of approval for their concepts.
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Learning Community hosted its inaugural Innovation Pitch Competition on March 20. The competition was open to students from all disciplines on campus and drew 21 participants, ranging from freshmen through the graduate level.
Participants gave a 90-second pitches and engaged in a two-minute question-and-answer session with a panel of judges that included SPN's own Geoff Wood; Cozette Hadley Rosburg of Becker Underwood (Ames); Dave Sly of Proplanner (Ames); and Gabe Greenbaum of OCA Ventures (Chicago).
The winners were:
- Best Overall Pitch - Shaun VanWeelden, a sophomore in computer engineering, took home the $300 prize. VanWeelden also received the Audience Choice award, which was voted on by individuals observing the pitches and earned VanWeelden a $50 ISU Bookstore gift card.
- Best New Innovation or Technology - Luke Schlangen, a graduate student in industrial engineering, won the $200 prize.
- Best New Business Idea - Lauren Haglund, a freshman in agricultural education communications, won the $200 prize.
- Best New Social Entrepreneurship Venture - Teal Richard, a junior in marketing and international business, won the $200 prize.
“Everyone did an awesome job," Greenbaum said in a release, "and offered a wide and impressive range of solutions to problems out there in the world."*
Credits: Photo courtesy of ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.
*Updated March 26, 4:45 p.m. – Greenbaum's quote was updated to reflect a revision to the release.