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November 16, 2015

Elevator Pitch Competition Slated for November 18

John Barton presents his 90 second elevator pitch at the Center for Entrepreneurship's elevator pitch competition
John Barton presents his business concept at the Center for Entrepreneurship's Elevator Pitch Competition

More than 50 California State University, Chico students will present their original business concepts at the campuswide Elevator Pitch Competition on Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 5 to 8 p.m. in Colusa Hall Room 100B. 

During the competition, individuals or teams will have 90 seconds to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. Participants will be judged on how well they describe their business concepts, the problem or need being solved, the competitive advantages and the commercial potential of the venture.  Judges will also consider whether pitches reflect enthusiasm, energy, confidence and credibility.

Winners will be invited to participate in the Business Concepts Competition on campus next spring, when they’ll present more developed ideas to a panel of entrepreneurial judges who may choose to invest in or support the team or concept.

In past years, the event has been open to College of Business students, but this year the competition is open to any major on campus, said Peter Straus, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, which hosts the event. Students participating in the elevator pitch were required to attend a two-hour coaching session.

This year’s spring competition has also expanded, Straus said. Previously open only to CSU, Chico, Sonoma State, Humboldt State and Sacramento State, this year at least eight universities around the country will participate in the campus event.

“The world is moving quickly, and among those moving the quickest are those who invest in businesses—everyone wants a piece of their time,” Straus. “The ability to present your idea quickly and effectively is a major skill in the modern world. The elevator pitch refers to how long you have in an elevator with someone. You’re trying to get them interested. And this doesn’t have to apply to a business idea—you can try to sell yourself to get a job.”

The judges include a local business consultant, a College of Business alum, a private equity banker and a chamber of commerce executive. A total of $1,000 in prize money will be awarded to winners, and the top five will qualify for the spring competition.

Housed in the College of Business, CSU, Chico’s Center for Entrepreneurship aims to support students and recent alumni in building their own businesses. The center has hosted the Business Concepts Competition for seven years. For more information on the Elevator Pitch Competition, please visit the College of Business website. 

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Peter Straus, director
Center for Entrepreneurship

Read the story via Chico State News here.