College of Business

CSU, Chico Student Business Ideas on Display at Elevator Pitch Competition


Students line up to present their 90-second business pitch at the Chico State Elevator Pitch Contest in 2015.

About 35 students from a variety of disciplines across California State University, Chico and Butte College will present business concepts at the Center for Entrepreneurship Elevator Pitch Contest 2016. The event will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 5-8 p.m. in Colusa Hall, Room 100.

The contest is designed as a showcase for some of CSU, Chico's most innovative students, who will compete for the winning title and a total of $3,000 in prize money that is being provided by Chico’s TBar & Fusion Café.

The event is free and open to the public.

Elevator pitches are super-short, sweet and essential skills that must be mastered by would-be entrepreneurs who are seeking to develop successful new ventures. Each student will have 90 seconds to pitch their ideas to a panel of six judges who include local entrepreneurs, business owners and nonprofit executives.

In last year’s elevator pitch competition, students submitted ideas including creating a solar-powered camping stove to benefit people located in areas without access to clean water and developing an app to help people arrange carpools.

Participating students this year come from various majors within the University’s colleges of engineering, kinesiology, business, communication arts and sciences, computer graphics and mechanical and mechatronic engineering, among others.

Students will be evaluated on how credibly they describe their business concept or product, how well the idea addresses a need or solves a problem, the likely commercial potential of the venture and how their idea is superior to existing offerings.

The top four finishers in next week’s contest will automatically qualify as finalists for the spring 2017 Pitch Party, a similarly designed CSU, Chico business idea competition, and the chance to collect more prize money.

Last year’s idea for a robotic prosthetic hand to help a young burn victim won first place for recent mechatronics program graduate Peter Matulich and his team. The People’s Choice award went to business major Koichi Matsumoto and his proposal for Coexist Café, which would serve coffee along with the option for a short lesson in American Sign Language (ASL) with the aim of teaching more people ASL to help alleviate some of the isolation that hearing-impaired people experience.

Housed within the University’s College of Business, CSU, Chico’s Center for Entrepreneurship aims to support students and recent alumni who want to create their own businesses.

“My purpose with everything we do at the Center for Entrepreneurship is to incorporate all seven colleges, not just the College of Business. I wanted to have contests that are as accessible as possible,” said Center for Entrepreneurship Director Peter Straus.

Peter Straus
Center for Entrepreneurship
College of Business

Michele Chandler
Public Affairs

Read the story via Chico State News here.

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Persons with disabilities who need accommodations or have questions about physical access may call the program sponsoring the event or call Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.