Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship preps students pitches for upcoming competition


Courtesy of Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship

Students filled the Launchpad of the Student Innovation Center to enhance and refine their business ideas and corresponding pitches.

Jack Mcclellan

The Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship hosted a pitch workshop Monday afternoon to help students prepare for the upcoming College by College Pitch Competition.

The event took place Monday from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Launchpad of the Student Innovation Center. The workshop began with a brief slide presentation given by Judi Eyles, the director of the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. After the presentation, the group broke out into small groups to begin crafting and critiquing their pitches.

“It was really helpful… It helped me say like, how do I show that this benefits people? How can I show that this makes money?” said Ryan Hurley, a senior in marketing and aspiring producer of historical wares. “And how do I do it, like, succinctly, like briefly, because I went a little over, they gave really good advice on like, what exactly worked, what didn’t, so it was really good.”

The pitch workshop was held partially to help students prepare for the College by College pitch competition that will be taking place in the following weeks. The College by College Pitch-Off is a pitch competition hosted by the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, pitting students from each of Iowa State’s colleges against each other for a $5,000 prize.

“Yeah, so the College by College Pitch-Off is an event that takes place in all seven colleges at Iowa State. So there’s one event for each college,” said Samantha Dilocker, a marketing specialist at the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. “Students pitch their business idea, whether it’s something that they’re actively working on and have revenue in or something that they have a business idea that they [had] in the shower that morning.”

The competition consists of two rounds: the College-by-College Pitch-off and the Pitch-off Finale. In the College by College Pitch-off, students will compete against students of similar majors within their own college. The competition is split into two categories; the “New Idea” category is for concepts still in the idea stage, while the “Existing Business Category” is for concepts that have progressed to having revenue, products, or customers.

Participants have 90 seconds to give their pitch and an additional two minutes to answer questions from the panel of judges. The top two pitchers from both categories of each college will advance to the finale, where they will compete within their categories for the $5,000 grand prize or the $1,000 second-place prize.

“I think that once you get past your college then the stakes are definitely a little bit higher in the Pitch-Off finale, knowing that you’ve got the first and second place winners from all the other colleges going against you as well,” Dilocker said. “But yeah, stakes are high, but I mean, you kind of can’t be the hourly wage, I mean for about four minutes of your time. That’s a lot of money.”

The College by College Pitch-Off is approaching fast, but there is still room to sign up in each of the colleges. For more information on the College by College Pitch-Off, visit the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship’s website.