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Trinity Entrepreneurship Hosts Inaugural Elevator Pitch Competition


By Brittney Bowman –

I originally came up with the concept of an elevator pitch competition my freshman year when I started working for the Entrepreneurship Department. My boss gave me the task of making a list of all of the amazing things I wanted the department to do. He told me that there were no parameters. The sky was the limit. So I started to do some research about what other universities did to come up with ideas. I came across a university that rents out one of the tallest buildings in their city in order to use the elevators for the completion and that’s when I decided that Trinity needed to do this. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make that a reality at the time. It wasn’t until last semester that my boss came to me and asked if I wanted to make it happen and of course I said “yes”!

When trying to figure out the logistics of the event, the one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted more people to be involved in the event than just the participants. I started throwing around different ideas for how it could work and that’s when I decided that it could also be a networking event. So my overall goals were to allow students to practice a pitch, to have more people than just the students and competitors to participate in it, and I wanted it to involve more people than just those of the Entrepreneurship Department. In order to accomplish all of these, I set up the event in two rounds.

Student Competitor Gets Ready to Give her Elevator Pitch

The first round was a networking event. I invited professors from a variety of departments to be both attendees and act as judges for the first round. Nobody knew who was a judge and who wasn’t a judge. The idea behind this was that you never know who is the CEO of a major company, so you should always try and pitch yourself and make a good impression because you could be talking to the next Steve Jobs and not know it. Those who were competitors were labeled as competitors on their nametags and they had thirty minutes to give their pitch to as many people as they could. If they happened to pitch to a judge and the judge liked their pitch, then they were handed a business card. At the end of the first round, all of business cards were tallied and the top 10 competitors with the most cards moved on to the second round. The second round consisted of 5 judges in two different elevators. The competitors had only the time of the elevator ride to give their pitch to these 5 new judges in the hopes of collecting more business cards to add to their total. At the end, the 5 students with the most business cards won a prize.

Overall the event went better than I had hoped. Everybody who came out, participants and judges alike, really enjoyed the event and thought that it was a great concept. Everyone always hears the term “elevator pitch”, but I don’t think anybody ever actually thinks of actually doing it in an elevator. I think having that concept happen in real life was what made the event so cool. Getting all of the positive feedback after the event really validated that this was a good idea that should be continued in the future. There are definitely a few logistics that need improvement before we do this event again, but overall the event was a great success.

elevator pitch winners amazon 2017
The 2017 Elevator Pitch Competition Winners

I think the Trinity Elevator Pitch Competition contributes to the Trinity experience because it really is an all-encompassing event. It not only brings together people from a variety of departments, but it also gives students the opportunity to work on any sort of pitch that they want. They could give a pitch for a business concept, they could try and sell themselves for a particular job, really they could pitch anything. So this meant that it wasn’t just for business students with business ideas. One of the biggest misconceptions about entrepreneurship is that it is only for business majors. In reality, it can fit in with any major and that is what I hope can come across to people who attend this event. The things that we do in entrepreneurship and the skills and knowledge that we teach can be paired with any type of educational background or interest. I think this competition also can help to prepare students for life after graduation. It helps them to not only work on their pitch, but it is also a reminder that you never know who you are talking to or what opportunities you can come across from networking. Because of that, you should always sell yourself to anybody that will listen. I think an event like this is unique to Trinity because it is all-encompassing of the campus community. It not only brings multiple department together, but it also connects student, professors, and alumni together. We really pride ourselves on begin this great community and having events like this that can bring everybody together and can benefit everyone really helps to strengthen that community.

About Brittney

Brittney Bowman is a senior Business Administrations major with a concentration in Accounting with an interdisciplinary second major in Entrepreneurship from Georgetown Texas. In her four years at Trinity, her most notable involvements have been as the captain of the Trinity Cheerleaders and the president of the Zeta Chi sorority. Entrepreneurship and baking are her passion, and after graduation she plans on opening her own cake pop bakery.

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