Picture: (Back, L to R) SBDC Director, Cindy Nellis, Jonathan Hansotte, Dante Grenci, Mark Liu, Event Chairperson, Shelby Reitz. (Front, L to R) Kareem Felfel, Olivia Keltz, Mandi Droney.
Clarion University Students Win in BizPitch Competition
The second annual Clarion University BizPitch Competition was held on November 20, 2019 at the Suites on Main North Movie Theater. The competition awarded $3,250 to four students for their business pitch. Prizes ranged from $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place, $500 for third place, and a fan favorite award of $250. A total of 11 students competed to via for the final round and a chance to win cash prizes. Students from all majors were encouraged to participate and could enter solo or in teams of no more than four, and presented their seven-minute business pitch to a panel of judges. The competition was open to part-time and full-time students enrolled in the Fall semester at Clarion University. Sponsors of the event were Farmers National Bank, S & T Bank, Robindale Energy, and Chartwells. All student participants were assisted by the Clarion University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in conjunction with the Entrepreneurial Leadership Center.
Olivia Keltz, a senior triple major in Marketing, Management, and Human Resources with a minor in Data Analytics, Mandi Droney a senior Mathematics major with minors in Economics and Accounting, and Mark Liu, a senior majoring in Physics with a minor in Math, won the top prize with their business, Tap Tap Agua. Their business idea provides tourists and locals of Lisbon, Portugal, with clean, cold drinking water while eliminating plastic waste through a subscription based water fountain service.
Kareem Felfel, a sophomore Computer Science major with a minor in Information Systems, won second place, $1,000, for introducing Clarion University Tutors to the judges, an online platform that would allow students to connect with tutors, professors, and fellow classmates for tutoring services. Dante Grenci, a senior majoring in Accounting and Jonathan Hansotte, a sophomore Finance major, won third place and “Fan Favorite” for a total of $750, with their company, Hello. Hello is a social platform that would offer dating and social services in the form of an application for users to easily meet new people.
The third annual Clarion University BizPitch will take place on November 18, 2020, with registrations opening September 7, 2020. Students are encouraged to continue interactions with the Small Business Development Center and Entrepreneurial Leadership Center to develop and refine their innovative ideas and business plans.