KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Students from across the Western Michigan University campus are invited to present their business pitches for cash prizes totaling $5,000 at the K.C. O'Shaughnessy Business Pitch Competition and Showcase Friday, March 23.
Members of the public are welcome to view the event, which will take place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in Schneider Hall on WMU's Main Campus. Free parking will be available nearby in parking Lot 72R.
The competition is open to all current WMU students. Those planning to participate must apply by midnight Sunday, March 18.
About the Competition
Students present a three-minute pitch about an innovative business idea they have to an audience of potential investors. The aspiring entrepreneurs are then evaluated in progressive rounds by panels of judges comprised of area entrepreneurs and business community members as well as WMU faculty members.
Cash prizes are awarded to the top four finishers: $2,000 for first place, $1,500 for second place, $1,000 for third place and $500 for the people's choice/most entertaining pitch. All student participants will have a chance to demonstrate their products or illustrate their services at the competition showcase, an expo of all of the entries from this year's competition.
"The competition is a great way for students to develop their business ideas, looking into their own experiences and at the marketplace for viable ideas that they can successfully sell to an audience," says Dr. Robert Landeros, chair of WMU's Department of Management and director of the University's Haworth College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
"The professional environment of the competition pushes students to think through their business concepts. The three-minute pitch is a test run for an authentic pitch to investors. Students get valuable feedback about what it would take to launch products and services, which will set them up for success if they refine their ideas and move them forward."
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