News & RSS Feeds

UPIKE students share business ideas during pitch contest

November 17, 2016 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
The Kentucky Innovation Network office at UPIKE and the Coleman College of Business collaborated with the Student Success department to host the inaugural “Pizza and Pitch” business competition.

Ten UPIKE students delivered 60-second elevator pitches of their business ideas for a chance to win more than $600 in cash and prizes. The oral presentations included explaining a pervasive problem, the student’s solution to the problem, the market opportunity to sell the product and the student’s ability to make it happen.

“Pitch competitions like these allow students from any major the opportunity to share their ideas,” said Justin Prater, assistant director of the Kentucky Innovation Network office and emcee of the event. “We look forward the hosting more competitions in the future for UPIKE’s aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Nico Rodenbusch, of Simmern, Germany, earned first place and $500 proposing an organic pet food additive made from citrus seeds to help prevent arthritis and joint problems in dogs. “I didn’t really know what to expect from the event and who my competition would be, so I prepared my pitch very intensely,” said Rodenbusch. “Once the event started I realized that I had a good shot at winning and I’m very happy that I did.”

Second place and $100 went to Christine Johnston, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for pitching “The Noodleeze,” a clip-on ramen noodle strainer, which saves up to three minutes of time while preventing noodle loss.

Andrew Carkner, of Ellensburg, Wash., won third place and $50 in gift certificates for his idea to provide a device to K-12 schools to sterilize common use implements and utensils to prevent the spread bacteria and decrease illness.

“Events like these are meant to showcase the creativity on our campus and bring together students from all disciplines to experience the benefits of entrepreneurship,” said David Snow, D.M., who directs the Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville office, SBI program and business competitions and is the associate professor of business. “The Pizza and Pitch competition is a prelude to the UPIKE Startup Challenge Business Plan competition scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3. The deadline to submit a written plan is Monday, Nov. 21, for the opportunity to win a share of $10,000 in cash awards.”

Contact for more information about competing in the UPIKE Startup Challenge. The business competition is open to anyone in Eastern Kentucky, whether an individual or a team of people.

Caption: Nico Rodenbusch, left, earned first place during UPIKE’s “Pizza and Pitch” business competition and the $500 prize presented by Justin Prater.

There has never been a better time to be a UPIKE Bear! APPLY NOW
UPike Tigers