Eight final teams chosen for Pirates Pitch

The Stillman School of Business has chosen eight teams of finalists for its new venture fund project, Pirates Pitch.

According to Susan Scherreik, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, “Originally, the Stillman School received over two dozen entries and a panel of judges which include Stephen Waldis, president and CEO of Synchronoss Technologies and Robert Carr, president of Heartland Payment Systems. The finalists were chosen based on a series of factors that include everything from creativity to the possibility of the business succeeding in the real world.”

Two of the finalists, Eric Casperson and Andrew Gilberti, are working together to develop a sports-based internet business.

“We entered because we felt that we had a great idea and it will be something that could take off and become the next big thing,” Casperson said.

Allen Ratz, also a finalist, said he and his teammate, Caitlin Papa, were excited for the competition the moment they heard about it.

“We believed it would be a great opportunity to take all of the knowledge and skills we’ve obtained over four years at Seton Hall and transform those concepts into practice,” Ratz said.

According to the Pirates Pitch press release, the competition is not restricted for just students of the Stillman School. All undergraduate and graduate Seton Hall students are welcome to participate.

“Coming from two distinct backgrounds, Caitlin from the College of Education and I from the Stillman School, we were able to bring many valuable ideas to the table in constructing a comprehensive business plan,” Ratz said.

The business plan, according to Ratz, consisted of many variables in the development process, which included identifying various sources of research, contributing valuable insight in the educational perspective of the business plan and composing a persuasive and coherent document for the judges to review.

Both teams agree that Pirates Pitch has given them insight into the critical decisions that entrepreneurs face in pursing their business goals.

According to Scherreik there will be three prizes in total on Pirates Pitch day.

“The finalist teams are writing 10 to 15 page business plans, which our judges will review. On Pirates Pitch day, the teams will make 10 minute presentations of their ideas,” she said.

According to Scherreik, the first place winner receives $3,500, and the second place receives $1,500.

“The purpose of the contest is to raise entrepreneurial spirit throughout the University and to encourage our students to start businesses,” Scherreik said.

All members of the Seton Hall community are welcome to attend Pirates Pitch, which will take place on Sunday, May 1 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Jubilee Hall Auditorium.

Rawan Eewshah can be reached at rawan.eewshah@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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