Budding entrepreneurs can pitch for prizes

An aspiring entrepreneur can win $3,500 to launch a business in the Pirate’s Pitch Contest, sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

This year the contest will be open to all full-time students, both undergraduate and graduate.

To participate, Contestants submit a business idea and compete for prizes and business services, according to the Pirate’s Pitch website.

The director for the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Susan Scherreik, said everyone can enter.

Sherreik said students should not feel intimidated, even if they have never written a business plan.

“Some of the best ideas come from new students,” she said.

Students can compete individually or in a group of up to five people. Only one member of the team has to be a Seton Hall student, according to Scherreik.

Last year’s winner, Lucianna Contuzzi, competed individually as a freshman and against teams of upperclassmen.

Contuzzi said her business idea was a medical device called the “See-Stick,” which evaluates and diagnoses patient wounds.

“The main target market was hospice care,” Contuzzi said. “I learned a lot about the hospice care field, which overlaps with my interest in medical care.”

Contuzzi said she also learned a lot about writing a business plan and how to start and run her own business.

“Every student who has a desire to become an entrepreneur should enter the competition,” Contuzzi said. “Presenting in front of a panel of judges and an audience definitely helps create the confidence one needs to become a business leader.”

According to Scherreik, to enter the competition, students must first fill out an Intent to Compete form along with a two- to three-page summary of their idea.

Forms should be submitted to the Information Center located on the fifth floor of Jubilee Hall by Jan. 20.

Scherreik said 10 semi-finalists will be selected on Jan. 31 to present a five-minute speech to a panel of judges on Feb 7, who will choose the final five competitors.

Contestants have two months to prepare for the final round of judging where they will present a 10-minute speech on April 18, in front of an audience and judges.

Scherreik added that Pirate’s Pitch provides students with mentors to help them with their ideas.

“We are here to help every student to succeed, and we are very excited about it,” Scherreik said.

Also according to Scherreik, first prize winners will receive $3,500 to launch their business, along with business services, while those placing second receive $1,500 and business services.

Scherreik said the audience can also vote for their favorite team, and that team will receive $250.

Contuzzi said she will not be entering the competition again; however, she advises other students to do so and to attend the event to vote and support the competitors.

Interested students can visit blogs.shu.edu/piratespitch and email Scherreik, at susan.scherreik-hynes@shu.edu.

Lindsay Rittenhouse can be reached at lindsay.rittenhouse@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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