SHU students earn investments at Pirates Pitch

Seton Hall held its ninth annual Pirates Pitch Competition on April 3 in the Jubilee Auditorium. Pirates Pitch is a competition for students who want to pitch their own start-up business idea or have already started their own business.

This year, there were four judges, all Seton Hall alumni, who each had $4,000 to invest into the teams. After each of the four teams presented their ideas, there was a period of questions from the judges, which led to the judges’ decision of how much they choose to invest in each team’s business.

Four teams pitched their business ideas in front of four SHU alumni to win money for their ideas. Luke Tyler/Staff Photographer

Steven Catudal, a junior finance and information management major, said he was part of the team that pitched Sprouts Analytics. He described it as “the sports center for cryptocurrency.” The group explained that the currency would be an application that would contain everything people need to know about cryptocurrency.

Catudal added that he has always been interested in cryptocurrency, especially since bitcoin became popular.

Elizabeth Win, a junior marketing and IT management major, said she wanted to be a part of the team because as someone who doesn’t know much about cryptocurrency, this is something she could see herself using.

Nathanael Boatswain, a senior mathematical finance and IT management major, said their team felt that Pirates Pitch would be a great place to introduce their idea.

“Pirates Pitch gives students a pathway to be able to speak in front of real-life investors, to be able to actually get equity from those investors, and to also be able to build connections with the investors,” Boatswain said.

Peyton Elder, a senior environmental studies major, introduced Flock, an app he said compares prices and delivery times of different food delivery services.

Elder said he came up with the idea when he was talking with friends about all the delivery apps they have on their phones. He said he thought there should be an app where it all could be in one place.

Elder said one company that inspired him is Google, since they do something very similar with Google Flights.

Olivia Finan, a senior marketing major, said she decided to pitch the idea with Elder after a delivery incident she had at Lehigh University.

Finan said she and a friend ordered from Grubhub and it took over an hour for them to get their food, which was cold when it finally arrived.

“I think Pirate’s Pitch is the catalyst for entrepreneurs that are here studying,” Finan said. “It’s a chance for them to practice what an actual pitch is going to be like and also be creative in their ideas.”

Three freshman nursing majors, Annemarie Ryan, Katie Mazzarelli and Allison Lamoureux, pitched Carecall. The trio explained that Carecall is a technological advancement for outdated call bell systems in hospitals. They also said Carecall would decrease wait times for patients and decrease stress for nurses.

Mazzarelli said she was volunteering at a hospital and saw many lights above patients’ doors get ignored. Ryan and Mazzarelli added that they like how Pirates Pitch was a way for them to also be included into the business world.

Alissa Lopez, a second-year MBA student, pitched Sincere Sitter, a marketplace for caregivers and parents.

Lopez said she has been a babysitter for seven years and felt that it was nerve-racking for parents to trust her with their children without her having any training.


Alissa Lopez speaking during Pirates Pitch. Luke Tyler/Staff Photographer

Lopez said Sincere Sitter, which would launch September 2019, would focus on mutual connection vetting. She added that sitters would also have the opportunity to rate parents to help others.

At the end of the competition, Sincere Sitter earned the most money from the judges, totaling over $8,000. In addition, Carecall won the $5,000 audience choice prize.

Susan Scherreik, founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, said entrepreneurship is a journey. Schrreik said, “You have to have passion as an entrepreneur, you have to really want it, and you’ve gotta work hard.”

Veronica Gaspa can be reached at veronica.gaspa@student.shu.edu.

Author: Veronica Gaspa

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