Washburn University hosts second annual Elevator Pitch Competition

Sophia Oswald

Washburn University’s second annual Elevator Pitch Competition finals round took place Oct. 29 in the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center.

Alumni donated money to this competition to help the winners get started on their work toward their new businesses. Ralph Hipp, an anchor for WIBW, David Price, assistant professor of marketing, and President Jerry Farley all spoke at the event.

Zach Haney, winner of last year’s Elevator Pitch Competition, spoke about how the competition helped make his business dream a reality.

“There’s a lot of aspects to it,” Haney said. “I mean just being up here getting the experience to stand in front of people and present your business model, it really builds your confidence. The prize money helps too.”

“It was a wonderful experience and I’m happy to hear that’s it’s grown the second year,” Haney said.

Fifth place went to Cassidy Wines for her business that assists with the start-up of a screen printing business and she was awarded $1,000.

Fourth place went to Matthew Palmer, Alex Moorhead and Scott Bucy for their idea for new novelty pajamas. They received $1,000.

Third place went to Mark Feuerborn and Kaleb Marconette with their cigar box guitars landing them $2,000.

LeighAnn Defendorf, Christina Foreman and Brista Robinson came in second with their idea for a new ice cream cone made out of potato chips. They received $3,000.

Kristen Kogl came in first with her idea for a durable floss holder and she won $4,000.

“We talked a lot tonight about our programs,” Price said. “To the students, congratulations on tonight. I know it’s nerve-wracking at times, but what you’re going through, by the time you get to the end of this program, I think you’ll be very happy and you’ll be very prepared by the time you get out there.”

There were a couple of extra awards this year. The top entry from Washburn Institute of Technology received $1,000. The winners were Benjamin Freeman and Paul Lady for their electromagnetic brake system. The top freshman entry went to Wines, for which she received an additional $1,000.

“I hope you were impressed as much as I was,” Farley said. “It’s really creativity, innovation, leadership all built into the DNA of these students, and if we can somehow spark that creativity while they’re here on campus then just think what they’re going to be able to do once they get into the work world. It’s going to be absolutely amazing. We’re really proud of the program, proud of our faculty that are involved in the program and really proud of these students.”

“All of you I hope you enjoyed hearing the ideas, and we’ll do this again right here again next year,” Hipp said at the end of the event.