Kyle Peterson, deputy director of the Beyond Startup Accelerator presiding over a past Pitch

Virtual "Pitch" Zooming on January 30

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by Tessa Landrum, Student Public Relations Writer

Jake Allinson, past Pitch winnerCedarville University’s popular entrepreneurship competition, “The Pitch,” will be held entirely online on Saturday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m. It will be livestreamed here.

“The Pitch” provides students with the opportunity to present their business or invention ideas to a live audience and panel of experienced entrepreneur judges, which will include David Bates, CEO of WISE Insights, and Scott Hartley, a business coach and Infusionsoft Certified Consultant.

“We will be using Zoom to hold a webinar-style, remote event that allows the contestants and judges to interact while the audience can watch from anywhere in the world,” said Kyle Peterson, deputy director of the Beyond Startup Accelerator program at Cedarville.

Six finalists will have five minutes to pitch their ideas, and judges will have the chance to ask questions. Contestants will be competing for up to $1,000 in cash prizes. According to Peterson, contestants will be judged according to criteria such as sustainability, market research, poise during the presentation and the quality of media used for their pitch. Cedarville students interested in competing can sign up here.

Previous “The Pitch” winners have included Jake Allinson, a senior computer science major from Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, with his scheduling app, Milo, and Colson Cissel, a 2020 Cedarville graduate from Woodbine, Maryland, with a smart speaker invention that protects home user privacy. Other student startups have included an invention for wheelchair storage and an investor-to-startup matchmaking app.

"My favorite aspect of these events is viewing students through the lens of the passion that drives their ideas,” said Peterson. “Passion forces students to consider alternative solutions to problems and forge a realistic path to success.”

Peterson noted that the past year has demonstrated how quickly jobs can be lost. In the face of a volatile world of employment, the entrepreneurship ecosystem at Cedarville can equip students to brainstorm solutions to problems and cultivate self-sufficiency.

“Entrepreneurs are able to survive thanks to innovation, creative problem-solving and hard work,” said Peterson. “If students desire to learn how to weather another economic downturn, they should plug into the Beyond program and participate in activities that reinforce innovation and connect them to mentors who are able to guide them toward self-sufficiency.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including it’s Master of Business Administration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship program, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu