GVSU to host ninth Idea Pitch Competition
Students given opportunity to sell ideas
GVL / Archive
GVSU student Ulandra Reynolds pitches her “All Things Weaved” idea during last years Business Plan Competition.
If you’ve got an idea you think is worth $1,000, Grand Valley State University has a place for you to
sell it. GVSU is hosting its ninth annual Idea Pitch Competition where students will have the
opportunity to pitch their original idea to a panel of judges.
Miles Smith, president of GVSU’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO), said the Idea Pitch
Competition is a good opportunity for students.
“It’s the perfect opportunity for students of any major to have their voice heard and receive
validation on their business idea,” Smith said.
Each competitor will have 90 seconds to present an idea to a panel of judges for a chance to win
start-up money and to compete in the Regional Idea Pitch Competition at Davenport University on
First place winners of the competition earn $1,000. Second place gets $750, and third place gets
$500. In addition to competing for start-up capital, students will have opportunities to create
Though the panel of judges is currently undecided, it will consist of five business leaders from the
West Michigan area. Competitors aren’t allowed to sell their ideas using PowerPoints or props, but
instead must explain the projects verbally.
According to CEO’s website, presenting oneself effectively is an essential tool in the world of
business, and a well-planned idea pitch can open doors in the future.
“Some students, such as myself, continue pushing their business beyond the competition scene and
turn it into a profitable company, and it can all start with something as simple as the Idea Pitch
Competition,” Smith said.
Jason Sissing, a senior business marketing student, won the $1,000 prize for placing first at last
year’s competition and said he pitched for the thrill and experience.
“I really felt it would be a great way for me to stretch myself and ultimately put my idea to the test,”
He pitched something called “Pop-Top” lid, which is a redesigned, disposable plastic lid that allows
users to easily pick up their beverages by the lid without having it come off and fall to the floor; the
design would ultimately reduce contamination and waste.
After winning the competition, Sissing went on to win the 2012 Regional Idea Pitch Competition,
which included seven local universities. He was then invited to represent GVSU at the CEO National
Elevator Pitch Competition in Chicago.
The term “idea pitch” is also known as an “elevator pitch,” because it takes about 90 seconds to
ride up an elevator, which is how long it should take to concisely and effectively pitch an idea,
according to CEO’s website.
Not only did Sissing enjoy his experience, but he also learned a lot from it.
“It was extremely enjoyable,” he said. “Not only did I improve my presentation skills, but I received
excellent feedback from the judges, and it was awesome to hear other students’ ideas and projects
that they were working on.”
Last year, about 50 students signed up for the competition, and the organizers are hoping to see
just as many, if not more, at this year’s event.
The deadline to register for the Idea Pitch Competition is Oct. 18, and registration is free to all
undergraduate and graduate GVSU students. All students are welcome to pitch their ideas,
regardless of their major.
The competition will be held on Oct. 21 in Cook-DeWitt.
For more information, visit www.ceogvsu.com/idea-pitch.