Students invited to pitch business ideas in new competition

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Photo with illustrations of light bulbs representing good ideas.

Competition is open to all WMU students.

KALAMAZOO—All WMU students with an innovative business idea are invited to take part in a new competition and vie for a chance to win cash prizes totaling $2,500.

The competition is called "PITCH: A WMU Business Pitch Competition." Participants are asked to develop a succinct, three-minute pitch about their business idea for an audience of potential investors and will be evaluated in progressive rounds by panels of judges comprised of faculty, entrepreneurs and members of the business community. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top four finishers—$1,200 for first place; $700 for second place; $400 for third place; and $200 for most entertaining.

The competition is open to all WMU students and is sponsored by the generous support of Educational Community Credit Union, which is committed to supporting entrepreneurial talent in West Michigan.

“The pitch competition is an event to help students learn how to present their pitches to a potential investor at a moment’s notice,” says Dr. John Mueller, assistant professor of management and faculty organizer of the event. “Business ideas come from numerous places, and thus we look to have students from across campus participate, including aviation, business, engineering, geology, health and human services, music, theatre and more. The competition is a fun way for the students to both learn and earn a monetary reward to move their business ideas forward. We are excited that ECCU is helping to make this happen for WMU students and is helping to bring out the entrepreneurial nature of WMU students and the Kalamazoo community.”

Competition schedule

Monday, March 25, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., information and coaching session, 2150 Schneider Hall

Wednesday, March 27, applications due online by midnight (EDT)

Friday, April 5, 3 to 5:30 p.m., first round of competition, Schneider Hall classrooms

Saturday, April 6, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., final round of competition and awards (open to the public), 2150 Schneider Hall, parking available near Schneider Hall in Lot 72R

The competition is open to individuals or teams. A maximum of 32 five-person teams may compete, with one student from each team delivering the pitch. Students interested in participating are encouraged to come to the March 25 information session. A coaching session will follow for those who want advice on pitch content and delivery.

For more information, contact John Mueller at john.mueller@wmich.edu or (269) 387-6056. Visit wmich.edu/management for more details and to apply.