The annual fall pitch event, which was themed to reflect the upcoming Halloween holiday, featured 20 student teams that each pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges. The panel was comprised of Ngozi Bell, who is a partner at Trans-Sahara Investment Corporation (TSIC), Peter Roeber, who is an innovation business champion at W.L. Gore & Associates and Mac Nagaswami, who is the CEO of Carvertise as well as a UD alumnus.
Of the 20 teams that participated, the judges selected three winning teams, and the audience had the chance to vote for their favorite participant to receive an audience choice award.
A first place prize of $700 was awarded to M&B Booking, which is a music-booking agency that focuses on securing professional performance opportunities for both student and local musicians. M&B Booking is lead by CEO Ben Rossman, who is a senior entrepreneurship and technology innovation and music management double major, and currently has 10 music acts on their roster that perform in venues across Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
“We’re signing on a couple new artists soon,” said Rossman. “And we actually just got asked to speak at Firefly [music festival] this summer, so that’s going to be huge for us.”
Second place was awarded to Collegiate Boxing Organization, which aims to establish a collegiate organization for boxing by networking, providing a structure and a financial basis that the network can grow on. The organization’s front man and freshman neuroscience major David Hevi hopes to rejuvenate the sport of boxing.
“I am extremely happy to have placed second [in the pitch competition]” said Hevi, who is also an amateur boxer training to go to the Olympics. “It gives me a sense of validation in my idea and the extra will-power to go forward.
The third place award of $200 went to Y Innovations, which is a non-profit organization that uses natural building techniques to create affordable, environmentally friendly housing for those in need.
“The competition only furthered our belief that we have a model that can help both our planet and people in need to build more sustainable lives,” said Y Innovations CEO and freshman entrepreneurship and technology major Brennan Stark.
Finally, the audience chose Snoop to receive the audience choice award. Lead by freshman entrepreneurship and technology innovation major Andrew Cercena, Snoop’s mission is to take the burden of traveling to college campuses out of the college tour process by utilizing FaceTime.
“Because I participated in the Phantom Pitch Party, I will strengthen the foundation of my start-up, and I have better ideas for how to succeed in future pitch competitions, like Hen Hatch,” said Cercena.
Horn Entrepreneurship hosts two pitch parties annually for students to practice their pitching and public speaking skills. The date for the spring pitch party will be announced as the spring semester begins.
About Horn Entrepreneurship
Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.