Luis Tirado presents his business idea at the Pitch Contest at Fireplace Lounge. (Emily Ferguson / The Signpost)
Luis Tirado presents his business idea at the pitch contest at Fireplace Lounge. (Emily Ferguson / The Signpost)

Ten finalists congregated in front of a panel of judges and an audience to pitch their best business ideas in the Fireplace Lounge of the Shepherd Union on Friday, Oct. 16. The Pitch Contest was hosted by Weber State University’s Hall Global Entrepreneurship Center and the Weber State Credit Union.

“We had a selection committee that reviewed all of the applications that came in last week,” Dave Noack, director of the Entrepreneurship Center located in the Wattis Business building, said.

Finalists were given one minute, timed by a timekeeper, to persuade the judges that their business idea has what it takes to succeed. The contest was designed to mimic an elevator pitch.

“If you were to get in an elevator with an executive, then you would have from the floor you get in on, to the floor the executive gets off to pitch your idea,” Noack said.

This is the second year the contest has taken place and, with a generous donation from Weber State Credit Union, Noack is confident it will be an annual event for years to come.

As long as a student is at least part time, whether online or on campus, he or she has the opportunity to pitch a business idea.

“Students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours [to participate],” Noack said.

Among various business ideas presented, Robert Kennard, a freshman at WSU, pitched his idea for an application where people can request items to be delivered to them.

Dave Noack, director of the Entrepreneurship Program at WSU, speaks at the Pitch Contest at Fireplace Lounge. (Emily Ferguson / The Signpost)
Dave Noack, director of the Entrepreneurship Program at WSU, speaks at the pitch contest at Fireplace Lounge. (Emily Ferguson / The Signpost)

“Similar to how Uber operates, there will be a group of drivers out there who have registered that will deliver those items,” Kennard said.

Kennard, who came up with the idea when he was at work, is confident this will be an idea of the future.

“The idea is that a person in an emergency situation can request something to be delivered to them,” Kennard said.

Partners Luis Tirado and Michael Arnold, both juniors, pitched a similar idea.

“We wanted to create an application that allows users to create events, whether it’s going on a hike or to the football game,” Arnold said.

Tirado and Arnold are hoping to cure people’s boredom,“No one should ever be bored,” Arnold said. “We live in an area where there’s too much to do to be bored and we’re the cure to that.”

On top of being critiqued by local business professionals, the first place winner, Matthew Lechtenburg, received $1,000 to use towards starting his business.

Including the Pitch Contest, the center offers numerous events throughout the year, for both college and high school students.

According to Noack, the first, second and third place winners of the Pitch Contest are automatically entered into the semifinals for the Opportunity Quest on Jan. 29.

Robert Kennard presents his business idea at the Pitch Contest at Fireplace Lounge. (Emily Ferguson / The Signpost)
Robert Kennard presents his business idea at the pitch contest at Fireplace Lounge. (Emily Ferguson / The Signpost)

Free lectures are also given the second Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Child Startup center in room 203.

The center prides itself on its entrepreneurship minor. The program sees about 70 students a year and has 30 in its introductory class this semester.

Students, no matter their major, can complete the entrepreneurship minor in 15 credit hours.

“Our mission [of the center] is to provide opportunities for students to start a business,” Noack said.

For more information, students can contact Dave Noack via email at davidnoack@weber.edu or visit the website.

 

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