More than 200 students took part in last week’s Pitch! event in the Entertainment Business Auditorium. The all-day event, which was held to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, featured educational panels from local experts and grads, who discussed the legal and financial aspects of starting a business. The panels were also available to stream for online students.
The highlight of the day was the Pitch! Business Plan Competition, the first competition of its kind in Full Sail history. Faculty members received an impressive 113 entries from both campus and online students across a variety of degree programs (online students presented their pitches via GoTo Training), which they narrowed down to 26 semi-finalists and then 10 finalists – six online students and four campus students – who had five minutes to sell their business plans at Pitch!
“The faculty helped the finalists prepare for the competition,” says Ron Cook, the director of Full Sail’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship master’s degree program and the organizer of Pitch! “We said listen, this isn’t a school exercise anymore. This is for real. These [judges] are judging you and your idea.”
Four local judges, along with the audience, who became a surprise special fifth judge at the beginning of the competition, voted Show Production student Salo Soloveichik the first place winner. Salo’s business plan was for BandPass, an NFC-enabled ticketing and event service that allows concert and music festival-goers the ability to store their ticket and credit card information in a microchip inside of a wristband. Salo got the idea while producing this year’s Bahidora Music Festival in Mexico, and developed it further with classmates.
“Instead of having a paper ticket for a concert or event, attendees would get a wristband with a chip in it,” says Salo. “You can also register your credit card information so you don’t have to carry cash with you to a music festival. And if there’s a medical emergency, your emergency contact information can be registered to the wristband as well.”
Salo was awarded a $20,000 scholarship. Online Public Relations master’s student Adrian Beecher took second place and Innovation & Entrepreneurship master’s student Nichole Jones (also an online student) came in third. They were awarded $15,000 and $10,000 scholarships, respectively.
Check out a few photos from the event below.