Second Annual Pitch Competition
Thursday, April 18, 2019, 7 p.m.
Ken Rupert ’12
Rupert operates a Financial Black Belt Financial Self-Defense Training program, which applies the structure and discipline of martial arts training to the financial literacy and behaviors needed for one to become a millionaire. Financial Self-Defense Training develops a life-long strategy for building wealth. This innovative financial wellness program provides basic, intermediate and advanced financial training, teaches an individual how to prioritize his or her life to build wealth, and is a proven process that results in positive financial behaviors.
Victoria Shoemaker ’80
Shoemaker is president of Taurus Software, and she is building a nonprofit called Learning Home Volunteers, which will strive to ensure all children entering school have an equal start. Approximately half of all children enter school behind grade level, and most stay behind—47 percent do not graduate high school. Learning Home Volunteers works with children ages three to five in under-served communities by going into family’s homes and working with the child and the family. A family member is present in all the lessons and is the “family” teacher. The training covers child development, child directed play and how to integrate vocabulary, letters, numeracy, colors and shapes into the play. In addition to the lessons, the family will read to the child daily using books provided by Learning Home Volunteers.
The Hood College Pitch Competition was conceived with the idea of showcasing entrepreneurs in the Hood College community. It is open to current students, alumni, faculty and staff, and members of boards and committees.
The intent of the Pitch Competition is to further an emerging culture of entrepreneurship on campus and promote rising entrepreneurial stars.
A “pitch” verbally outlines an entrepreneurial concept or idea in a short period of time. It is eight minutes in duration. A successful pitch requires significant prior thought and research and culminates in the ability to clearly and succinctly highlight the most compelling aspects of a proposed venture.
The inaugural event was modeled loosely on the Alumni Pitch Competition at Georgetown University.
Interested entrepreneurs were asked to provide pitchdecks for review by a three-person committee (which included the Chair of the Business Department, a member of the Board of Associates, and an affiliated entrepreneur). This committee selected eight semi-finalists to give eight-minute mock pitches over the phone, from which four finalists and a runner-up were selected to present at the Pitch event. The runner-up was informed that they would be able to fill in should a finalist not be able to present. The runner-up, along with all semi-finalists, were invited to have a promotional table in the foyer of our auditorium. In the weeks prior to the event, the finalists were paired with coaches – experts in entrepreneurship from the local community. These pairings were made individually by the committee with a focus on matching based on similar industry or product/service type.
The finalists were invited in to rehearse in the auditorium on the day of the event up until one hour prior to the event. Within the hour window before the event, the finalists drew straws to determine order of presentations, the judges were brought in and oriented to the event, and our campus radio station and audiovisual department completed setup.
Four finalists competed in the inaugural Hood College Business Pitch Competition last week, and alumna Chelsea Young won with her business idea, MOD Nutrition, a meal prep and nutrition business specializing in healthy, ready-to-eat meals for delivery or pickup.