San Antonio – St. Mary’s University’s Bill Greehey School of Business students won first and second place at the National Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization’s Elevator Pitch Contest held in Chicago on November 7, 2008. An elevator pitch is a 90-second delivery of a business concept used to attract investors.
Shannon Lowry, Greehey Scholar, member of the Entrepreneur Scholars Program, and entrepreneurial studies major took first place and $2,500. Shannon’s business concept involves marketing her father’s custom-designed and manufactured electric guitars.
Sara Wilkinson, Greehey Scholar and accounting major won second place and $2,000. Sara’s business concept is a non-profit organization that helps the homeless find employment.
Only 60 applications, out of 127 submitted, were accepted into the competition. Twenty-seven of those slots were reserved for schools that held an internal competition. St. Mary’s University took one of those slots. Of the remaining 33, St. Mary’s students captured eight. All 60 students competed in the first round for 12 places in the semi-final round. Four of the 12 semi-finalists were from St. Mary’s University. Six moved on to the final round for prize money. Lowry and Wilkinson were among those six to win first and second place.
The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization is the premier global entrepreneurship network, which serves 30,000 students, through 400 chapters and affiliated student organizations at colleges and universities. During the three-day conference, students also participated in workshops on topics, such as recognizing business opportunities, raising financial capital, E-commerce and risk management. They also heard stories and advice from nationally renowned entrepreneurs such as Doris Christopher, founder and chairman of The Pampered Chef and Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad.