The unique competition has students “selling” their unique business ideas in 90 seconds or less – the approximate time of an elevator ride. The competition is judged by entrepreneurs, small business advisors and investors. The National E-scholars Student Consortium Elevator Pitch Competition was held Feb. 26-27 in Denver.
Lowry’s idea of all-aluminum, solid body guitars with a removable neck designed by her father, a long-time guitar player and machine mechanic, beat out more than 30 other student entrepreneurs to win $500 and her name on the trophy. In October 2008, Lowry also took first place in the National Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Elevator Pitch Competition with same concept.
Another St. Mary’s student, Maricela Escobedo, a senior International Business major, came in sixth place in the Denver competition.
Only students from universities that have Entrepreneur Scholars, or E-scholars, programs participate in the competition held each spring. The consortium member organizations along with St. Mary’s University include the University of Portland, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University. This is the fifth year for the competition and the third year that a St. Mary’s student has taken first place; a St. Mary’s E-scholar also won in 2007 and 2008.
St. Mary’s E-scholars Program is a yearlong certificate program that includes academic and extra-curricular activities for students from all disciplines and majors. The program is housed in the Meadows Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, located in the Bill Greehey School of Business at St. Mary’s University. Entrepreneur Scholars attend classes designed specifically for them, go on domestic and international business trips, receive one-on-one advice and assistance from business mentors while developing and implementing their entrepreneurial ideas, and have the opportunity to network with successful entrepreneurs and executives from the business community.