St. Mary’s E-Scholars Take Top Spots in National Elevator Pitch Competition

St. Mary’s University Entrepreneur Scholar (E-Scholar) students claimed three of the top 10 spots Feb. 6-8 at the annual E-Scholar Student Consortium in Denver.


Paola Retes (from left), Lysette Flores and Stefano Cabello

Lysette Flores, a junior Entrepreneurial Studies major, took first place in the elevator pitch competition with her concept for a company called Diced & Ice. It would offer gourmet shaved ice with all-natural, fresh fruit ingredients at professional sports venues in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Paola Retes, a junior Corporate Finance major, placed second with her concept for a company called Spin My Closet, which would offer a wardrobe rental service through an online platform for contemporary women in the Austin area.

Stefano Cabello, a junior Finance and Risk Management major, also placed in the top 10, but places were not identified after the top three spots.

An elevator pitch is a business proposal that is usually short enough to take place during an elevator ride. Students collaborate with faculty and staff in the classroom and on business trips to hone their pitches for the competition.

There were 38 competitors who pitched their ideas to two different panels of judges on Friday, Feb. 7. The top 10 advanced to another panel of judges on Saturday.

St. Mary’s University repeatedly has been nationally recognized for its commitment to service and community engagement. The Carnegie Foundation has given St. Mary’s its prestigious Community Engagement Classification, and St. Mary’s has received the Presidential Award from the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition for service in higher education. St. Mary’s University is a Catholic and Marianist university with a tradition of academic excellence.