Contributed by Dr. Xaver Neumeyer, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Cameron School of Business.
In the inaugural Virtual Rocket Pitch Competition, organized by Dr. Xaver Neumeyer, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, students presented early-stage business ideas, ranging from the use of smart technologies to decrease hand gun incidents to the purchase and expunging of medical debt. The presentations were judged by serial entrepreneur (e.g. WebTel Marketing, The Wall Printer) and EBD advisory board member Paul Baron, as well as Girard Newkirk, founder and CEO of KWHCoin and co-founder of Genesis Block, a new collaborative space for local entrepreneurs in Wilmington, NC.
This event took place on November 16, 2020 at 5:30pm. The engagement was great along with the ideas from the students that were developed from this event, despite the virtual format. Dr. Neumeyer shares, "We will try to expand this format in spring 2021 and offer virtual breakout rooms (as suggested by some of our participants) where students can share and discuss their ideas."
"The Virtual Rocket Pitch Competition was a great way for me to use the knowledge and demonstrate the concepts and of my own invention for the project I worked on in Dr. Neumeyer's Entrepreneurship class over the Summer of 2020 with my teammates Paige Statham and Andrew Molite. Although I have had public speaking and presenting opportunities in the past, I had an enjoyable time presenting my own original work for the first time in a few years. I want to work in a marketing setting where I will often have to pitch ideas and present my work to a critical and experienced crowd. I already have my own business and I am learning how to better stand out and represent myself among my peers who I will compete within the workforce after I graduate in December of this year. I recommend this competition to those who want to challenge themselves and put forth the effort to achieve new goals in the business world for personal or professional gain."
Gabby Turner (representing a team with Paige Statham and Andrew Molite), winner of 3rd place
"Overall, I enjoyed participating in the pitch competition. I learned that it is definitely very important to appeal specifically to what the judges view as beneficial to the market. I would be interested in participating in another business pitch competition as it was a thought provoking experience. My two favorite parts were probably the Q&A portion where we were freely responding to questions from the judges and other participants as well as the time the participants spent talking about each other’s pitches while the judges were making their decision. These peer discussions seemed really beneficial due to everyone adding their own opinion and suggestions to someone else’s idea with the goal of making it even better." – James Plott, winner of 2nd place
"I really enjoyed the Virtual Pitch Competition because it provided me the opportunity to present my idea to a group of qualified judges and receive tremendously valuable feedback. I think that this competition is a fantastic opportunity that all students should take advantage of while at UNCW." – Kyle Breen, winner of 1st place