The Elevator Pitch Competition, hosted by the Cal Poly Center for Innovations and Entrepreneurship, gives students the chance to tap into the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Cal Poly.
Students from all majors, concentrations, and minors are challenged to pitch a 90 second spiel on a business idea for the chance to win $1,000.
Director of Student Innovation Programs for the Cal Poly Center for Innovations and Entrepreneurship Jose Huitron says the event gives students the opportunity to get their ideas out there.
“It’s at that point where they share their ideas where great things start to happen,” Huitron said. “They start to network, meet people, they get feedback on their ideas, they get access to mentors.”
Two students in particular hit the jackpot with their ideas, with junior business major Camille Boiteux winning audience choice and senior industrial engineering major Owen Works being awarded the overall winner of the Elevator Pitch Competition.
Works’s winning idea was known as Drinkwise, an idea inspired by an existing smart tattoo that monitors glucose levels in individuals with diabetes.
“[It] gives real time monitoring of your blood alcohol content level,” Works said. “A smart tattoo basically works as a sensing interface, and you put it on your skin and it gives valuable data or interface back to the wearer.”
When asked to give advice to young entrepreneurs, he advises students to not hesitate to pursue bright ideas.
“You’ve really just gotta take action,” he said. “The longer you keep planning and waiting for the perfect moment then I think it just gets less likely.”
As for Boiteux, her audience choice winning pitch was known as Swishlash.
“My pitch was about the first ever on the market product that would remove mascara specifically because currently there are no existing makeup products that remove mascara efficiently and also are not harmful to your eyes,” Boiteux said.
Although her product captured the audience’s attention and won her idea recognition, Boiteux wants young entrepreneurs to know that a part of becoming successful is learning from your failures.
“People don’t talk about failures, but it is really important to know that failure is a huge lesson for you. It’s always good,” she said.
Although the Elevator Pitch Competition will not happen again until next year, students with business proposals can develop their ideas at the Hatchery or The Cal Poly Center for Innovations and Entrepreneurship on campus.