Sunday, April 4, 2010

Elevator Competition: A Few Last Thoughts

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09 This year’s Elevator Competition was an amazing experience!

A week has passed since the event has ended, giving me enough time to reflect on the excitement that took place. Perhaps the most thrilling part of the weekend involved riding along in the elevators, watching hopeful entrepreneurs rapidly fire off stats and details to judges, who never hesitated to ask questions.

Wait, maybe the best part was sitting in the boardroom, as one of the finalists was able to present to an attentive audience of venture capitalists, professors and business leaders. I came away impressed at how these students kept their poise and even found moments for humor under such stressful circumstances.

Then again, it was rewarding to meet most of the 34 teams who pitched their business plans, ranging from SECA Productions, who were making their first appearance at a national competition, to others who had been in many contests but never one as fast as this. I enjoyed getting to know the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, pitching everything from water products in East Africa to software systems designed to help college coaches with recruiting.

Finally, the evening gala was a first-class event. Congratulations to GlucaGo and AutismSphere for taking the top honors. Seeing everyone relax and network after running the gauntlet of pitches and presentations was fulfilling. Making lasting contacts with representatives of other schools and meeting the judges was a highly anticipated part of my weekend. Overall, I may be unable to decide what was the best part of the Elevator Competition, though I am looking forward to conducting more research during next year’s event.

~ Paul Davis

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