Last week, the Dingman Center celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week. The capstone of the week-long celebration was the Pitch Dingman Competition, where five student entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to a panel of judges for $3,500 in prizes. With upwards of 300 attendees, the competition was a huge success with participation from Fearless Founders, Dingman Center Board of Advisors, faculty, staff and students from across campus.
Before the competition started, student entrepreneurs displayed the products and services to test the market at Terp Marketplace. Nearly 20 vendors participated selling products ranging vegan nail polish to sugar cane juice.
The Pitch Dingman Competition opened with a heartfelt introduction from Dingman Center founder, Rudy Lamone for his former student and keynote speaker, Jay Sunny Bajaj. Sunny shared his experience growing up in a family of entrepreneurs to running a Digital Management Inc., one of the fastest growing companies in the country. He offered insights on how he decided to take the leap on starting his own business and how he maintains a positive corporate culture, which contributed to DMI being named one of the “Top 50 Best Places to Work” by the Washington Business Journal.
Following the keynote speech, each finalist gave a six minute pitch, followed by Q&A from the panel of judges.
While the judges deliberated, seven additional startups gave a one-minute elevator pitch to the Dingman Center Board of Advisors, who awarded a $250 prize. During this time, the audience had the chance to text-to-vote for the finalist that would win the Audience Choice Award. In the end, Managing Director Elana Fine was able to award many prizes to the participating entrepreneurs. Here is a full breakdown of the winners:
$250 Elevator Pitch Award: Phillip Webster, Dragoman TV
$500 Audience Choice Award: Shawn Greenspan, Sono-Assist Monitor
$1,000 Second Place Prize: Cody Branchaw, Kanga Trash & Energy Systems
$2,000 First Place Prize: Shawn Greenspan, Somo-Assist Monitor
Congratulations to all of the student entrepreneurs who participated in the Pitch Dingman Competition. It is no easy task to pitch your idea to room of 300 people. Special thanks go to the judges panel:
Jon Chapman, EverFi
John Gambaccini, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice
Ashish Gambhir, newBrandAnalytics
David Quattrone, Cvent
Kathryn Stewart, Cranbrook Capital.