Competition showcases students' original business models
Loyola's student entrepreneurial talents were on display at the Entrepreneur Association's first ever Pitch Loyola.
This semester is the Entrepreneur Association's first as a fully functional charter on Loyola's campus.
Economics senior Sean Rowland, senior organizer and moderator of Pitch Loyola, said the purpose of the competition was to demonstrate the entrepreneurial aspirations of Loyola and Tulane's students.
"The idea of holding a pitch competition where students could pitch either original business ideas or their existing business models came up after I talked with an individual who wanted to help get the word out about the association," Rowland said.
Nine students participated in the competition, with music industry senior Bryan Mooney winning the $400 first prize.
Mooney's pitch was for ArtistLance, which works to connect emerging musical artists with young professionals to outsource their branding marketing.
"ArtistLance was my senior seminar project. It's something I've come up with over a number of years working in music marketing and digital product development, and the concept is similar to an unusual model for a creative agency that I conceived last year," Mooney said.
The competition was divided in to two rounds. The first round was structured around presentations, followed by three questions from the judges. The latter round involved the competitors responding to the judges' earlier questions with one minute allotted for their responses.
There was also the opportunity for the audience to vote on their favorite pitch for the award of popular choice.
The event's three judges were a combination of members of the Loyola community and members of the New Orleans entrepreneurial community: Felipe Massa of Loyola, Zubin Teherani of Venture for America and IDScan and Alex Rawitz of Venture for America and Idea Village.
Tulane student Ethan Levy won the $200 cash prize. Levy's pitch was for LaunchChange, a community ofdriven students, young professionals, and startup gurus from New Orleans who want to use their skills to create impact through collaboration.
The 3rd prize of $100 was awarded to economics junior Luke Livaudis for his pitch Holomua, a social non-profit that works to alleviate financial and health/wellness illiteracy in the greater New Orleans area.
An additional award presented for popular choice went to mass communication senior Catherine Carter for Nanny GoGo. She received $50. Nanny GoGo provides parents with a reliable way to find a temporary nanny when an unforeseen event delays them from picking up their child.
Audience members said they enjoyed the pitches about as much as the judges and participants.
"The whole thing was done really well and I think it got a lot of students talking about entrepreneurship on campus," Shannon Donaldson, mass communications senior, said.
Rowland said that Pitch Loyola was a success.
"We were expecting about 50-75 people at the event," Rowland said. "Pitch Loyola ended up having about 85 people attend the event including several members of the New Orleans entrepreneurial community."
Rowland said he plans to work with the organization to make Pitch Loyola an annual event for students at Loyola and Tulane.
Lauren Patton may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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