In September, the Waldron Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Business hosted the Bison Idea Pitch. The event is designed for undergraduate students to explore new ideas and take steps toward making those ideas possible. It is a spinoff of last year’s Bison Pitch, which was aimed more for students to pitch a thorough, well-designed plan.
Open to both beginners and established entrepreneurs, the event invites students to pitch their initial business ideas. The winners receive cash prizes that may be used for the development of a business plan or to expand an existing business.
Patti Summers, assistant director of the Waldron Center, shows her support for the students and their hard work.
“The pitch event isn’t just a competition for entertainment and money prizes,” Summers said. “I believe the richest learning exercises call upon students to create, evaluate and revise over and over again. The pitch is a classic example of an excellent learning exercise because students originate an idea, research how it might be implemented in the market, distill the communication to the bare bones, and then refine the process over and over. They learn a lot about themselves.”
This year, six contestants had 90 seconds to pitch their ideas, with a three-minute interval for judges to make comments and critiques. After a short intermission, the judges announced the results. The audience interacted with the competition by voting for a special audience choice award.
The winners of the 2023 Bison Idea Pitch are:
- 1st place: Gerardo Murcia for Tripful, a customizable travel planning app
- 2nd place: Brian Hamilton for Mind Matters, an app to track how counseling clients are doing between appointments with a clinician
- 3rd: Irvin Briceno for Digital X, a Central American marketing company
- People’s Choice Award: Aiden Davenport for Ziori Screening, a comprehensive medical screening company
“I want to express my appreciation to each of the student participants who took advantage of this unique extracurricular learning experience,” said Dr. Phil Brown, director of the Waldron Center. “They have gained valuable skills that will serve them throughout their lives in a variety of personal and professional settings. I also want to express my appreciation to the audience members who showed their support for our students and for the work of the Waldron Center. I know I am extremely blessed to get to work with our students and have a front row seat to witness their continuing professional development during their Harding experience.”
Student entrepreneurs are encouraged to prepare for and compete in the upcoming Bison Business “Shark Tank” event, which is scheduled for Nov. 2.