Elevator Pitch Competition

This week, semi-finalists of the SMU Business Accelerator Program will deliver 90-second elevator pitches to compete for up to $10,000 in cash and in-kind donations.

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Winners of the Elevator Pitch Competition will be placed into two tiers:

Tier 1

Tier 1 winners will be qualified for the finalist round of the SMU Startup Launch Competition. Winners will also receive:

  • Non-Dilutive Pre-Seed Funding
  • Access to Workshops and Resources
  • One-on-One Mentoring
  • Exclusive Access to Accomplished Entrepreneurial Experts and Fellow Innovators
  • Company Workspace
  • Business Plan and Final Presentation Feedback
  • Opportunity to Compete in the SMU Startup Launch Competition and the opportunity to win over $50,000 in cash prizes and in-kind donations

Tier 2

Tier 2 winners will receive the following awards:

  • Access to Workshops and Resources
  • One-on-One Mentoring
  • Exclusive Access to Accomplished Entrepreneurial Experts and Fellow Innovators
  • Company Workspace
  • Business Plan and Final Presentation Feedback
  • Opportunity to Qualify for the Finalist Round to Compete in the SMU Startup Launch Competition and the opportunity to win over $50,000 in cash prizes and in-kind donations

Meet the judges:

Dennis J. Cagan

Dennis J. Cagan

Entrepreneur

Dennis Jay Cagan is a noted high-technology entrepreneur, respected CEO, professional board director – 67 corporate fiduciary boards, venture investor, mentor, consultant, and Shadow CEO™.

Brenda Stoner

Brenda Stoner

Founder / CEO at PICKUP

Brenda is PICKUP’s founder and Chief Executive Officer. She has spent over 20 years in starting, building and growing companies in technology and life sciences.

Weston Betts

Weston Betts

VP at Silicon Valley Bank

Weston Betts is a Vice President for Silicon Valley Bank, a company leading the way in offering banking services for each stage of a startup journey.

Meet the semi-finalists:

Adam Siepker - OrcaChat, LLC

We help e-commerce brands increase their website conversation rate. We do this by allowing the brand’s online shoppers to chat in real-time with existing customers who own the product.

Elias Ellefsen - Spiked

Spiked is an all-natural, spirits based alcoholic seltzer that uses the electrolytes, minerals, vitamins, and rare antioxidants found naturally in the prickly pear cactus to help re-hydrate, manage fluid balance, and provide a better taste for your alcoholic beverage.

Hunter Gore - Horizon's Edge

Design and manufacture electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) aircraft. The first product, Dragonfly, will be a personal EVTOL within the minimally regulated ultralight aircraft category.

Irewole Akande - City Health Tech Inc

City Health Tech is a public health tech startup promoting health literacy and more hygienic habits while collecting informative data through its proprietary and revolutionary IoT health communication device, Opal™. By installing Opal™ in event centers, schools, office buildings, hotels, restaurants, and food manufacturing facilities, organizations can encourage healthier habits (e.g. handwashing) within their space, communicate with their community, and collect key hygiene data that can be leveraged to better prevent the spread of diseases.

Isabella Taylor - Roman 413

Roman 413 provides plant-based and scientifically proven innovation for pelvic health products from menses to menopause.

James Traeger - Bazaar

Bazaar is a blockchain-managed auction and shopping marketplace in which people can create, purchase, and sell rare and limited-edition works of music in both primary and secondary markets. Files are encrypted with artists signature to validate authenticity and tie royalties stemming from future transactions back to the artist.

Joseph Choi - Super Dad

Inspiring and empowering first-time soon-to-be fathers excel at fatherhood. Our interactive web platform provides aspiring fathers information and guidance that keep them 2 steps ahead of their pregnant partner– it is actionable, credible, easy-to-navigate (i.e., saves time), and delivered in a way that is “native” to their lifestyle (i.e., we deliver our content through timed and automated emails, calendar notifications, text messages, while also allowing the soon-to-be dad navigate our interactive web platform on their own if they wish to do deep dives on any particular topic).

Jude Lugo - Commerce Navigator

Commerce Navigator will use powerful technology to offer e-commerce entrepreneurs an all-in-one platform to manage their sales and track their profits — providing support every step of the way.

Katie Lewis - Borrow

Borrow is the peer-to-peer marketplace for renting.

Madison McMahon - The Social Panacea

Panacea is an app that encourages and helps university students connect and form new friendships based on similar interests. It matches people to people, and people to events in their area based on those interests.

Seun Suberu - CollegePlus

CollegePlus creates and aggregates all the predetermined significant resources such as college recommendations, degree recommendations, and scholarships available on the internet into one concise platform to reduce the complexity for potential and current college students. The products are the accumulation of key resources a high schooler needs to understand how to plan a collegiate career.

Phillip Truppelli - Principia Technologies

The goal of Principia Technologies is to empower retail investors by providing free and reliable information to increase the adoption of informed investing leading to more efficient capital markets.

Preston Pownell - Treasurr

Treasurr harnesses the power of geolocation technology to innovate real-life treasure hunting experiences through interactive team-based adventures delivered entirely through the Treasurr app.

Sonia Saeed - spotBOX LLC

spotBOX is a menstrual education and product company that provides users with a web and mobile application to track their period, receive informational content on their symptoms, and shop the subscription box service, all in one place.

Zak Waddell - the Labor Exchange

The Labor Exchange is a plug-n-play technology platform that allows employer-organizations to structure re/up-skilling initiatives to increase employee retention and promote dignified work.

Our sponsors:

Hexa Coworking

SMU Hart Institute for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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