Media Coverage of the Inaugural Pace Pitch Contest

December 3rd, 2004

Inaugural Pace Pitch Hits Home Run (PDF) from the March 2005 Opportunitas
Budding Entrepreneurs Come Out Swinging at Inaugural Pace Pitch Contest from the January 2005 eLubin
PACE Attracts Budding Entrepreneurs (PDF) from the January 2005 CSIS: Communiqué
November 30, 2004—Pitch your wagon to a star: Pace starts contest for best business pitches (press release)

Click to view photos from the Pitch Contest.

From the January 2005 eLubin:

Budding Entrepreneurs Come Out Swinging at Inaugural Pace Pitch Contest

Clinical Professor of Management Bruce Bachenheimer, who teaches entrepreneurship at the Lubin School, had the idea, and JPMorgan Chase funded it: A Pitch Contest where budding entrepreneurs can pitch their business ideas to a panel of experts who will judge the viability of the concept as a business venture.

Bachenheimer, a successful entrepreneur himself, said he based his idea for the pitch contest on the "Elevator Pitch" concept, popular in the venture capital community. "It is an extremely concise presentation of an entrepreneur's idea, business model, marketing strategy, competitive analysis, and financial plan, which is delivered to potential investors. The premise is that it could be made in a few minutes, should the entrepreneur spot a potential investor on an elevator and have the opportunity to pitch their idea during the brief ride," he explained.

On December 3, 2004, the Pitch Contest took place on the Pace downtown New York campus, with 17 contestants presenting their ideas in one of three categories: New Business Concepts, Social Ventures, or Wild n' Crazy Ideas, to a panel of distinguished judges, representatives from JPMorgan Chase Bank, and an enthusiastic audience of over 60 people from Pace and the outside community.

First year MBA student Rui Jin (Amanda) was the overall winner of $1,000 for her idea of "A Culture Adventure in China." Ms. Rui plans to set up one-month culture immersion trips to China for "American born Chinese youth (ABC) where they would study Chinese language, experience Confucian culture, communicate with local contemporaries, eat authentic Chinese food, and live with host families." Her PowerPoint presentation, lively and enthusiastic description of her business concept, and her poise under pressure were the winning combination for the judges and for the audience as well. Rui has only been in this country for one semester, didn't speak very much English when she arrived, and yet has mastered one of the most difficult things in a new culture – convincing investors to put their money into your business.

The panel of six distinguished judges included: Carolyn Chin, MBA – CEO of Cebix; Clarence B. Jones, C.P.A., J.D. – executive consultant, Marks Paneth & Shron, LLP; Emanuel Martinez, C.P.A., M.B.A. – managing director, GreenHills Ventures, LLC; Brian J. Nickerson, Ph.D., J.D. – director, The Michaelian Institute for Public Policy and Management at Pace; Jerald Posman, M.B.A. – director, Project Enterprise; and Charles F. Ryan, M.B.A. – vice president, Small Business Financial Services, JPMorgan Chase Bank.

In addition to the top prize to Rui Jin, each of the judges awarded a $250 prize to a contestant of their choice, whom they thought had been most persuasive in presenting their pitch. The awards were presented at a reception immediately following the contest.

The Pitch contest was held in association with the Small Business Development Center at Pace (SBDC), directed by Ira Davidson, and the University's new business accelerator, Second Century Innovation and Ideas Corp (SCI2), directed by Dr. Victor Goldsmith, associate provost for research and economic development. In addition, the Pace Association for Collegiate Entrepreneurs (PACE), and the University's newest student organization, took an active role in promoting the event.

Pace has been ranked as one of the nation's 'Top 100 Entrepreneurial Colleges' by Entrepreneur magazine. In synergy with Pace's motto of "Opportunitas," this contest, according to Professor Bachenheimer, "serves to better empower students and others through experiential learning to identify, evaluate, develop, present, and capitalize on new opportunities." For more information, visit www.pace.edu/pitch.