Young Entrepreneurs Learn the Ups and Downs of Elevator Pitches

Kent State University students rose to the challenge as they competed to win $2,000 at LaunchNET’s Elevator Pitch contest on Wednesday evening.

The event, held on the first floor of Kent State’s Design Innovation Hub, gave students an opportunity to pitch themselves or their business ideas for a chance to win cash prizes. Food and refreshments were provided for those in attendance.

LaunchNet 2022 Elevator Pitch Contest Winners
LaunchNET is an organization that helps students start their entrepreneurship journey through one-on-one meetings, events, workshops, community resources, funding and competitions. Ithosts the elevator pitch contest annually each fall.

Participants have 90 seconds to pitch their business ideas or pitch themselves in an interview format to a panel of judges to compete for the cash prizes. The judges are made of entrepreneurs and Kent State staff who sit in front of the presenters while they pitch their ideas. The cash prize is split between best business pitch, best personal pitch, audience choice and any runner-ups.

The event gives students a chance to practice their public speaking skills before they enter real-world business situations.

“It’s a great opportunity to practice how you would talk to an interviewer because if you meet someone at a networking event they’re gonna ask you to tell a bit about yourself,” Alizeh Khalifa, LaunchNET marketing manager, said. “On the business side of it, depending on if you’re just starting out or how far you are in your business, you’re talking to a lot of people either trying to get funding like this or telling your idea to people to grow your consumer base.”

Students represented majors ranging from fashion merchandising to entrepreneurship. Pitched ideas such as vending machines filled with multicultural hair and beauty products, petite clothing-focused websites, pet/owner clothing brands, nonprofit organizations and body positive photography companies.

“This event gives me the opportunity to prove to myself that I have the ability to pursue this even if I may be scared.” Curran Rooney, senior fashion merchandising major, said.

Winners won checks amounting to $100- $500 to fund their businesses.

To learn more about LaunchNET visit

POSTED: Monday, November 14, 2022 04:07 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 07:12 PM
Madeleine Majikas