A Look Back: 60 Second Pitch

Several weeks ago on March 1 I attended Millersville’s 60 Second Pitch, a micro-pitch showdown where each participating student has only 60 seconds to sell the judges on their entrepreneurial venture. The finalists (I believe there were around five) moved on to the Shark Tank competition, where three winners will receive funding for their venture (happening April 29). It was certainly a fast-paced competition.

The judges were Miki Agrawal, Steve High, and Mike Monteiro. Agrawal, whom I blogged about previously, is a Social Entreprenuer who has created padless, completely ordinary-looking underwear for “women with periods” (called Thinx), and a portable bidet that can be installed on a normal commode (called Tushy), among other things. High owns Aspire Ventures, an investment company that supports technology made to help change the world (honestly, I don’t really understand it…) Monteiro owns Wylei, a direct marketing company.

I recall Professor Robinson explaining that Mike Monteiro had received his B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard, which was most impressive, and had me once again fantasizing about studying Literature at Harvard for the rest of the night…

At any rate, I enjoyed the event more than I thought I would. I didn’t know anyone who was presenting and was only going for the extra credit. But I found myself silently voting for certain students. Primarily for the two-person team who hoped to create interchangeable skates — rollerblades one minute and ice-skates the next. Their idea seemed like a no-brainer; it was almost difficult to believe it hadn’t already been made, which was clearly a good sign for them. (They won first place, in the end.) I also liked the team because they reminded me of my Mennonite cousins.

It was a good learning experience, overall (how to present well, how to look relaxed and professional at once), and also motivating. It was a great extension to Agrawal’s talk because not only were students given their own chance to be successful entrepreneurs, but there were three, older-and-wiser entrepreneurs there to prove that it’s actually possible. I also loved hearing that, although Monteiro studied mathematics, he ended up running a marketing business. It is always nice to know that one is not indefinitely stuck with what one studied…

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