Future Founders hosted the 7th Annual U.Pitch National Collegiate Elevator Pitch Competition & Showcase – Presented by Target Accelerators on October 29. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s competition was completely virtual, and saw a record number of applications from passionate young entrepreneurs across the country. 18 semifinalists pitched their startups in front of entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders, who ultimately selected five finalists to compete for their chance at the $10,000 prize pool.
Watch the full U.Pitch global livestream event here:
“Though this year’s U.Pitch looked quite different than years past, we are thrilled at the interest and engagement from our contestants, our judges, and our live stream audience,” said Scott Issen, President & CEO, Future Founders. “U.Pitch serves as a way for Future Founders to showcase some of the best and brightest young entrepreneurs in the country, and we are so impressed by the passion and dedication of this year’s contestants as they solve complex problems during unprecedented times.”
Here’s who went home with prize money for their growing businesses:
Dillon Connolly & Trey Arnold, Rize Fitness, University of Southern California (CA) – $5,000
Rize Fitness is the first virtual wheelchair workout community where quadriplegics, paraplegics, and others with mobility impairment can join live and on-demand workouts from the comfort of their homes.
Michael Ioffe, Arist, Babson College (MA) – $2,500
Using research from Stanford and UPenn, Arist helps over a dozen Fortune 500 companies create text message-based courses, which have completion and satisfaction rates of over 92%.
Apoorva Chintala, Clocr, University of Texas at Austin (TX) – $1,000
Clocr, short for Cloud Locker, is the industry’s first all-in-one legacy planning platform for online accounts, crypto currency, and digital assets.
People’s Choice Award:
Brandon Johns & Calvin Waddy, Buzzbassador, Mississippi State University (MS) – $1,500
Buzzbassador® is a CRM-like SaaS platform available on the Shopify App Store that automates the back-office tasks of brand ambassador campaigns (i.e. influencer marketing) for online business owners.
In addition to the amazing young founders who participated in U.Pitch, Future Founders would also like to thank all of the volunteers, attendees, and esteemed judges who helped make U.Pitch 2020 such a success, including:
U.Pitch is one of the opportunities Future Founders offers to support aspiring and existing 18 to 30-year-old entrepreneurs. This work is generously supported by Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Capital One, The Coleman Foundation, Keywell Foundation, EY, The John E. & Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation, ChicagoNEXT, Jack and Goldie Wolfe Miller Fund, Softchoice, Target Accelerators, and World Business Chicago.
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