The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Gordon Ford College of Business awarded 10 student teams $1150 in yesterday's annual Topper Tank Elevator Pitch Competition.
This year's competition saw 22 student teams present ideas to a set of judges in two different sessions and one online session.
Winning students are:
1st place winners who receive $200
Austin Mourad, Junior Entrepreneurship major from Paducah, for the Apex Putt
Kendra Mitchell, Senior Exercise Science major from Princeton, for Spark Fitness
2nd place winners who receive $150
Will Berry, Senior Interdisciplinary Studies major from Scottsville, and Sam Kirby, Senior TV and Film Production major from Union, for VidMonster Productions
Blake Knott, Junior Mechanical Engineering major, Zach Crabtree, Junior Business Econ major, and Taylor Wathen, Junior Communication Sciences Disorders major, all from Owensboro, for Tech Gnar
3rd place ($100)
Austin Sutcliffe, Senior Interdisciplinary Studies major from Frankfort, for the Protein Shake
Dustin James, Junior Entrepreneurship major from Smiths Grove for Pet Waste Professionals
Honorable Mention Winners who receive $50
Abdulrahman Alkjarouf and Tyler Anderon, who submitted an idea on YouTube
Katie Moser, Senior Entrepreneurship major from Bowling Green for Sit.Stay.Play!
Samantha McCormick, Senior Marketing and Business Management double major from Bowling Green for Nfinity Dance Studio
Makenzie Beshear, Junior Marketing major from Princeton for The Long Skirt Company
Daniel Cummings, Senior Broadcasting major from Louisville for Rentadventure
The Topper Tank Elevator Pitch Competition is similar to the ABC show “Shark Tank.” This year 22 student teams presented their great ideas and inventions in 90 second elevator pitches to six Topper Tank judges in two competition rooms. Two teams also made YouTube video submissions. Judges for the 2016 competition were Mr. Bryan Smith, retired serial entrepreneur, Jeremy Jacobs, founder and CEO of Eyeconic.TV, Dr. Paula Potter, Management Department Chair, Dr. Bob Hatfield, Gordon Ford College of Business Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, Mr. Nathan Lee, Management Consultant Small Business Development Center, and Mr. Jeff Hook, Director, WKU Center for Research and Development and the Small Business Accelerator.
"This was my first business-related compeition, so this was a great experience to prepare us for the business plan competition," said Taylor Wathen. "The judges asked us good questions, which helped us get ready to explain our program and value proposition."
"We are excited to extend this opportunity to our students for the third year," said Dr. Dawn Bolton, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. "We are hopeful several of these students will feed into our WKU Business Plan Competition, where they will be able to earn and learn even more."