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Elevator Pitch Competition Awards $550 to Student-Run Businesses

  • Author: Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Four student teams earned $550 in cash prizes from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s annual Topper Tank Elevator Pitch Competition held in Grise Hall on October 17.

The Topper Tank is similar to the ABC television show, “Shark Tank,” where businesses present their business ideas and product inventions to a panel of judges.

Winning teams were:

  • First place ($250): Dustin James for Odd Jobs on Call – Your Home Maintenance Concierge. James is a senior entrepreneurship major from Bowling Green.


  • Second place ($150): Mike Deal for Auto Mobile Service. Deal is a graduate student from Madisonville studying engineering technology management.


  • Third place ($75): (tie) Nathan Brooks for Chumps Homemade Ice Cream; Hunter Boyd and Garret Hunt for SqueezEase. Brooks is a sophomore marketing major from Powell, Ky., Boyd is a senior entrepreneurship major from Versailles, and Hunt is a senior popular culture studies major from Bowling Green.

“It was an incredible way to let college students experience getting their ideas out and be able to receive honest feedback,” said Brooks.

Feedback came from three judges: Mr. Michael Cowles, Special Projects Manager in Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain at Chevron Corporation; Dr. Paula Potter, WKU Department of Management; and Mr. Greg Siegelman, WKU Department of Marketing.

“Topper Tank is a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to practice their pitch skills and gain valuable feedback on their ideas,” said James.

Topper Tank is in its fourth year, having awarded more than $4,100 during that time to student-run businesses.

“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,” said Dr. Dawn Bolton, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Gordon Ford College of Business.

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