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2020 UNI Entrepreneurs Elevator Pitch Competition

Posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

UNI students competed for $2000 in awards at the Annual UNI Entrepreneurs Elevator Pitch Competition. The 2020 competition took place on Tuesday, November 3rd at the Business & Community Services Building. There were two different competitions that the entrepreneurs could compete in: Ideation and Revenue. Ideation are students with business ideas that are in the early stages of development and have yet to earn revenue. Students in the Revenue competition have existing businesses and are making money. Each student had just 90 seconds to explain their business ideas to a panel of judges.

Five students competed in the Ideation competition with Maddie Palmersheim taking home first place and $500. Maddie’s business idea, Virgo, is a web and application-based platform designed to connect local businesses with local freelancers. Maddie is focusing on photography and videography freelancers to test her idea. Her goal is to help freelancers find gigs as well as helping businesses finding a freelancer that fits their needs. 

Ryan Van Maanen was awarded second place and $250 for his business idea. Ryan proposed building a bar with a golf simulator in the Cedar Valley. He argued that both golfers and bar frequenters will be interested in a golf simulator in a bar setting.

Jake Kurt won third place and $150 for his business idea, Timber Ridge Home Decor. Jake plans to sell decorations to the residents near Lake Delhi, IA. He plans to specifically target lake houses. 

Aleah Vaske and Jeffery Reicks tied for 4th place in the Ideation competition. They both went home with $50 each. 

 Maddie Palmersheim Wins 1st in Ideation Tract

In the Revenue tract, AJ Reding and his business, AJ’s Garage, won first place and he was rewarded with $500. AJ is in the resale industry and goes to goodwill, garage sales, and searches Facebook and Ebay for great deals. Then he turns around and sells the items for profit. AJ loves to find new homes for the products he sells because items can be reused instead of just thrown away.

Grace Hartnett placed second for her business, Darlene Grace Creative Co. Grace creates and sells art prints, stickers, and apparel on her online shop. Her goal is to provide young adults with affordable and trendy apparel and art pieces. 

Third place in the Revenue tract and $150 went to Emma Slagle. Emma and her family founded Honor & Respect, a shoe and apparel online-based company that strives to make mental health of first responders a priority. They give 100% of the proceeds to nonprofits that help first responders.

Parkes Wilterdink took fourth place and was awarded $100 to help his business, MotoPro HQ. His business sells dirt bike storage systems to traveling racers. His product makes traveling with bikes more efficient and protects the vehicles that are hauling the bikes.

AJ Reding Wins 1st in Revenue Tract