Winner of the 2019 UNI Entrepreneurs Elevator Pitch Competition, Maddie Palmersheim, had the opportunity to attend the 2019 CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization) Global Conference and Pitch Competition. This conference was held in Tampa, Florida from October 31st to November 2nd.
Maddie and around 1,000 other collegiate entrepreneurs attended the three-day conference. The main event of the conference is a pitch competition with a grand prize of $2,000.,
Maddie perfected her pitch and headed to Tampa joined by fellow UNI student entrepreneur, Matt Zilley. When they first arrived, they connected with the Iowa State entrepreneurs chapter who had around 15 people with them. They spent the first night networking with their new friends from Iowa State along with others at the conference.
The pitch competition started on the second day. Maddie pitched her business, Karmic Co., to the panel of judges. Karmic Co. seeks to strengthen spiritual life by selling bracelets with crystals that open the body to positive energy. Each bracelet has unique properties from promoting strength to increasing focus.
The rest of the conference was spent attending breakout sessions and workshops focusing on entrepreneurship and personal growth. They also got to explore Tampa in their free time and were able to visit the entrepreneurial center at the University of Tampa.
When asked what her overall favorite part of the conference, Palmersheim responded, ”Aside from being able to escape the cold weather in Iowa, being able to attend a global conference with other individuals interested in entrepreneurship was a great experience. For an entire weekend, I was surrounded by people who want to create, build, and innovate- it was really inspirational to see people my age doing amazing things with their own businesses. Getting connected with and learn from them while I was there is something I do not take for granted.”
Overall, Tampa was a great experience for the two young entrepreneurs with many takeaways and learning experiences. Maddie said, “If you were to tell me I would have been doing this a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. It was far out of my typical comfort zone, but it is important to step out or expand that zone and I am really lucky to have the people at the UNI JPEC constantly pushing me out of my boundaries.”