GROVE CITY, Pa. (WKBN) – Local entrepreneurial students had an opportunity to pitch their ideas while winning cash prizes.

Grove City College’s Elevator Pitch Competition was open to students of all majors and welcomed ideas regardless of their stage of development. Sponsored by Beans on Broad, the event last week allowed each student two minutes to convince a panel of judges that their ideas have both merit and the potential to turn a profit.

The college’s Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation has hosted the competition since 2007, leading some of the winners to turn their ideas into growing businesses.

The 2022 edition was held Nov. 9 as 15 finalists made their pitches to a panel of three expert judges while an in-person and online audience watched. The finalists were selected from a pool of more than 150 students who prepared video pitches for the competition by a team of volunteer alumni evaluators.

Winners included the following:

  • Junior Luke Mantzell, a finance and entrepreneurship major from West Middlesex, Pa., took first place in the Social Enterprise category, winning the Social Impact and Fan Favorite awards with his pitch for the Book N Bullet Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the declining hunting population. He took home $850 for his efforts.
  • Mary Golias, a freshman design and innovation major from Mansfield, Ohio, took second place in the Social Enterprise category with her pitch for Art on Wheels, a business serving low-income communities with art education and spiritual support.
  • Benjamin Lockwood, a senior finance major from Jamestown, NY, secured third place with Adopt a Golfer, a venture that connects at-risk youth with golf mentors.
  • In the Commercial Enterprise category, junior marketing major Shelton Brower, from Boyers, Pa., won first place with SoloCollar, an electronic dog collar.
  • Junior design and innovation major Sarah Welker, from Venetia, Pa., won second place with her pitch MadeFree, an allergen-free protein bar.
  • Senior entrepreneurship major Joe Gray, of Eastlake, Ohio, took third place with Cliqz, a social network that gives people friends and plans.

“This year’s competition was a tremendous success, with students from 30 different majors actively participating. This broad reach of participation effectively highlights our center’s mission to serve students of all majors on campus,” said Logan Hammerschmitt, campus director for the Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation. 

To watch a recording of the event or learn more about The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation, visit its website.