Two Grand Rapids Community College students have qualified to compete at the upcoming regional Idea Pitch competition on November 3. Idea Pitch allows students exactly 90 seconds to explain a new idea for a new business. The regional competition will take place at 6 p.m. at Davenport University. A total of 14 students representing seven educational institutions will compete.
The 3rd Annual Idea Pitch competition is made possible by the collaborative efforts of the West Michigan Colleges and Universities Group (WMCUG ) which includes Aquinas College, Calvin College, Cornerstone University, Davenport University, Hope College, Grand Valley State University, and Grand Rapids Community College. WMCUG is committed to helping grow entrepreneurship in West Michigan.
Felix Pereiro, Assistant Professor and coordinator of the Idea Pitch competition said, “Our goal with this competition is to bring out the entrepreneur in our students and in doing so encourage creativity, and evoke passion for something these students believe will make a positive impact in our community.”
“It gives these students the opportunity to explore the possibilities of reimagining a better world…and it confirms the philosophy that all great businesses start with an idea.”
First place winner Allison Braunshausen received $800 for her “Smiles for Hope” idea, and Olga Sarayeva earned the $300 award for second place with her “Lunch & Learn” concept. Third Place, and a $100, award went to Jeffrey Noel for his “Senior Tech” pitch.
The first round of Idea Pitch was open to any GRCC student in any area of study, and that field was narrowed to 15 finalists from the over 80 students that submitted ideas. Braunshausen and Sarayeva emerged from the finalists with their awards and the right to advance to the regional level where the prizes include $1500 for 1st place, $1000 for 2nd place, and two 3rd place prizes of $500 each.
Danielle Gore is the CEO of GRCC’s Entrepreneurial Growth Organization, a GRCC student organization, which promotes entrepreneurship and encourages students to pursue entrepreneurial careers. “The Idea Pitch competition is a popular annual event for our students at GRCC and an amazing experience for all students that participate,” she said. The Entrepreneurial Growth Organization recently won the best student organization of the year award at GRCC.
Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for nearly 33,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.