First Annual Panther Pitch
First Annual Panther Pitch
Plymouth State will host the first annual Plymouth Pitch on Monday March 13 at 6pm in the Hage Room. The event, hosted by Enactus, is styled similarly to the television show Shark Tank, where teams of students pitch business ideas to a panel of judges in an attempt to win money to fund their projects. Not only does the idea have to be original, there is an emphasis on the idea addressing a specific need within the community. Prizes for the winners are $700 for first place, $500 for second place, $200 for third place, and $300 for the People’s Choice winner. Anywhere between twelve and twenty individual students or groups of students will compete. The event will be catered by Sodexo, and all are encouraged to attend.
Bhola Gautam, a senior Business Administration major, worked closely with Enactus advisor professor Bonnie Bechard in planning the event. While this iteration of the event will have only one category, it is the wish professor Bechard that there will be separate categories for entries, possibly seven that tie into the cluster systems that PSU plans on implementing Fall 2017. “This is meant to be the beginning of promoting entrepreneurship among our students, and not simply business students, even though Enactus is seen as a business oriented student organization.” Bechard said, “We see this as relevant to where the university is going with integrated clusters. Something that needs to be at the heart of each cluster is entrepreneurship and innovation, so I think the timing of this project is right.”
The winners of the competition will not only get start-up money, but also the chance to work closely with Eric Spieth, the Director of the Enterprise Center. The Enterprise Center is a local business incubator that offers resources to those who have small businesses or ideas for one. The winners would be able to get advice and resources needed to implement their idea and help their community.
The event is hosted by Enactus, the Plymouth State club dedicated to increasing the entrepreneurial spirit in PSU students, as well as helping the community. The idea behind the event was to get students from across the campus, in all majors, to come together and bring big ideas to help the community to the table. Helping the community is the primary goal of Enactus, and this shines through in many of their projects. One such project is Caring Scoops, an ice cream venture that employs local homeless veterans.
When the students of PSU think about the Panther Pitch, professor Bechard wants students to remember this, “I would love for people to think about how they can make a difference. That’s the core of who we are here at PSU: ut prosim. That I may serve.”
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