High Point University students pitched their business ideas in front of faculty judges during the annual Elevator Pitch Competition on Nov. 18. Pictured from left to right are Faith Griffin, Erin Morrow and Kyle Wiseman.
HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 23, 2020 – High Point University students pitched their business ideas in front of faculty judges and received startup funds during the annual Elevator Pitch Competition on Nov. 18.
The annual competition is part of HPU’s celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, an international initiative that introduces entrepreneurship to young people across the globe. While the event didn’t have an audience as it usually does and was streamed live due to the pandemic, students still gained experience and funds by applying to compete and by pitching their ideas to the judges.
Erin Morrow won first place and received $2,500 for her idea, “Finger Flyer Educational STEM Kits.” The kits include handheld quadcopter drones that students assemble, along with guided educational lab activities that explore important aspects of science, technology, engineering and math during the building process. Each drone STEM kit provides a step-by-step assembly guide, explains the flight principles and underlying physics, and describes the drone technology that makes it all possible.
“Winning first place as a freshman was so unbelievable to me and proved to myself that hard work and dedication pay off,” said Morrow. “Being an education major and winning proves to myself that anyone can be an entrepreneur. Setting the winning aside, being able to pitch my product to judges and fellow student entrepreneurs provided me with confidence and real-world experience, which I believe is the ultimate takeaway from this competition.”
Kyle Wiseman won second place and received $1,500 for “Swarm Secure Messaging,” a messaging app to offer metadata protection, keeping key data private from detection. With this feature in combination with best-in-class encryption standards, Wiseman says Swarm will offer the first truly private and secure way to communicate online.
“The Elevator Pitch Competition was an amazing experience that allowed me to grow as a presenter and to develop skills that will help me with turning my idea into a reality,” said Wiseman. “I am so grateful to High Point University for this opportunity to win funds that will advance the launch of my company.”
Faith Griffin took third place and received $1,000 for her idea, “The Shaving Step,” a step stool designed for women to make shaving their legs in the shower safer and easier.
“This was my second time participating in the competition, and it’s a great learning experience,” said Griffin. “I’m very thankful to attend a university that has such a big focus on entrepreneurship and has opportunities like this. I’m so grateful that I received funding this year, and I can’t wait to keep moving forward with my product.”
This year’s event was supported by the HPU Business Accelerator Fund, the Bailey and Trey McKee Entrepreneurship Fund, and Troy Knauss, assistant professor of the practice of entrepreneurship at HPU.