HPU Students Pitch Business Ventures at Annual Elevator Pitch Competition

Nov 29th, 2021

HPU Students Pitch Business Ventures at Annual Elevator Pitch Competition

HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 29, 2021 – High Point University students pitched their business ventures to a panel of judges and earned start-up funds during the annual Elevator Pitch Competition on Nov. 10.

The annual competition is a part of HPU’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, an international initiative that introduces entrepreneurship to young people across the globe. There were 21 students competing this year for funding to launch their companies or continue working on their business ideas.

Two businesses landed in a tie for first place. Addison Antico and Jordan Rubin earned $5,000 for their idea, MJ Bottle, and Alexander Malyszko also won the same amount for Your Personal Jeweler.

Antico and Rubin, both seniors majoring in strategic communication, say their product is an all-in-one baby formula feeding bottle, and they are in the process of patenting it.

“The MJ Bottle is named after my nephew, Matthew Jr,” said Antico, who is from Sherborn, Massachusetts. “We named the bottle after him because that is how this problem first arose. That’s what led us to creating this unique mechanism. My partner and I are excited to use the winning funds to further our invention and eventually get it into stores.”

Your Personal Jeweler helps independent jewelers run their business with a “back office” solution. Malyszko says his product helps with accounting, marketing, advising services, systems management and network resources.

“I actually got the idea for this model after listening to the founder of MyEyeDr. speak at HPU,” said Malyszko, a senior from Terrell, North Carolina. “In the same way optometrists spend years learning their craft and struggle to run their own practice, Your Personal Jeweler takes this healthcare management model and adapts it to the jewelry industry.”

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Quenton Barrial took home second place and $2,500 for his product, The Condiment Spreader.

Quentin Barrial took home second place and earned $2,500 for The Condiment Spreader. The product is a utensil that looks like a spatula to make it easier to scrape the outer edges of a condiment jar. He says this invention is more efficient and helps eliminate food waste.

“The idea came to mind after a creative assignment in an entrepreneurship class,” said Barrial, a student from Atlanta, Georgia. “I found the task associated with spreading, scooping and scraping condiments out of a jar to be inefficient. I am currently working on further development to help The Condiment Spreader find its new home in every kitchen.”

Third place and $1,500 went to Jack Hammond for Fish Stick. His product will retrieve expensive fishing lures from trees and underwater structures to avoid hazards to wildlife in the area. The idea came when he saw a great blue heron stuck in fishing litter, and he knew something needed to change.

“Going forward, I plan on using the generous donation from the pitch to build my website, produce and market the Fish Stick,” said Hammond. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that HPU has provided me with so far on my journey as a young entrepreneur.”

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Jack Hammond’s Fish Stick earned him third place in the competition and $1,500.

The following runners-up earned $1,000 each for their businesses: Vincent Scavo V; Ivana Korankyi; Cole Brisson; Kema Leonard; Jess Marley and Blake Newell; and Maddie Drobny and Lauren McAtee.

“It is inspirational and exciting to see students from a wide range of disciplines create practical products and services,” said Professor Kathy Elliott, director of HPU’s Belk Center for Entrepreneurship. “It would not be surprising if many of these bright students are successful in launching their ideas into businesses. That is always our goal.”

This year, the HPU Business Accelerator Fund, Troy Knauss, Bailey and Trey McKee Entrepreneurship Fund, and the Robert G. and Ellen S. Gutenstein Foundation supported the event.