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Bears Pitch Their Innovative Ideas for Prizes

Ursinus College students pitched innovative business ideas to a panel of judges at the college’s second annual Bear Pitch Competition Nov. 16 and won cash prizes.

Contestants had just two minutes to make the case for their proposed start-up ideas for a company, non-profit organization, product, or service. Facilitated by the college’s U-Imagine Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies, participants were encouraged to be enthusiastic, convincing and persuasive. The competition hosted over 20 contestants, both staff/faculty and students.

The “Be Entrepreneurial and Roar” (BEAR) Pitch Competition differs from BEAR Innovation which requires substantial development of the innovative idea and it’s feasibility. BEAR Pitch is all about the “sell,” and is judged on contestants’ ability to identify a problem and explain how it can be solved.

Many returning second-year competitors pitched a wide range of ideas – from a hat for all occasions to guardian algae. The winners from last year’s BEAR Pitch – biology professor Rebecca Roberts and Nick Lee ’17 – defended their titles once again. Roberts’ “Supporting Parents to Support Kids” evolved as she realized that monthly date nights could consume 4 percent of the annual income of the typical Pennsylvania family.  This nonprofit organization could provide free date nights to parents. Her data shows that stronger relationships between parents correlate to better social, cognitive, and emotional development among children.

Lee’s winning idea, “Who wants to go?,” is a free app similar to Uber but specifically for Ursinus students. “I think I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with public speaking as a result of this as well as clearly presenting an idea in a short amount of time,” Lee said.

In second and third places were “Angel Vision” and “A Bridge Over Troubled Main Streets” by Chinonyerem Enwereji and Robert Colin McNamara. Enwereji for a proposed organization that would provide solutions for those who are visually impaired, while McNamara’s proposal to increase the efficiency of transportation to Ursinus by building an underground tunnel under Main Street resulted in third place.

Karen Maciolek and Missy Bryant were second and third place winners in the faculty/staff division.