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CVU’s future entrepreneurs polish the pitch

Observer courtesy photo (LEFT to RIGHT): Carly Alpert, Caleb Sampson, Jeanne Albertson, Andrea Wolak, Johana Vigoreaux and Flynn Freeman.
Observer courtesy photo
(LEFT to RIGHT): Carly Alpert, Caleb Sampson, Jeanne Albertson, Andrea Wolak, Johana Vigoreaux and Flynn Freeman.

By Tamie-Jo Dickinson

Special to the Observer

What do these things have in common: a food-boat on Lake Champlain, a box that helps you save money, a non-profit that recycles used dancewear and a drone video/photography company? These business ideas belong to the winners of this year’s ‘elevator pitch’ competition.

The ‘elevator pitch’ competition — if you were stuck in an elevator with someone who had all the money in the world to invest, what would you say to hook them? — was the final exam for last semester’s CVU Entrepreneurship students. Students had two minutes to concisely outline their business proposal, marketing strategy and competitive advantage and convey the heart of their business to the judges.

The judges were Andrea Wolak, Community Banking Manager and Lender Specialist from Merchants Bank in Bristol and Jeanne Albertson, Community Banking Manager from Merchants Bank in Hinesburg.

Students had spent the semester developing their business plans. They learned that prospective business owners are strongly encouraged to polish this sort of pitch, since it can mean the difference between raising desired capital and completely leaving their business ideas behind.

This semester’s winners are 1st Place, Carly Alpert from Charlotte—creator of The Flow (the food boat); 2nd Place, Caleb Sampson from Williston —Save Your Money box; 3rd Place Johana Vigoreaux from Williston —creator of Dance Again; and Honorable Mention Flynn Freeman from Williston – creator of Blue Skies Photography.

Tamie-Jo Dickinson teaches the Entrepreneur class at CVU.