A Pitch to Make a Difference - Italy Pitches Final Competition

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Italy Pitches

Italy Pitches

On Monday, April 10, 2017, the Institute for Entrepreneurship welcomed Italian high school students to compete in the Italy Pitches final round. Inspired by the success of Italy Reads and Italy Writes, Italy Pitches is a national, Elevator Pitch-style competition in English, focused on advocating for non-profits, open to Italian High School students. The competition began with 259 competitors, and ended with 22 students representing 14 schools competing in the finals.

The judges for the event were:
Massimo Dall’Olio, Consultant, Elidea Psicologi Associati; HR Manager at Intersos (ONG)
Lucia Desmaele, Ufficio Servizio Civile, FOCSIV Volontari nel Mondo
Marianna Occhiuto, JCU alumna and Head of Fundraising and Communication, Casa Scalabrini 634

“It was an impressive event and the students were very well prepared: choosing the winner wasn’t easy,” said Marianna Occhiuto. Angelica Tajani from Liceo Linguistico Immanuel Kant was awarded 3rd place, while 2nd place went to Fahim Ahmed, from Liceo Scientifico Newton. The winner of the competition was Francesca Romana Picone, from Liceo Scientifico Giulia Falletti di Barolo. Francesca advocated for awareness and increased funding for research on Alzheimer’s disease. As first prize winner, she was  awarded free entry in JCU’s Summer Camp. We spoke with Francesca about her experience.

Francesca Romana Picone, winner of Italy Pitches

Francesca Romana Picone, winner of Italy Pitches

How did you choose this topic?
I was always interested in Alzheimer’s, as it heavily impacts not only the people directly affected by the disease, but also their families. It’s a disease that effectively takes away the people close to you.

How did you prepare for the pitch?
I wrote the pitch and asked my teacher for feedback. She organized a mock competition in our classroom, to have us practice our pitches and see which worked best. I was then selected to be the class’ representative for the finals. After the decision was made, we rehearsed, rehearsed and rehearsed some more.

What did you think of Italy Pitches?
It was a great experience. I am a very shy person, and did not think I would be able to come out and pitch like I did. It was definitely a learning experience, not only for the pitch itself but also in other aspects of my life. I am now much more confident during interrogazioni (oral tests common in the Italian school system).

Plans for the future?
I’d like to come to John Cabot and study Economics. This is also why I was interested in Italy Pitches, to have the chance to test and improve my public speaking skills.