JCU Hosts First Online Elevator Pitch Competition

The Institute for Entrepreneurship hosted its very first online Elevator Pitch Competition from April 10 through 13, 2020. An Elevator Pitch is a quick way of communicating the fundamental elements of a project, a business idea, a social cause, or even one’s professional qualifications and capturing the listener to prompt him/her to action. In the JCU format, students have one minute to advance their idea as convincingly as possible.

While not on campus, the Institute’s team wanted to keep up with this biannual tradition and thus designed a way to host the competition virtually. For the first round, participants were required to submit a YouTube video. Over 100 students sent their pitches and the faculty jury chose the very best videos in three categories: Social Innovation Pitch, Personal Pitch, and Business Idea.

For the final, Institute for Entrepreneurship’s social media audience helped pick the winners. The top pitches were selected based on the number of likes on each post. For four days, people liked, commented, and interacted with the 11 best videos, garnering over 3000 views and 2000 votes for the contestants. Finally, the winners were announced the day after and each was awarded a €100 Amazon voucher.

The Entrepreneurship Institute is pleased to announce the three winners of the Spring 2020 Elevator Pitch Competition: Federica Gandolfo, Business Idea Pitch; Alessandra Grilli, Personal Pitch; Moellyn Ramos Yetsko, Social Innovation Pitch. 


What was your pitch about?

Federica Gandolfo, winner of online Elevator Pitch Competition

Federica Gandolfo

My pitch was about TaxiKid, an app my team is working on for our “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” class with Professor Silvia Pulino. The idea behind it is simple: offering busy parents the possibility to have their children driven to afternoon activities. Many parents work 9 to 5 jobs and once they get home, they have limited free time. My team wanted to design an efficient, safe, and time-saving solution for these parents.

What did you learn after taking part in this competition?
I learned that we should never underestimate ourselves. We might be capable of things we would have never expected. When Professor Pulino first told us that we  had to take part in the Elevator Pitch Competition, my first thought was, “Great, this is what is going to lower my grade.” Considering the results, I guess I had just never really given myself a chance.

What advice could you give to next semester’s participants?
Just have fun. Enjoy it. This is one of the few times, if not the only time, we have the chance to make an elevator pitch without the stress of actually having to convince somebody to invest in our idea. Practice, make mistakes, learn from others and from yourselves, and always believe in the power of true, meaningful human connection. At the end of the day, the people on the other side of the desk (or camera in this case) are just human beings. What could possibly happen?


What was your pitch about?

Alessandra Grilli, winner of online Elevator Pitch Competition

Alessandra Grilli

I decided to do a personal pitch and answer the question “Why should I hire you?” My pitch was about a job posting that I had seen on Gucci’s website under “Careers.” I often go there to see what openings are available as I am a senior and am always on the lookout for a great opportunity for the near future. I read about the position and its requirements and really felt like it was a perfect fit for me and a job that I would apply for in the future.

What did you learn after taking part in this competition?
After participating in the competition, I learned how important it is to think about this question (e.g. Why should I hire you?) before going to a job interview. It made me really reflect on what value I could bring to a company or business. It also allowed me to realize how my previous work experiences have shaped me and prepared me for a future position. Additionally, I learned that I need to believe in myself because we are all capable of great things, but sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone to realize it!

What advice could you give to next semester’s participants?
Take your time, find something that you are really interested in or passionate about because it will show when you compete. Smile, be confident, and remember that a good salesperson does not sound like they are selling something; they are simply having a conversation with others. Most importantly, have fun!


What was your pitch about?

Moellyn Ramos Yetsko, winner of online Elevator Pitch Competition

Moellyn Ramos Yetsko

My pitch was about persuading people to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was inspired to make this speech based on the news regarding people who are protesting against quarantine and continue to walk the streets.

What did you learn after taking part in this competition?
After taking part in the Elevator Pitch Competition, I learned that organization is everything. I had to get a message across the best way I could within one minute. I learned to use only the best sources and stories to get my point across and focused really hard on word choice. In a one-minute presentation every word matters.

What advice could you give to next semester’s participants?
The three best pieces of advice I would give to next semester’s participants is the advice that Professor Michèle Favorite gave me:

  • Organization: Make sure you are putting the most important details at the beginning and end because the memory curve shows that is what people are most likely to remember.
  • The audience comes first, so always start with “you” and provide a benefit within the first 3 words.
  • Remember to use ethos (an appeal to ethics), pathos (an appeal to emotion), and/or logos (an appeal to logic) to prove your points.