ANNOUNCING THE PITCH COMPETITION WINNERS
First Place: EntertainMED - Emma Gassett (Lubin), Shannon Giles (Lubin), Gabriela Morris (Lubin)
Second Place: High Rider - Elle Gaston (Lubin)
Third Place: Wepptek - Daniel Berekdar (Seidenberg), Manuel Garza (Seidenberg), Sammy Geller (Seidenberg), Isaiah Jimenez (Lubin), Allan Krasner (Seidenberg), Cassie Ramos (Dyson)
Click the "Finalists" tab below to see their pitches, as well as all the other contestants.
The Seventeenth Annual Pace Pitch Contest
The Entrepreneurship Lab
Application Date: Monday, March 29th 2021
Final Submission Date: Friday, April 16th 2021
Winner Announcement Date: Friday, April 23rd 2021
- 29-March: Registration Deadline
- 1-April: Pre-selection Announcement
- 1-April to 15-April : Pitch clinic(schedule an online appointment with Bruce Bachenheimer, the Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 15-April : Submit additional data | Digital photograph of each team member | PowerPoint presentation, 5 slides
- 16-April : Record and submit your pitch(uploaded as an Unlisted video on YouTube)
- 17-April to 23-April : Judging
- 23-April : Winners will be announced.
Bal Agrawal, CEO, LifeWorx, Inc
Bal Agrawal, Founder and CEO, LifeWorx, Inc; founded the company where trust, Skill and good fit in “Care at Home” is assured. From his own experiences and life challenges, he recognized that help at home is random and does not need to be such! LifeWorx provide Eldercare, Nannies and Housekeepers to make client’s life fulfilling and home safe. Building exceptional organization, target Marketing, investing in technology and growing LifeWorx is Bal’s key focus. LifeWorx has one of the highest ratings on Google and it continues to grow with focus and high performing organization.
Previously, Bal worked for Linde for 24 years in Marketing, Sales, Business Development, Strategy and General Management. Bal graduated from IIT, Mumbai with Distinction in Engineering. He received Sc.D. from MIT in Material Science with minor in Finance.
Mary Howard, Principal designtechnologies
Mary Howard is founder of Design Technologies creator and manager of the ELab NYC program, a competitive entry business training program for research scientists and engineers in life sciences field. Design Technologies also created the TechLaunch training program for the state of NJ for software and mobile app startups and Clean Energy Association's SBIR training program for federally funded startups working to achieve Phase II funding awards. Mary is founder of startups in imaging and CAD software, event promotion software, food service and product design. She is a surfcaster and spends her free time on the water.
Daniel Papes, President and Chief Commercial Officer, sndr
Dan has more than 30 years of unique experience in the technology industry, including serving as a Section 16 Officer of a $36B public company, Digital Realty, the largest Data Center REIT in the world. Known as an inspiring leader, turnaround expert, and “corporate entrepreneur”, he has worked for IBM (27 years), Westcon Group (a $6B IT distributor), Siemens Networking Systems (President, North America), and Mainspring (a pre and post IPO ecommerce consulting company). Among his achievements include leading the acquisition of Mainspring by IBM, launching IBM’s e-commerce cloud/hosting business, creating a venture capital funded business inside the IBM portfolio named Mobile Enterprise Services, transforming the culture of Digital Realty from a real estate company to a customer-centric solutions provider while doubling sales volumes, and turning around a rapidly declining business for Siemens Networking to generate double digit growth. Dan has a BA from Vanderbilt University.
- Change Shack
- Green Tangelo
- High Rider
- Ludos Mercatus
Year-round surfers and beach goers alike struggle with finding a comfortable space to change into their wetsuit, clean off the children, or just put on a dry pair of shorts. Change Shack strives to provide a comfortable and convenient place to change for all beachgoers
How will we Make Money?
We will have two seasons for our pricing model, Summer (May-September) and Winter (October-April). In the Summer we will be charging $2 per usage or $20 for the season. Winter will be more expensive to make up for the cost of heating the shacks with a cost of $4 per usage or $40 for the season. We expect our Summer season to have 5 daily users per shack and 60 season passes. Winter will see approximately 1 daily user but will garner 190 season passes. This reflects the change in cliental, from occasional beachgoer to dedicated winter watermen. People who buy a seasonal pass will have access to all five shacks. There will be one shack per location, subdivided into two changing rooms. If additional demand is unmet, we can easily add additional shacks per location.
I currently have selected five key areas which are highly trafficked year-round yet do not have public facilities available. These areas are:
1. Northern Sea Bright, NJ
2. Central Road in Monmouth Beach, NJ
3. Brighton Ave in Long Branch, NJ
4. Riverside Drive in Manasquan, NJ
5. Hathaway Ave in Deal, NJ
6. North Plum Island, Mass
7. The Wall at North Beach, NH
8. Rye on the Rocks, NH
9. Drake Island Beach, ME
10. Gooches Beach, ME
11. Fortunes Rock, ME
The Shacks will be kept on private beach side property through a profit-sharing deal where the property owner gets 15% of the revenue. I believe property owners will be eager to host the shacks because many ocean front properties are owned by investors who do not live on the property. I believe investors would be willing to trade a small amount of property in exchange for the additional monthly income.
What will it Cost?
• $3,100 up front for one shack with solar powered space heater
• $100 for delivery
◦ The costs above are based on a quote given by Tuff Shed’s, Home Depot’s primary shed provider
• Monthly cleaning service $20 per shack
• $200 annual repair budget per shack
• Profit sharing at 15% with property owners
• Marketing $1,000 per year
◦ Marketing through Google Maps, Social Media and in person signage at locations
Total cost year 1: $51,720
• Monthly cleaning service $20 per shack
• $200 annual repair budget per shack
• Profit sharing at 15% with property owners
• Marketing $1,000 per year
Total cost year 2 = $13,200
Notes on Cost:
• The Sheds will need to be replaced every six years since they will be placed in a harsh oceanside environment.
• The shacks will not be insured.
In 2018, the New Jersey Shore’s tourism industry generated $21.5 Billion and that number has increased for nine years in a row.
How can you get involved?
In order to open up our initial five locations, we will need $51,000 in exchange for 33% of the business. I will personally cover the cost of marketing, cleaning services and repairs for the first year to reflect my personal investment in the business.
Our clear Path to profitability in just 2 years makes Change Shack a great investment.
Eugene Casazza is a senior studying in the Lubin School of Business, focusing on Finance. He loves the great outdoors, surfing, and Italian cuisine.
ColCord is an all natural personal needs manufacturing company which hopes to reconnect humanity to its natural origins without neglecting the tremendous strides we have made in various scientific fields. My goal is to provide a balance between the unsavory yet harmonious remedies of our past and the pleasing yet pernicious products of the modern era.
Problem and Solution:
Currently many companies are using countless harmful chemicals in products such as moisturizers, laundry detergents, shampoos/conditioners, supplements, toothpastes, etc. These synthetic toxins accumulate and damage the bodies ability to function regularly, causing a multitude of issues such as an autoimmune disorder for myself. My journey to detoxify and heal myself forced me to find natural ways to continue living hygienically like a modern man should. As my trove of organic recipes grew I recognized I had an opportunity to share these products with others suffering as I had. Now it's my mission to provide products so others can live comfortably without worrying about being slowly poisoned by the items they need daily.
Market and Marketing Strategies:
Though I will focus on the skincare market in my pitch, the overall market for this venture is large as I have products in the works in dozens of areas. Organic skincare is a $5.6 billion dollar market, and my main competitors are Doctor Bronners and Shea Moisture which are already sold in retailers like CVS or Walmart. I intend to target smaller retailers such as salons and gift shops initially as I have already connected with multiple, and to target their generally more health conscious shoppers. I also have talked with local magazines to take out ad space in addition to the social media advertising campaigns (specifically targeting groups who have developed autoimmune disorders or other sensitivities to toxins) I plan on doing.
Financial Figures and Investment:
The price of producing and distributing my initial skincare product will be $9 per ounce and I plan to sell for $21, giving me a 57% profit margin. With my current methods I can produce 864 ounces a month but am looking to upgrade my production abilities immediately. Looking for a $60,000 investment for a 3% stake, this will allow me to move to Phase 2 of my business model, increasing monthly manufacturing by 30 times. It will also provide me with the capital required to expand advertisement to account for the increase in production volume.
John Perry is a student, currently a junior, and will be graduating next year in the Spring of 2022. He is taking classes in the Lubin School of Business, and his major is Entrepreneurship with a minor in Computer Science.
The fashion industry is the second leading cause of climate change, as based on Fashion Revolution Organization it emits about the same quantity of greenhouse gases per year as the entire economies of France, Germany and the UK combined, plays a huge role in human trafficking and also employees a significant amount of the population due to its lengthy supply chain. The COVID-19 pandemic has deteriorated the financial situation of many fashion brands leading them to canceling orders, not paying employees and leaving workers unemployed, making them vulnerable to accepting jobs that are underpaid and dangerous. The pandemic has shown even more that the buying and production processes are not sustainable and makes the shift to transparent supply chains urgent. According to the Fashion Revolution Organization, textiles are the largest source of both primary and secondary microplastics, accounting for 34.8% of global microplastic pollution.
DGRwear (DGR), a slow fashion brand based in Greece has a vision to become the game changer of ethical fashion by being a primary example of a global, sustainable fashion company that maintains the Greek tradition of knitting while giving back. Through its (turtle pace) slow but steady (vertical) growth, DGR wants to help vulnerable populations get employed and use their skills to create beautiful, handmade clothes and accessories, while protecting the environment by using sustainable and organic raw materials. Greece has faced a disastrous economic crisis for years that has turned out to be a global economic crisis. But, as it has disseminated civilization in the past, now the country will be able to show the path towards a sustainable world through the sustainable fashion industry and entrepreneurship. The aim is to satisfy one of the basic human needs; clothing, while introducing the sustainability mindset and lifestyle to the world. On the one hand, a Greek enterprise such as DGR needs the support of foreign investors to flourish (in this case investors from the USA), and on the other hand, DGR can provide the know-how of knitting; the art of craft that has been passed down from older generations and is about creating with one’s hands without the use of machinery, without the modern consumeristic philosophy that fast fashion has created. By providing jobs and cultivating the spirit of our employees, bringing them in touch with their subconscious need to feel and be part of nature, DGR’s main goal isn’t profit, but uplifting local societies. Our social mission and passion for a sustainable world is what drives the venture. Our design inspiration is nature as it is an endless source of creativity. We give our clothes animal names, such as owl and hedgehog reminding people that we are all one with nature and thus, we need to take care of it.
In order for DGR to transfer knowledge and provide job positions to people in need across the world, we want to create interactive local, turtle centers where our staff can mend clothes, upcycle old products and meanwhile offer a showroom space for customers to get the full experience from crochet hooks to racks, where they can also put a special tailor-made and customized order. The consumer will come to the center not just to buy clothes, but to have a personal connection with the production of his/her clothes, see the transparent process, meet the local knitters, learn about the company’s philosophy, arouse their senses, while satisfying one of their basic needs- almost like experiencing a spiritual transition. With the structure of the local turtle centers, we will be able to grow globally while still staying local and catering to the needs of the different target markets. In this way our values, sustainable management mindset and entrepreneurship will be able to travel across countries and continents. Starting with the USA, our local centers will be owned by DGR USA that will be the representative of DGR Greece in the USA. Similarly, our vision for the future includes DGR local centers owned by DGR Germany, DGR Australia, DGR China etc.
The local centers will be run by local investors/angels in collaboration with the HQ in Greece to maintain quality control of the products made in each country and maintain the business culture. This will be a transformative sustainable fashion business model on clothing manufacturing and sales that grows vertically. Each investor will be an employee (according to their qualifications) to create a team of like minded individuals that genuinely care and want to put in the work and not be solely motivated by profit. We don’t pay attention to competition because we are creating something unique and there is no competition in creativity, authentic love and care. As DGR’s staff gets educated on sustainable manufacturing and design, we can expand in creating different types of clothing including clothes for babies etc. Going back to handmade, Taylor-made techniques and stepping away from machines, will allow for vulnerable populations to become employed, use their skills, creativity and craftsmanship while creating an example of a sustainable business for the rest of the world.
Joanne Mantzouridou Onasi is pursuing her Masters in Strategic Management at the Lubin School of Business, Pace University and is a Graduate Assistant for the Management Department. Her expected graduation date is May 2022. She completed her Bachelors in Psychology and Communications at St. Lawrence University. Joanne is passionate about sustainable entrepreneurship, and sustainable fashion. She is writing her thesis on the conceptualization, development, and execution of a sustainability mindset. She is also a member of the UN PRME working group on the Sustainability Mindset. Joanne is the Founder and President of the Strategy and International Business Club at Lubin. She is also a student ambassador with the Alumni Relations Office, as well as the co-owner of DGRwear, COO of Fashion Revolution Greece and a Founding Member of the GoodHuman App; an ethical marketplace for sustainable brands that aims to educate consumers and help them improve their purchasing habits. Upon completion of her graduate studies, she intends to pursue opportunities in organizations that are involved in the sustainability industry.
Dolphit Technologies is launching the DB1 dumbbell cleaner. The product utilizes an Arduino micro controller and lidar sensors to dispatch sanitizing products to clean equipment for gyms, universities, clubs, and organizations across the continent. The covid-19 pandemic has heightened fear and safety in one of the biggest and fastest-growing industries in the United States. With a 3.25% growth in the last couple of years alone, the fitness industry has become a big part of most people’s lives and is currently valued at nearly $35 billion dollars. With the ongoing pandemic, Dolphit Technologies aspires to be one of the biggest revenue generators for the already $100 billion wholesale sporting goods industry. Dolphit Technologies offers cutting-edge development to businesses and customers alike with the same goal: Premium products and new technologies. The company’s launch product, the DB1 utilizes the lidar distance sensors to trigger a mechanism that will apply the sanitizing liquid to the equipment the technology is used on. The company sees this as a way to protect people from Covid but also strives to give organizations the edge on competitors by displaying superb Covid protocol which will build members confidence and give customers the edge they need to build their memberships and eventually increase profits. Not only is the fitness industry a target, but the product could also have application professional teams, NCAA teams, high schools, and other organizations. license the product for custom branding along with quicker, more effective cleaning of gym equipment and general sanitation. By utilizing e-commerce and drop shipping Clear Gear, Dolphit Technologies is creating an advantage for itself by utilizing online commerce and partnering with Clear gear to compliment the DB1. The company is requesting $800,000 to start with production costs, marketing, and other expenses such as patents. Dolphit technologies plans to get production for the DB1 to start as fast as possible in order to start getting the product to market and meeting the massive quantity of demand that is across the United States.
Will Brady is currently a Junior on the football team at the Pleasantville campus, expecting to graduate in the fall of 2021 or spring of 2022. He's currently studying business management and for the past few months has been looking into creating his own startup. This product is meant to be utilized in a variety of settings whether it be school gyms or commercial gyms. The goal for creating this product was to create a new niche market with the rise of Covid that will allow for cleaner, safer gyms.
EntertainMED is an accessible platform dedicated to connecting artists and entertainment workers with specialized healthcare professionals. EntertainMED is the only single resource designed to assist the entertainment worker understand and access affordable healthcare tailored specifically to the experience of the arts and entertainment industries. The entertainment industry is unlike any other and those who work in the industry deserve accessible care from professionals who understand the demands of being an artist. For most artists, their bodies serve as their instrument and are therefore vital to sustain one’s livelihood. Simply speaking, one cannot work if they are not healthy. EntertainMED will help artists keep their bodies and minds healthy so the show can go on.
This online and mobile application interface allows users to make appointments, leave reviews, and contribute to the healthcare plans they have through their union. Those in the entertainment industry will be able to better understand their healthcare plan through our interactive service that simplifies their plan and suggests physicians in their network. The patient is able to connect with mental health counselors, nutritionists, Ear, Nose and Throat doctors, physical therapists, and additional specialists who are certified and qualified to assist with artists and entertainment workers with a variety of needs. Through the platform, users will experience shorter wait times as they are able to fill last-minute appointment slots from anywhere, even on a tour bus between stops.
According to the National Endowment for the Arts, approximately 2.5 million people identify as an artist or performing artist in the United States, with a projected growth rate of 7.4% of all occupations and 11.6% for actors between 2016 and 2026. In terms of healthcare coverage, 88% of artists overall and 60-75% of dancers, choreographers, and other entertainers have reported coverage. Our target market includes those employed in various entertainment occupations including dancers, actors, choreographers, directors, film makers and more, which extends across the United States and abroad to reach countries such as London, Australia, and those in international waters on cruise ships needing virtual health appointments.
This service is Business-to-Business between unions, employers, healthcare professionals and EntertainMED, and Business-to-Consumer between the patients themselves and EntertainMED. Certified health care professionals will need to be approved after completing the vetting process and will be charged a yearly fee to use EntertainMED either individually or as a medical team to provide in-person or telehealth appointments. EntertainMED will also enable unions to subscribe to the platform in order to alleviate traffic to the union representatives, and to provide their members with one, easy to use platform that connects members to a number of qualified healthcare professionals.
This platform will operate similarly to ZocDoc, the $1.5 billion healthcare platform connecting users with in-network providers and more than six million users every month. EntertainMED expands on ZocDoc’s business model by allowing patients to contact on-call Patient Advocates; extraordinarily knowledgeable employees who are able to explain unions insurance plans to patients and make suggestions based on their needs. Consumers are also able to make contributions to their healthcare plan directly through EntertainMED which serves as a one-stop-shop for all of one’s medical needs.
Emma Gassett is a NYC-based professional dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. Originally from St. Louis, Emma continued her training at Oklahoma City University, where she earned her Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance Performance and graduated as Salutatorian. Upon graduation, Emma performed at regional theatres across the country and has served as the associate choreographer for numerous Equity productions in NYC and regionally. Most recently, Emma worked with five-time Tony Award Winner, Susan Stroman, on the brand-new musical, “Marie, Dancing Still,” which premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Washington. In addition to performing, Emma is on the panel of Impact Dance Adjudicators, where she provides feedback and adjudications for young dancers across the globe. While pursuing her own performance and choreographic career, Emma continues to be an advocate for continued education and inclusion in the arts. Currently, she is pursuing her MBA in General Business with an emphasis in Arts and Entertainment at Pace University and is expected to graduate in May 2022.
Shannon Giles is a professional dancer and director based in New York City. Shannon earned his BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2015. After graduation Shannon danced and served as Dance Captain at theme parks, cruise ships, and in contemporary dance companies. He was last seen in the Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall as an ensemble dancer. Shannon is currently in Step One Dance Company, a first of its kind touring dance company specifically designed for Holland America Lines innovative entertainment program where he travels internationally. In addition to working in New York City, Shannon also works as an install and rehearsal director for Celebrity Cruises in Miami, Florida where he choreographs, directs and implements entertainment across their fleet of ships. Shannon is currently in progress getting his MBA in General Business with a focus in Arts and Entertainment at Pace University, expecting to graduate in 2022.
Gabriela Morris is a full-time Dual MBA student at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business concentrating in Talent Management and General Business with a focus in Arts and Entertainment Management. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Marketing from Marist College where she was heavily involved with the student and collegiate run theatrical programs on campus. With extensive experience in the arts, including her most recent work as an Associate Talent Agent, Gabriela is a strong advocate for equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in the arts and believes healthcare should be understandable, affordable, and accessible by everyone. She has held positions such as the Company Management Intern with Manhattan Theatre Club, Marketing Intern with MCC Theater, and in Entertainment Costuming with the Walt DIsney Company. Gabriela is additionally an award-nominated choreographer with a passion for giving back to those in need.
The global wedding industry is worth over $500 billion but with the onset of the COVID pandemic, the industry has experienced a 7% decline in revenue. Yet in the United States, it is projected that at least 90% of the population will get married at least once in their lifetime.
Problems: In 2019, the average cost of a wedding in the United States was approximately $33,900, with the wedding gown and tuxedo accounting for roughly $3,000. The fashion industry is the 3rd largest waste producing industry in the world, with leftover fabrics going into landfills. Furthermore, statistics show that at least 99% of women never reuse their wedding gowns, and 70% of men never reuse their tuxedos. Lastly, the COVID pandemic resulted in massive unemployment.
Solution: Green Tangelo is a platform that is set to solve the identified problems by creating a virtual market place that matches individuals who desire to rent out their wedding attires to those on a tight budget, who’ll prefer to rent than buy. It’s like having Uber for wedding rentals.
Market: Starting off, our target customers are both U.S. and Nigerian couples who are looking to make extra cash and those looking to cut down on their upcoming wedding expenses, who either shop online or use social media.
Unique value proposition: We minimize the waste produced by the fashion industry, while enabling individuals to save and earn extra income. We also give couples the opportunity of wearing eco-friendly couture wedding attires for a fraction of the cost. We provide clientele for local eco-friendly dry cleaners.
Revenue Model: We generate revenue from three sources. The first is from the percentage of the rental fees charged by our renters. The second is from the percentage of the dry-cleaning fees charged by our partner cleaners. The third is from our in-house couture rental fees.
Marketing Strategy: We intend to kick off by utilizing our social network (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and word-of-mouth, to get both individuals that will list their wedding attires, and those that are interested in renting.
Milestones: Through a 1-day beta test run, currently have 4 individuals that have submitted their attires to be listed for rent, and our web-platform will be ready for a full beta launch by Summer 2021.
Social Impact: Being that our business focuses on people first, we intend to have a monthly outreach after our successful launch, where couples who can’t afford to have the wedding of their dreams reach out to us explaining why they need our help. We’ll select 5 couples that get rent-free in-house attires for the wedding.
Emi Harry is a graduate student at Pace University. She is currently enrolled in the Computer Science Department, in the Seidenberg School of CSIS. She considers herself to be a social entrepreneur and data scientist, having earned prior master’s degrees in both fields from Hult International Business School, and Fordham University respectively. She is passionate about using technology to proffer sustainable business solutions to varied social problems. She is actively developing an A.I. driven adaptive learning platform for early learning. When she’s not studying or working on her startup, she enjoys creative writing, acting, and fashion designing. She loves being part of Green Tangelo because it is a channel that lets her utilize her social entrepreneurial, technology and fashion designing skills.
Belema Harry-Koleoso is currently the West Africa Territory Technology Lead at Schneider Electric. She is certified by INSEAD in leading organizations in disruptive times. As a female engineer, she has broken through many barriers in Nigerian male-dominated industry. She earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical electronics engineering from the University of Lagos in 2009. Having gone through the ordeal of wedding gown shopping, Belema conceived the original idea of Green Tangelo as a means for brides to get the wedding gowns of their dreams for less through their social network.
Boma Harry is currently a certified nutritionist and healthy living journalist, enrolled in Cornell University’s Nutrition and Healthy Living program. Prior to this, she earned BA in Media Studies form the University of Swansea Wales United Kingdom. She is passionate about helping people achieve healthy lifestyle, by offering wellness services to the public. Boma Is also passionate about good fashion trends, and she loves being part of Green Tangelo because it provides her with the opportunity to help both men and women be fashionable with an affordable budget. As a media professional, she is focused on driving our market outreach.
High Rider is an edible cannabis company with the goal to educate consumers on lung health. We will create infused cooking oils, sugar cubes, and butters for the average cannabis user but also make it safe and comfortable for the new consumer to use. By providing easy directions for the most effective use, we will enhance the mental and physical health of our community. As cannabis continues to be legalized throughout the US, more and more people are using it both recreationally but also as an alternative to many modern medicines. However, with the main form of consumption being inhaling or smoking this presents an issue of lung health. Additionally, there are not many ways to incorporate the appropriate amounts of cannabis into your daily life. High Rider is a brand focused on improving consumer’s knowledge of lung health and providing a variety of alternatives to smoking with cooking products easy to incorporate in daily doses. With this company, I hope to provide easy instruction with our products for daily microdosing to enhance mental health, provide relief for physical pains and overall make cannabis a more approachable substance for all. We will provide several forms of cooking oils, sugar cubes for coffee or tea, and different flavors of butter. So how will this work? We will be partnering with a company by the name of MyGreen Network who will provide umbrella licensing and a commercial kitchen for us to legally create and distribute our product. We will be starting as wholesalers providing our products to well-known dispensaries. This will stand as our main form of revenue while we work to obtain licensing for opening our own brick-and-mortar locations. Over 13% of people over the age of 21 regularly consume cannabis in the state of California alone. In the year 2020 legal cannabis sales reached $4.4 billion in California, 57% higher than in 2019. And is predicted to reach $6 billion by the year 2023. As you can see this is a booming industry and as more states legalize, including New York, it leaves even more room to break into the market. So what will make us stand out as a competitive brand? Not only will our elegant, esthetic packaging be far more appealing to adults but no other brands in the market have made it their mission to create a user-friendly product with specific instruction for the most effective use. We will offer between 2 to 100-milligram products focusing on benefitting the mind and body as opposed to our competitors who typically focus on the average cannabis user with high tolerance. We plan to obtain customers through respected dispensaries and by partnering with cannabis-friendly doctors who may recommend our brand as an alternative form of medicine. We will do cannabis roadshows and host demo dinners. We will use social media to our advantage by contacting well-known cannabis content creators to do reviews of our product along with internet ads. On a more personal note, I have never been an avid cannabis user. I have struggled with finding the right strains of cannabis and finding a dose to well suit the benefits I am seeking. There is so much research today to prove cannabis has incredible benefits for all people of all ages, I only hope to make it as easy as possible for consumers to reap those benefits in an appropriate manner.
Elle Gaston is currently a Junior at Pace University. She plans to graduate after the Fall semester of 2021 from the Lubin School of Business with a degree in Entrepreneurship. She grew up in Ventura, California, a small beach town between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles surrounded by a family of entrepreneurs who grew her community. She continuously has been involved in philanthropies and seek new leadership positions no matter what she is involved in. She is an avid golfer, surfer, musician, and artist. She started her Pace path in August of 2019 and soon after had to move back home due to Covid. While living at home she was offered a full-time position as the On-Premise Sales Representative in San Diego County for Ashland Hard Seltzer. Because of this, she decided to take a semester off from school to fully emerge herself in learning about a new industry. After long thought, she then moved back to New York to continue her education at Pace where she has been working on starting her first business and getting her degree.
Gaming has become a worldwide passion for many people of this new generation but video games have been in the world for longer than people really think. In the modern-day, the video game industry has skyrocketed with the ability for online gaming and networking but that doesn’t mean that video games did not play a big role in the upbringing of older people. Video games when played offline, such as story modes or local co-op modes, have had a major impact on people's lives growing up and many people cherish those memories with their siblings or cousins.
All this being said, these video game titles hold a cherished value that most people will not be able to explain. Many of these old-school games are hard to come by with the discontinuation of games and consoles. Many people are also trying to maybe clear out some shelf space and it might be time to let go of that special game you have been holding on to for many years. A gamer’s struggle is going into GameStop to sell off their old games and not getting the right value for their games.
For this reason, we came up with Ludos Mercatus, a platform designed by gamers and for gamers. Ludos Mercatus is the one stop shop for video game trading at the valued price that video game titles deserve. No more underappreciating the value of a title and no more difficulties finding that title that brought so much joy to you as a kid. Ludos Mercatus is the center for collectors, resellers, and video game fanatics to come together and share the love and passion for video games.
Betsy Gorelik’s is a sophomore, building up her skills in object-oriented programming, software development, and ideation. When she’s not exploring computer science, you might find her drawing her friends as cartoons, playing horror games, or listening to alternative rock songs
Manuel Garza is a passionate software engineer with interests in web and mobile development. It all started in his high school robotics team where he served as one of the lead programmers for his team. Manny has a drive to lead teams using his strong work ethic and a vision for success. During his years at Pace, Manny has explored different areas of tech and found his passion for developing apps and websites to make the world better for the average human. In his time off, Manny enjoys gaming, in particular Call of Duty, where he enjoys a fun time with friends.
Michael Rooplall is a software engineer with a full-stack focus. He got his career started building games, doing web development, and competing in robotics competitions. He’s passionate about learning and can frequently be found mentoring for his old robotics team (FRC Team 5599). He loves all things related to space, the violin, and enjoys learning spoken languages in his spare time.
The population of dogs in the United States is approx. 63 million (according to Statista 2021) and that of cats is approx. 43 million (Statista 2021), spread across different corners of the country. Additionally, research shows an increase in dog and cat ownership by more than 20% since 2000. But, how do these pet owners get their pets a perfect match? Hence, we identified an epiphany to introduce a mobile application “Pawfect”, that allows pet owners to find a match for their lovely pets.
Pawfect is a mobile application that enables pet owners to look for different pets online and find their pets a perfect match. Our mission is to connect paws together along with stopping the inhumane treatment happening to animals at Puppy Mills. With Pawfect, pet owners can save their time searching for a date or a match for their pets just around their neighborhood.
Our target market and potential users of the application are typically pet owners with dogs and cats. Similar to the online dating apps (Tinder, Bumble), pet owners can create a profile with pictures and details of their lovely pets and can swipe left/right for other pets. The Chat feature on the app allows them to connect to other pet owners to know more about their pets. The app also allows the pet owners to send a request for a video chat to other pet owners using the in-app PawTime option.
Our business model is mainly subscription, advertisement and commission based. This means pet owners can also choose to become Paw+ members through a subscription feature on the app in future. As a Paw+ member, pet owners get to avail additional capabilities of the app, with as little as $79.99 annual fee or 7.99 monthly fee.
In phase 2,we plan to collaborate and integrate with pet salons, PawFit (a tracker for pet location & activity which is fully waterproof) to a device that not only keep pets happy, healthy and safe, but also give the owner something that every pet lover needs; peace of mind, veterinary services as well as adding an adoption feature.
Going forward, in phase 3 of the app implementation, we also plan to partner with The Farmer's dog (an online platform that delivers chef cooked healthy meals at your doorstep) to encourage preparation and delivery of freshly cooked meals for dogs and cats and After all, why should hoomans have all the fun! Doing so, Pawfect would enjoy a first-mover advantage in the market. Again, Paw+ members will be able to avail additional discounts and promo codes on fresh meals delivered by Freshly.
Our team is a culmination of marketers, data analysts, UX/UI designers and developers. Hence, we aim to include our skill sets and experiences into making our mobile application a success. Our goal is to get over 3 million users on the app by 2023 and become the top 3 most popular apps in the dating market for pets. We also plan to use various metrics to determine the success and usability of our app, including a trial subscription for one month.
Our goal is to provide a simple, yet intuitive mobile experience for pet owners to find a perfect match for their lovely pets as well as extend beyond this capability to provide additional features and ease to our potential users.
Harsh Faterpekar is a graduate student of Information Systems focusing on Big Data Analytics at Pace University graduating in May 2021. With a sharp acumen and a logical mind that easily grasps new business concepts. Harsh leverages his knowledge and ability to assess each data analysis task from a strategic perspective, meaning the work he carries out will align with companies strategic and operational goals. During his free time, Harsh loves playing soccer and likes to travel. He is very excited to be part of the Pace Pitch contest and really wants his team to win.
Komal Ghugare is a graduate student of Information Systems focusing on Product Management at Pace University graduating in May 2021. She interned as a Project Manager at In Between Networks during summer and also worked as an Associate Business Intelligence Engineer at Pometon Spa back in India. She is very excited to be a part of the Pace Pitch Competition along her team. On the other days she likes to go around for hikes/treks and loves clicking pictures.
Shrey Rathi is a graduate student at Pace University pursuing his Masters in Computer Science and graduating in May 2021. He has worked at Accenture in India as an Associate Software Engineer prior to his Masters. Upon his graduation, he will start to work at Microsoft as a Program Manager. Shrey really likes to try different cuisines. He is really looking forward to this competition and excited to be a part of this amazing team of accomplished individuals.
Soham Save is pursuing Masters in Computer Science at Pace University and will be graduating in May 2021. He was an intern at digiBlitz as a Data Science Research Intern. His interest lies in Data Science and Analytics, and Machine Learning. He was also Data Analyst intern at Science for Society back in India. During his free time, Soham likes to read manga or watch anime. Soham likes to read a lot of fiction. He is very excited to participate in the Pace Pitch Competition along with his team.
Our team has been working to create an idea that would be the next best thing for the work-from-home business industry. We have put our collective minds together and have come up with an idea that will reinvent the digital office space and offer a more appealing and collaborative work environment. We want to build an online office space that gives businesses one place to put everything.
When it comes to online business collaboration there is no singular efficient and collective place to put all ideas to work. This pandemic has only proven that there is a need for a product like this. Zoom and Microsoft teams have been the frontrunners of the video chat market, yet they offer no project management integration tools or project status trackers. We predict that as things progress to some sort of normalcy, it will be a few months (or even years) before the work lifestyle can go back to a full 5 days a week. Having spoken to other business owners, they believe that workers will only come in for 3 days throughout the week instead of 5. So with this being said, how can companies stay consistent with their work and still carry that high morale for those 2 at-home days? Along with this, if a pandemic like this were to occur once already within this century, who’s to say it cannot happen again? This is where our product serves as beneficial and need-worthy. What we have to offer will contain a plethora of at-home based work tools that will make you feel like you are right back at the office as you sit at home in pajamas and a blanket drinking coffee. The tools we would like to offer are the following:
- Screen Share
- Webcams Integration for Video Chat
- Voice Chat
- To-Do Lists
- Project Status Trackers
- Topic Specific Channels
- Project Management Integration Tools
- Reminder Systems
- White Board Mode
- Built in AI: to serve feedback and answer questions from the web
With this new application there is opportunity for expansion within businesses. Having your office space online creates the flexibility needed to run a successful company in today’s day and age. With this application you can have your team work from anywhere in the world. No one has to be in one place in order to have a team meeting or collaborate on new projects. It’s the perfect way to expand and build the business you want to create.
Daniel Berekdar is a Pace University Graduate with a Master's Degree in Computer Science. He has half a decade of experience in tech, starting from investment banking, to consulting, and now healthcare. Dan currently works as a Software Engineer where he builds, maintains, and deploys source code for a web application which provides staffing to facilities treating Covid patients around America.
Manuel Garza, better known as Manny, is a passionate software engineer with interests in web and mobile development. It all started in his high school robotics team where he served as one of the lead programmers for his team. Manny has a drive to lead teams using his strong work ethic and a vision for success. During his years at Pace, Manny has explored different areas of tech and found his passion for developing apps and websites to make the world better for the average human. In his time off, Manny enjoys gaming, in particular Call of Duty, where he enjoys a fun time with friends.
Sammy Geller received his BS in computer science from Pace in 2020 with minors in economics and mathematics. While there Sammy was a member of SCL and Design Factory, participating in PDP in 2018-19. Since graduation they have been working at an educational startup as well as doing some other work for local NYC businesses.
Isaiah Jimenez is an aspiring entrepreneur with a love for business development. Isaiah’s passion for growing and developing new businesses led him to major in Entrepreneurship at Pace University, where he is currently enrolled to earn his Bachelor’s degree. Isaiah also owns and founded the online magazine company Eclepster.
Allan Krasner is a hardworking Project Manager that has a passion for development. He started the SCL team when he was going into his Sophomore year at Pace. With the help of 7 other students, SCL became an in-house development center within Seidenberg. Over the years, the team has grown in size and gained new skills. Under his guidance, SCL has evolved and become what it is today. Now, SCL has doubled in size and with Manny and Christian by his side, we are expanding faster than ever. Allan is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Software Engineering and hopes to continue growing SCL while he’s here.
Cassie Ramos is a rising junior at Pace University on track to get a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Digital Media Studies. She's a hard worker with an optimistic outlook on life and work. She hopes to work in the media industry someday whether it be in social media or television.
As the event is online this year, there are no speakers.
About the Contest
The Pace Pitch Contest is based on the Elevator Pitch concept, popular in the venture capital community. It is an extremely concise presentation of an entrepreneur's idea, business model, marketing strategy, competitive analysis, and financial plan, which is delivered to potential investors. The premise is that it could be made in a few minutes, should the entrepreneur spot a potential investor on an elevator and have the opportunity to pitch their idea during the brief ride.
Each Finalist will have exactly three minutes to pitch their new venture idea in a video to a distinguished panel of judges. In addition to broad participation at Pace, we have been pleased to welcome student competitors from a number of other universities, including Columbia, Harvard, MIT, NYU, Princeton, and Stanford.
Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Entrepreneurship Lab (eLab) is continuing with the Seventeenth Annual Pace Pitch Contest using an online virtual format. Please use this link to see the RSVP and Registration instructions
(1) Rules: At least one team member should be a Pace Student or alumnus (graduated within past 18 months), and any venture should have been in business for less than 2 years and received less than $100K in funding
(2) (Deadline: 29-March) Registration via email to email@example.com from the team lead only, with the following:
(a) a list of team members with a biography (100-200 words) detailing student status, school, degree, major, graduation year, and other information.
(b) a ONE PAGE executive summary of the pitch for the website.
(3) Pre-selection Announcement: This will take place on 1-April. Teams will be notified of their selection at this time for competition.
(4) Pitch clinic: If pre-selected, you must schedule an online appointment via Zoom with Bruce Bachenheimer, the Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org between 1-April and 15-April.
(5) (Deadline: 15-April) Additional data to provide to email@example.com include:
(a) a digital photograph of each team member (separately)
(b) any final updates and revisions to bios and the executive summary.
(6) (Deadline: 16-April) Record and submit your pitch! Email the 5 slide PowerPoint presentation and link to a 3 minute video, which is uploaded as an Unlisted video on YouTube, to firstname.lastname@example.org
(7) Judging will take place between April 16 and 22, with winners being announced 23-April. Winners will be notified and will have to send their details for the prizes.
New Business Concepts will be evaluated on the following judging criteria.
- 1. Business Description: Details of the venture and what it does.
- How well was the concept explained?
- How reasonable, sustainable, and scalable is the new concept?
- 2. Market Analysis: Characteristics of the market and description of its customers.
- Is there a genuine need for the product or service?
- How well was the target market defined?
- What is the size and growth of the market?
- What is the consumers' willingness to pay for the product/service?
- 3. Product or Service Analysis: The specifics of the product or service.
- Is the description clear?
- Is the product feasible?
- How easily it can be duplicated?
- Is there a presence of potential substitutes for the product?
- 4. Competition: Identify current and potential competitors.
- Have the current and potential competitors, competitive response, and analysis of strengths and weaknesses been adequately defined?
- 5. Marketing Strategy: How sales will be achieved.
- How realistically defined is the marketing plan?
- Does the plan adequately address price, product, place, and promotion?
- Are resources sufficiently allocated for marketing?
- 6. Operations: How the product or service will be produced and delivered.
- What is the likelihood of securing resources required for production?
- Is there an ability to operate competitively and grow?
- 7. Management: An assessment of the entrepreneur(s) and team.
- Does the team exhibit the experience and skills required for operation?
- What is the depth and breadth of the team's capabilities?
- Does the team demonstrate the ability to grow with the organization and attract new talent?
- 8. Finances: An overview of the required resources and economics of the venture.
- How compelling is the business model?
- Have the resources required for the venture been addressed?
- Has the team clearly and adequately presented a breakeven analysis?
- How reasonable are the financial projections?
- Are there prospects for long-term profitability?
- 9. Investment Proposal: The terms and conditions offered to investors.
- Did the entrepreneurial team explain funding?
- Were offerings to investors and anticipated returns clearly explained?
- Did the team calculate a realistic valuation?
- How feasible is the exit strategy?
- 10. Presentation: Overall effectiveness of the actual presentation.
- Did the presenter(s) engage the audience and hold their attention?
- Did the presenter(s) appear to speak with confidence authority?
- Were visual aids (i.e. PowerPoint® slides) clear and valuable?
- Was the pitch exciting and compelling?
- How efficiently did the team allot their time?
Social Ventures will be evaluated on the following judging criteria.
- 1. Assessing the Need: An analysis of the social issue and its affected population.
- Does the proposed venture address a significant and critical social problem?
- 2. Well-defined Target: Characteristics of the market and targeted population.
- Does the proposed venture adequately describe the problem it hopes to address and have defined parameters within which it plans to operate?
- 3. Management: An assessment of the entrepreneur(s) and team.
- Does the entrepreneurial team possess the skills and experience required to translate the plan into action?
- Can they demonstrated the passion, commitment, and perseverance required to overcome inevitable obstacles?
- Is the team comprised of individuals committed to ethical standards?
- 4. Creativity: A demonstration that the proposed solution displays a unique approach.
- Does the proposal approach the social problem in an innovative, exciting, and dynamic way?
- 5. Feasibility: A demonstration that the venture can be successfully implemented.
- Does the initiative aspire towards clear, realistic and achievable goals, while thinking big?
- Can it be implemented effectively?
- 6. Planning: A clear and well-defined strategy to achieve objectives and goals.
- Are there clear and coherent schedules, milestones, objectives, and financial plans?
- 7. Operations: How the product or service will be physically produced and distributed.
- Has adequate attention been given to the way in which the product or service is to be produced and/or delivered?
- Do they have, or can likely secure, the resources required for production?
- Will they be able to operate competitively and grow?
- 8. Sustainability: Long-term prospects for viability and success.
- Does the proposed venture include adequate strategies for fundraising and income generation?
- Does it consider the different dimensions of financial and social sustainability in a conscientious manner?
- 9. Social Impact: The value that the new venture will bring to society.
- How will the implementation of this social venture benefit the community and the multiple stakeholders involved?
- Is there the potential for significant social impact and engagement of the broader community?
- 10. Presentation: Overall effectiveness of the actual presentation.
- Did the presenter(s) engage the audience and hold their attention?
- Did the presenter(s) appear to speak with confidence authority?
- Were visual aids (i.e. PowerPoint® slides) clear and valuable?
- Was the pitch exciting and compelling?
- How efficiently did the team allot their time?
* While there is some debate regarding the precise definition of a social venture, and what exactly differentiates it from a traditional for profit business, the Selection Committee and Judging Panel will use the following criteria:
- PRIMARY MISSION - is the organization's primary purpose to serve its owners (New Business Concept) or society (Social Venture)
- PRIMARY MEASURE OF SUCCESS - does the organization measure its success primarily by profitability (New Business Concept) or positive social change (Social Venture)
Whether pitching a New Business Concept or a Social Venture, try to address the following ten big questions as completely as possible. Remember, you should not simply talk about a general idea (those are "a dime a dozen"), rather, try to present a concise concept with a cleareconomic model, convincing everyone that you can actually make it happen.
- 1. What's the PROBLEM?
- 2. What's your SOLUTION?
- 3. How large is the MARKET?
- 4. Who is the COMPETITION?
- 5. What makes you so SPECIAL?
- 6. What's your ECONOMIC MODEL?
- 7. How exactly will you achieve SALES?
- 8. Have you assembled a qualified TEAM?
- 9. How will you secure required RESOURCES?
- 10. What are you proposing for an INVESTMENT?
Suggested reading: The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki (Penguin 2004), especially Chapter 3, "The Art of Pitching"
A $1,000 cash prize will be awarded to the winner.
A $500 cash prize will be awarded to the second place.
A $250 cash prize will be awarded to the third place.
Pace University reserves the right to disqualify, at its sole discretion, any individual or team from the competition at any time (before or after the Pitch Contest or the award of any prize) for any reason. Reasons for disqualification may include, but are not limited to, misrepresentations in the application process, plagiarism, infringement of the intellectual property of others, and any failure to comply with the rules of the competition. Disqualified individuals or teams shall forfeit any and all prizes awarded to them.
Previous Pitch Contests
Sixteenth Annual Pace Pitch Contest (April 22nd, 2020)
For additional information, please contact:
Clinical Professor of Management and Director, The Entrepreneurship Lab
Tel: (212) 618-6663
Fax: (212) 618-6664
Address: Pace University
Lubin School of Business
Department of Management, Room 342
163 William Street
New York, NY 10038
Associate Director, The Entrepreneurship Lab
Tel: (212) 618-6667
Address: Pace University
The Entrepreneurship Lab
163 William Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10038