Students Jump Into HCC’s Shark Tank
Record Attendance at Elevator Pitch Competition
By Sam Rosoff
Senior Staff Writer
HCC’s Fifth Annual Elevator Pitch Competition saw record attendance last Wednesday night, where business students from Housatonic and Gateway Community College competed for cash prizes.
Participants were given 60 seconds to “pitch” their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of local businessmen.
Chris Warner, a Gateway student, walked away with the award for the best overall concept for his “Pancake Power” business, which consisted of a food truck that serves gourmet pancakes. The judges said Pancake Power was “the whole package,” and something they could really see investing in it.
“Imagine yourself in a city; you’re rushing to work or school. You’re hungry, and your stomach is starving for food,” Warner said in his pitch. “Pancake Power to the rescue!”
The runner up concept was awarded to the idea for a store named For Boys Only, which would sell boys’ apparel and hygiene products. The store would also have a barbershop and a game room to keep the kids busy while the parents shopped.
The best presentation award was given to the Ethnic India pitch, which was a restaurant that would have both fast food and full-service dining, selling Indian and Middle Eastern dishes.
Other pitches included a pet groomer with health-conscious products, an outdoor living supply website, smart homes for the elderly, a cupcake bakery, a wildlife rehabilitation center, and a non-profit organization to help get youth into college.
The judges for the event included Bryan Kelsey, a regional manager at People’s United Bank, Peter Propp, Stamford Innovation Center's Vice-President of Marketing, and Dan Leiteo, a developer at Conclave Labs.
HCC President Anita Gliniecki praised the event for helping to develop critical skills in all participants.
“Synthesizing a message is so important,” Gliniecki said. “The skill of using exactness and terseness in a message is such a wonderful skill that everyone should have.”