Lerner freshmen compete in pitch competition

Photo of a microphone with large lettering that says Freshman Pitch Competition

For the past five years, all UD freshmen in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics have faced off in the BUAD 110 Pitch Competition. This year’s top student teams will compete on November 28, 2018 in the Trabant University Center starting at 5 p.m. The competition will also be Facebook Live streamed for the first time beginning at 5 p.m.

In BUAD 110, a required course for Lerner freshmen, students learn about the functional areas of business and are then tasked with applying those newfound skills for their pitch presentations. They form teams within their sections and contend to become one of the top groups that will present their pitches to the entire freshman class. According to assistant professor of marketing and coordinator of the basics of business course, Julia Bayuk, “The goal of the course is to help students adjust to Lerner and UD and understand how they can succeed in college and beyond.”

Approximately twelve teams are expected to be selected for the final pitch competition. One such student team comprised of Jacquelyn Battista, Neil Blanchard, Bailey Morgan and Logan Schwartz will advance from Bayuk’s Honors Program section of BUAD 110. They are pitching “Sport Pens,” convertible pens that, when taken apart, turn into a tabletop game such as a soccer goal, basketball hoop or football goal.

Blanchard explained that the team wanted to invent a novelty product like the smencils (scented pencils), slime or fidget spinners that were popular when they were in grade school. The team pitches “Sport Pens” as an impulse buy, a product that doesn’t provide a tangible benefit but is something fun for kids to enjoy.

After pitching their idea in class, the team said they already felt that they had learned a lot from this project. “We’re just scratching the surface,” said Schwartz. “From the questions that our professor and TA asked us, we realized how much more goes into creating and selling a product than we thought.”

As they prepare for the final pitch competition, the “Sport Pens” team is working to continue to improve their presentation. Battista said, “We might try to make a 3D model video with help from an RA who is an engineering student. We want to do something that will set us apart from the others.”

The team said that they look forward to the opportunity to present in front of their classmates and Lerner faculty. Blanchard sees the competition as “a good way to get to know other people and get your name out there.”

The “Sport Pens” team is only one of approximately twelve teams who will be pitching their ideas. The top three teams at the end of the competition will receive prizes and are encouraged to develop their pitches further to enter the Horn Entrepreneurship Hen Hatch competition.

“I hope that out of this class, students gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a college student, more enthusiasm to get involved – and not just to join clubs, but to take leadership positions,” Bayuk said. “To work in teams, to network with peers, upperclassmen and employers and to manage their time while in college.”

Students, faculty and staff can register to attend the BUAD 110 Pitch Competition in the Trabant University Center. For those unable to attend the competition in person, the Lerner College will stream the pitches on Facebook Live beginning at 5 p.m.

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