Open for less than one full semester, the Entrepreneurship@Cornell eHub in Kennedy Hall is already housing the best and brightest student innovators that Cornell has to offer. On Monday, September 26th, eHub hosted the academic year’s first Life Changing Labs pitch competition. Three Cornell undergraduate students had one minute to sell three discerning judges on their startup idea.
After an hour of last-minute preparations, enthusiastic deliveries, and constructive criticism from the judges, a decision was rendered. After careful deliberation on four core categories (Startup Idea, Presentation Deck Quality, Verbal Presentation Quality, and Wow Factor), Andrew Smith (’18) was announced the winner by “split decision” by pitching Campus Connect.
Campus Connect aims to improve the college recruitment process for all parties involved. Smith spawned the idea for Campus Connect during his own recruitment process at Cornell. While his company is still in its nascent stages, Smith believes that this is an intuitive, logical solution to the inefficiencies students face during the campus touring process. At this time, the details of Campus Connect will be kept under wraps to maintain Smith’s creative property.
Smith was awarded $100 from Life Changing Labs at Cornell. With this money, he plans to advance his startup concept to its beginning stages. As of now, Smith is a one-man operation. He hopes to expand his team in the coming months as he solidifies Campus Connect.
While cash prizes offer a large incentive for university entrepreneurs to check out local pitch competitions, the opportunity to gain feedback on a pitch and concept is equally valuable. For many student entrepreneurs, the pitch deck that gets used in a local pitch competition like this will serve as the foundation of the one the entrepreneurs will use in front of investors. Thus, the ability to practice in front of a friendly audience, as Cornell entrepreneurs get to do at the end of each month in Kennedy Hall, is invaluable.