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Nine Student Finalists for 'Pitch Across Maryland' Competition Announced

Bus Tour Stops at UB Sept. 27, Inspires Student Entrepreneurs to 'Bring Out Their Best' Business Ideas

September 20, 2013
Contact: University Relations
Phone: 410.837.5739

Nine University of Baltimore student finalists for Startup Maryland’s "Pitch Across Maryland" event—an opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to share their ideas and concepts for new businesses with several successful business leaders—have been announced. Each of the nine successfully submitted their ideas for a new business, met the entry criteria, and now are scheduled to present a "live pitch" in front of an audience on Thursday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Merrick School of Business's M. Scot Kaufman Auditorium, 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave. The top two finalists then will represent UB by pitching their idea on Friday, Sept. 27, during the Startup Maryland Bus Stop at UB. All the finalists are invited to be part of the day's events.

The "Pitch Across Maryland" bus tour will stop for a rally and business pitch competition at the UB campus beginning at 10 a.m. in UB's Gordon Plaza, located at the intersection of Maryland and West Mt. Royal avenues. A number of local and regional business and political leaders will be part of the event, which celebrates entrepreneurship and brings focus to Maryland’s diverse economic opportunities and business cultures. The first-place winner of UB's Pitch Competition will receive a cash prize of $750. The second-place winner will receive $250.

The nine finalists and their business concepts are:

  • Jesse Alton
    Native Flats, a low-cost, biodegradable sandal for women
     
  • Pamela Brown
    Childcare Services, a way for visitors at local casinos to leave their children in good hands
     
  • Marcus Cheatham
    Business School Artists Showcase, a way to expose young artists to press, consumers, and employers in a professional and entertaining environment
     
  • Brad Fisher
    3DR Group, an effort to revolutionize the way retailers advertise their products using 3D technology
     
  • Alex Greif
    StyleIt, a new way for people to shop and retailers to advertise
     
  • Nikolay Ratajczak
    Vacant Opportunities, a method of redeveloping vacant houses in Baltimore
     
  • Sonce Reese
    Shirt Cuffs Solutions, a new and easy alternative to buttons on men’s shirts
     
  • Michael T. Torrisi
    TeamMom.com, a way to coordinate with local sports leagues to help teams collect dues, manage listservs and other supportive work
     
  • Chris Wilson
    Tikneik Unlimited, an urban social enterprise contracting company specializing in demolition, hauling, and pre/post construction cleaning

The University's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is partnering with the Baltimore Development Corporation, the Emerging Technology Centers, the Greater Baltimore Tech Council, and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore to bring this event to UB. Each of these organizations will identify their top two representatives, who will have the chance to record their pitches in a video studio set up inside the bus when it stops on campus on Sept. 27. Several of the city's business and political leaders from both the private and public sectors will be on hand to network with entrepreneurial students as part of the day's events. The two top winners of UB's Pitch Competition will be the official representatives of the University of Baltimore, and will board the Startup Maryland bus at its Sept. 27 stop to make their pitch.

"For so many of our entrepreneurial students, the Pitch Across Maryland event is the culmination of hours and hours of work as they consider the best way to bring their business ideas to fruition," said Johnetta Hardy, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. "They are thrilled, and we're thrilled to watch them go through an honest, real-world assessment of their plans, their marketing, their goals and so on. Imagine having an idea that you really believe in, and one fine day you get the chance to bring out your best and share it with a recognized expert. Your passion is going to come through, your hard work has to hold up to the scrutiny. This is why our students are so excited about the competition, and why we expect to see them in big numbers on Sept. 27."

Learn more about StartUp Maryland.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Affairs and the Merrick School of Business.