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2012 Winners named in annual PepsiCo Pitch Competition
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Excitement filled the air at Laurier’s School of Business & Economics Friday evening as students, faculty, and judges waited for the 10 finalists in the PepsiCo Pitch Competition to be revealed.
This third-annual competition was created in collaboration with The Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship and sponsored by PepsiCo Canada, as an optional part of the New Venture Competition. More than 1,000 first-year business students participate.
“We were thrilled with the caliber of the students’ pitches and the enthusiasm they had for it,” said Laura Allan, assistant professor and coordinator of the Business 111/121 classes.
The winners of this year’s competition in ranked order by first place were: Sean Cameron, Demilade Oba and Linda Xie.
To build more soft-skill development into the business curriculum and to lead into the business plan portion of the competition, faculty made the PepsiCo Pitch a required part of the course with selected students from each lab.
Students are introduced to the 'art of the pitch' in labs early in the semester, then develop a two-minute 'elevator' pitch to investors for their new venture ideas. After students presented their pitches in class, each teaching assistant chose the top two pitches to move onto the semi-finals.
“The PepsiCo Pitch Competition is a great opportunity for our students,” said Steve Farlow, executive director of The Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship. “Pitching is a vital skill that these students will use throughout their careers."
Eighty students were selected to participate in the semi-finals and 10 advanced to the final round. The panels of judges included Michael Pavan, Ontario Area Vice President of PepsiCo Canada; Ryan Brez (BBA '04), Senior National Account Manager of PepsiCo Canada; Kevin Crone, Managing Partner of Dale Carnegie Business Group; Tim Ellis, Chief Operating Officer, Accelerator Centre, and Shirley Lichti, Partner at Marketing Magic and an SBE faculty member.
All 10 finalists received cash scholarships and framed certificates, and the top three students received guaranteed summer or co-op interviews with PespsiCo.
The seven finalists include: Alanna Bertolo, Michael Blair, Frank Cirinna, Mustafa Kamal, Greg Kelly, Kyle Sargent and Ashish Yelekar.