The very first Illinois Tech pitch competition hosted by Illinois Tech students for Illinois Tech students is well underway. The first iteration of the competition hosted by Intinium in collaboration with Student Government Association (SGA), Prism, Illinois Tech Speech and Debate, and Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO) kicked off on March 3, and it’s off to a wonderful start. The idea to host this pitch competition originated from the same values that inspired the foundation of Intinium: the empowerment of students to pursue their dreams and passions. The belief in service to one another to make the world a better place. The vision of an Illinois Tech community that moves forward. As a group of student leaders that fiercely believe in the potential of each and every one of their peers, we at Intinium strive to inspire those around us to pursue their wildest dreams. And with this idea competition, the goal is to do exactly that.
The competition has received overwhelming support not only from important figures such as the provost, the executive director of the Kaplan Institute, and various faculty members, but also from the students themselves. As a matter of fact, 32 teams applied to participate in the competition, a total of 90 students! Before the second deadline, participants got a chance to learn about design thinking in a workshop hosted by graduate students from the Institute of Design. Furthermore, they got to listen to the story of Amir Badr, an immigrant from Iran who worked his way up in life and now has his own startup, Upkey.
There are now 20 teams remaining out of the original 32 (12 got eliminated). As they prepare for the third deadline, participants will have the opportunity to attend a faculty-led workshop where they will receive feedback on their ideas and a student-led workshop hosted by Prism and Illinois Tech Speech and Debate where they will learn about inclusivity and how to craft their pitch. These remaining teams will keep working on their ideas and competing for a spot in the grand finale, which will take place on April 12 in the Morgenstern Pitch at the Kaplan Institute.
At the grand finale, there will be judges from startups in Chicago judging the different pitches and picking the team that will go home with a $1000 cash prize. The Executive Director of the Kaplan Institute, Howard Tullman, will also be speaking. The event, which will run from about 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., will feature an alumni panel, where Illinois Tech alumni will get to share their experience after college with current students. Part of the mission of Intinium is to connect students with the resources and opportunities out there so that they can succeed. That is exactly the intention we have when bringing alumni to speak at a panel. We want to start getting our students more in touch with the alumni community, as we believe this kind of contact can open many doors for them.
The grand finale will be open to the entire Illinois Tech community. As a matter of fact, we encourage everyone to come and cheer on the different teams competing. Food will be provided throughout the entire evening, and students will have the opportunity to mingle with alumni and judges from downtown Chicago. Besides that, there will be other great surprises for students in the audience! You wouldn’t want to miss it!