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BCVC Elevator Pitch Competition Shares Big Ideas In Few Words

Each year a hopeful crop of innovative, tech-centric students from throughout the Boston College community begin pitching their ideas—fervently marketing their entrepreneurial concepts for the next great company to a group of veteran venture capitalists in just 60 seconds.

This year’s BC Venture Competition’s (BCVC) Elevator Pitch Competition, which allows participants a mere minute to present their business ideas, will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m., with the deadline for submission on Friday, Oct. 17 at midnight.

BCVC is a competition-based program within the Carroll School of Management that captures, mentors, and judges students with interests in business creation and provides winners a monetary prize as a base for funding their ideas.

For the main competition, which takes place during the spring semester, last year’s prize sizes ranged from $20,000 for first place, $10,000 for second place, and $2,500 for third place.

The main competition draws participants from throughout the Boston area, and the final rounds of the competition typically include students from surrounding universities, such as last year’s winners, Nxt4—a collaboration between three BC students and two Harvard undergraduates that aimed to change the way high school students approach the college application process by providing them a technological platform to constantly update a four-year resume, among other features.

The Elevator Pitch competition consists of a more distilled down, condensed set of guidelines for participants, by which competitors must compete for a top-three spot, with smaller award prizes ranging from $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. As a further incentive for competitors to please not only the panel of skilled venture capitalist judges but also the crowd, an additional $200 prize will be awarded to the audience choice team and to the top social innovation team, regardless of final selection of the winners.

John Gallagher, associate professor of information systems and longstanding figure of the startup community at BC, serves as a co-advisor for the competition and has witnessed the development of BC-based startups such as Jebbit, YouSit, and Drizly, among a growing list of others.

“Professor [John] Gallagher was one of the very, very first people, and instrumental in helping us kick this off … he’s a huge asset to the [BC] community,” said Nick Rellas, co-founder of the alcohol delivery app and BC ’12, in an earlier interview with The Heights.

Teams competing in BCVC must consist of at least two members; have at least one BC co-founder; and be composed of at least 50 percent BC students. For the Elevator Pitch, of all the teams that present an initial 60-second pitch to a panel of judges, only 15 will be selected to move on to the actual competition.

Other area venture competitions include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology $100K Entrepreneurial Competition (MIT $100K), which was founded in 1990 and annually awards $100,000 to one grand prize winner, and also holds a separate elevator pitch competition.

Last week, BCVC also held a fall kickoff event, during which 2012 competition winner form the team NBD Nano, Miguel Galvez, addressed venture capitalist hopefuls in a standing-room-only Fulton 150.

BCVC is slated to hold an advising session for the Elevator Pitch competition one week prior to the actual competition on Tuesday, Oct. 14, and a preceding Social Innovation Kickoff event next Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Featured Image by Darren Lee / Heights Senior Staff

September 14, 2014