Pitch Poster 2019

Washburn Pitch Competition

The Washburn Pitch Competition encourages students to explore and express their business ideas in a friendly and encouraging environment. The competition is open to all Washburn University undergraduate and graduate students and Washburn Institute of Technology students.  You can compete alone or in teams of up to three people. $25,000 in cash prizes has been made available from Go Topeka to help students start a new business venture.

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are hosting the event virtually.

The first stage is called the Knockout Round, students have a maximum time limit of three minutes to clearly express their business idea to a panel of outside judges from the Topeka business community.  The pitches this year will be in a video recording format and uploaded to a Washburn address (listed below).  Students will be notified approximately one week later on which of the entries have made the Finals Round, which is held two weeks later.   

The Finals Round will be held during the afternoon on Friday, October 23 and again will be virtual.  However, students will make their presentations live via Zoom and have ten minutes to present to a panel of judges with additional time for Q&A.  


Questions or want to join a team?
Contact Dr. David Price
david.price@washburn.edu
785-670-3258

Registration Deadline - Friday, October 2, 2020 by 11:59 p.m.

All current Washburn University and Washburn Institute of Technology students are eligible to participate, but you must pre-register to compete.  You need to complete your registration form and email it to hailey.handy@washburn.edu by October 2, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.


Phase 1 - Knockout Round - Entry Deadline: Friday, October 2 by 11:59 p.m.

Students upload a video of their pitch (a maximum of three minutes in length).  There is no additional technology allowed beyond video production, students cannot use Powerpoints, phones, tablets, etc. during the presentation.  Posters, samples, prototypes, demonstrations, etc. are permitted.  All members of a team must participate.  Outside judges will determine which pitches are to move on to the Finals Round with students notified by October 9. 


Phase 2 - Finals Round - Friday, October 23 (afternoon, times TBA)

Entries qualifying for this phase will be required to expand on their ideas and include more detail on their proposed venture in a maximum of ten minutes.  Technology use is encouraged and a Powerpoint presentation expected.  There will be up to five minutes for Q&A with judges.

1st Place: $8,000

2nd Place: $6,000

3rd Place: $4,000

4th Place: $2,000

5th Place: $1,000


Top Freshman Entry (outside of finals): $1,000
(A Freshman is defined as 30 hours or less completed of college credit.)

Top Washburn Institute of Technology Entry (outside of finals): $2,500

Students should develop and deliver an effective, professional presentation that includes a concise summary of a new business for a product, service or social venture.  Students will video themselves presenting their idea as they would normally if in a face-to-face, business presentation.

Each student/team is judged on the same criteria by the judges in order to provide a clear understanding of how winners are decided.  The criteria listed below will be used in both the Knockout Round and Semi-Final Round.  The pitches are evaluated by each judge using the following criteria and scored evenly (25 points in each category) for a total out of 100 points:

  • Innovation – Is this a new idea or how is it different?
  • Business Model – How will the business operate and knowledge of the industry/market?
  • Feasibility – Is it realistic to implement?
  • Presentation – Was the delivery polished and impressive?
  • Students upload a video of their pitch which can be no longer than three minutes in length by 11:59 p.m. October 2, 2020.  The video can be uploaded at this address: https://video.washburn.edu/dropbox/pitch
  • Each entry is required to complete a registration form and email the form to Hailey Handy in the Washburn School of Business: hailey.handy@washburn.edu
  • There is no additional technology allowed beyond video production; therefore students cannot use Powerpoints, phones, tablets, etc. during the presentation.  Posters, samples, prototypes, demonstrations, etc. are permitted.  
  • Entries can be individual or a team, with a maximum of three students per team.  If working as a team, all members of a team must participate and have speaking roles in the video pitch.  
  • Outside judges will determine which pitches are to move on to the Finals Round with students notified by October 9, 2020.
  • The top five (5) entries will qualify for the Finals Round.  
  • The Finals Round will be held on Friday afternoon, October 23, 2020 (times TBA) via Zoom.
  • Student entries qualifying for this phase will be required to expand on their ideas and include more detail on their proposed venture in a maximum of ten minutes.  
  • Technology use is encouraged and a Powerpoint presentation expected.  
  • There will be up to five minutes for Q&A with judges after the presentation.
  • Each entry in the Finals Round will receive an assigned business mentor who will aid in the development of the final presentation.
  • After all presentations have finished, the judges will tally scores and the winners will be announced immediately following the presentations.
  • Finals Round participants will receive further instructions on how to claim prizes.

The Washburn School of Business and the Small Business Development Center will provide a free Zoom seminar to help develop your idea and prepare your pitch. The date for this seminar is:

Thursday September 24, 1-2 pm

Join Zoom Meeting at: https://washburn.zoom.us/j/92391623689?pwd=WnRSUThJRFJPaTNWR3luSko3d2tVQT09

Meeting ID: 923 9162 3689

Passcode: 581429

Recording the Video:
If you are recording a video file on your phone or a tablet you will want to make sure that you hold the device in the correct orientation.  It is not unusual for people to hold their device in a way that will cause the video that they submit to appear sideways or upside down. This video will help prevent this from happening on your recording: https://video.washburn.edu/Watch/Af42Gog5


Uploading the Video:
You will find the video dropbox for your class at the following link:

https://video.washburn.edu/dropbox/pitch

Before you begin, I would recommend that you watch the following video which provides an overview of the process: https://video.washburn.edu/Watch/s2L3Eyn8

I would also recommend that you move the files that you need to upload from your recording device to the hard drive of a computer, preferably one that is connected to the internet via an Ethernet cable.  Uploads from cell phones and other portable device occur slower and have a tendency to time out.


Troubleshooting Upload Issues:

There are four primary issues that you may experience when uploading to the Washburn Video Server. Below is a list of these issues along with information about how to resolve them: 

  • Make sure your files are completely uploaded: When you upload your video file, you cannot close the window or navigate away from the upload page before you receive the following message: “Thank you for submitting your content through the Ensemble Video Dropbox.” If you do, your upload will be cancelled.
  • Timeouts caused by uploading from phones/tablets: When the screen saver engages on your phone/tablet, the upload will cease.  To prevent issues, we recommend that you make sure that the files that you are trying to upload have been moved from your recording device to the hard drive of a computer, preferably connected to the internet via an Ethernet cable.  Uploads from cell phones and other portable device occur slower and have a tendency to time out.
  • Your Internet Connection Speed: When uploading video files you need to have an upload speed of 3-5 MBPS.  A slower connection will cause the upload to take longer and could time out.  To determine the speed of your upload connection, you can conduct a speed test at: www.speedtest.net.  If you have a slower internet connection, you will need to find a location with a faster location (like a library).
  • The size of the file you are trying to upload: If you are trying to upload large files, the file size can make the upload take a very long time.  To avoid this, you can re-encode your files (into a more compressed format) using a free program called handbrake (it can be downloaded via the following url: https://handbrake.fr/). Below are instructions on using Handbrake.

Using Handbrake:

Once you are in Handbrake, you will need to locate where it says “Open Source” in the upper left corner of the Handbrake window and click on it.  You will then want to select either “Folder” (if there are multiple files) or “File” (if there is only one).  Now an “Open” window will appear on your screen.  Navigate to the file (or folder) you want to encode and open it.  You will be taken back to the Handbrake window. 

 

You will now need to locate the “Presets” on the right side of the screen and select “Very Fast 720p30.” Once you have done this, locate the “Destination” box (it will appear on the left side of your screen).  On the right side of the box there is a “Browse” button, click on it.  A “Save As” window will now open, select where you want the new file saved and give it a name (different that the original file).  Now you will click “Save” and will be taken back to the Handbrake window.

 

Finally, locate the “Start Encode” button at the top of the Handbrake window. Once this is done you will be given an estimate of how long the conversion will take at the bottom of your screen (this will be determined by the size of the file and the ram/processor in your computer). When the file is complete it will say “Queue Finished” at the bottom of the screen.  You can now close Handbrake and upload your new video file.

back to top button