2020 Elevator Pitch Competition

This Fall, the Shea Center for Entrepreneurship Elevator Pitch Competition had an awesome turnout, with 25 participants across all grades and schools. 10 of the teams made it to the final round which included a 60 second pitch of their company plus a Q&A session with the judges. The judges were Dean Amy LaCombe ’90 from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, Ivan Alo ’12, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of New Age Capital, LaDante McMillion ’12, also a Managing Partner at New Age Capital, Cory Munchbach ’09 , CEO of BlueConic, and finally, Joe Popolo ’89, CEO of Charles and Potomac Capital LLC. The scoring of these judges was based on the concept pitched, how engaging the idea was presented, and the feasibility of the idea. First place was awarded $750, second awarded $500, and third place awarded $250.

The ideas pitched were all extremely different with various significances and hopeful impacts. Some took on the importance of social responsibility, including Alison Kea ’21 who focused on bridging the minority swim gap, Maria Daniela Manruz Martines ’21 with The Caring Bra Company which raises awareness for breast cancer.

Others focused on areas of expertise, interests, or hobbies. This began with Bumpr, pitched by Luke Stanise ’24 and Eric Serra ’24 which is an app meant to advertise and connect drivers. Next was Ilona Znakharchuk ’21 with her idea of Condition LLC where “style meets culinary arts”, and Angela McCarthy ’21 who capitalizes on her love of chemistry and problems with the laboratory aspect of chemistry education during this Pandemic and virtual learning.

All of the ideas were thoughtful, timely, and incredibly well pitched. However, three stood out to the judges. In third place came The Caring Bra Company for which Ivan Alo complemented Maria Daniela Manruz Martines stating that the addressed issue is something “that a lot of women face and there is a real opportunity to match commerce and a mission.” In Second Place was My Brother’s Friend, for which Cory Munchbach stated that this was a “really unique take on an idea, and something that stood out in the market that doesn’t have anything.”. Finally, in First Place was the incredible work of Daniel Kabanovsky, a freshman, with his idea: Cells: Divide and Conquer. Ladante McMillon stated this was a “great idea on how to teach individuals about biology in a fun, dimensional way that has real genius and opportunity behind it.”

All of the work and pitches were impressive and inspiring. As Joe Popolo ’89 said so perfectly, “entrepreneurs are our country’s problem solvers”. The contestants of this competition brought this entrepreneurial spirit to their ideas and work, with many being especially problem solving for the time we are in. The Shea Center will work to bring this problem solving outlook to the upcoming semester and look forward to bringing this energy out of new students in all grades and schools.

Meet the finalists, judges, and watch the announcement of the winners below or watch it on our YouTube!

Thanks for reading! We are Start@Shea, the student executive team of the Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship at Boston College.

If you want to learn more about who we are, what we do, and our upcoming events, please feel free to visit our website. You can also subscribe to our newsletter here, and if you have any further questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at startatshea@gmail.com!

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The Author: Executive Team Member — Alex Poole ‘23

The Editor: Executive Team Member — Maggie Yan ‘22

The Video Editor: Executive Team Member — Mercedes Hoyos ‘23



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Start@Shea is the student executive team of the Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship at Boston College. Learn more at startatshea.com