A panel judges business ideas at the 2015 ‘The Pitch’ competition, which will return to Sacramento State on Nov. 16. (Photo courtesy of Christopher Vaeches)
A panel judges business ideas at the 2015 ‘The Pitch’ competition, which will return to Sacramento State on Nov. 16. (Photo courtesy of Christopher Vaeches)

Student and alumni entrepreneurs to compete in ‘The Pitch’ competition

Dreams may become reality as entrepreneurs pitch their breakthrough business ideas in the competitive centerpiece of Global Entrepreneurship Week

“The Pitch” — based on the ABC program “Shark Tank” — will be taking place in the Hinde Auditorium on Nov. 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Ambitious Sacramento State entrepreneurs — students or alumni — will compete against each other to receive much-needed recognition from venture capitalists and business owners, a cash reward for their business ideas and an appearance at the national Future Four competition.

“This event gives students a taste of what it is like to start their own business, and gives them hands-on experience of pitching their ideas in front of investors,” said Christopher Vaeches, the president of the Sacramento Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs. “My hopes are that this event gives students that little extra push and momentum they need in order to make their dream businesses come true.”

“The Pitch” is based on the Emmy-winning primetime reality show “Shark Tank,” in which entrepreneurs appeal to a panel of three judges about the creativity, marketability, and overall viability of their ideas. Over $87 million has been invested in the approved start-up businesses, according to the Internet Movie Database.

“My friends and I have always had dreams of owning our own businesses,” Vaeches said. “We simply lacked … that little extra push of motivation to actually follow through with our ideas.”

Rick Stephens, a junior chemistry major who is on medical leave until next fall, is planning to enter “The Pitch.”

“(It’s) a way to prove my individual merits I suppose, to see what I can do to keep my somewhat substantial ego afloat in these uncertain times,” Stephens said, adding that he is unemployed and “almost utterly broke.”

A total of $2,500 will be given out as award money with $1,200, $800 and $500 being given to first, second, and third places, respectively.

The award money was raised by Seung Bach, the interim associate dean for the undergraduate program in the College of Business Association.

Winners will also represent Sac State at the national Future Four competition, which included eight universities from three different states last year, according to Vaeches.

Stephens said that if he wins the Future Four competition, he wants to begin building his business “across the stars.”

More information about The Pitch can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

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