Entrepreneurship Program Co-Sponsoring, Hosting ‘Shark Tank’ Pitch Event

The entrepreneurship program in the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business will again co-sponsor and host the MIT Enterprise Forum-Pittsburgh’s fast-paced PitchFest event, during which student and other entrepreneurs can get feedback on their ideas and presentations from a panel of successful local investors.

PitchFest 2016 will be held on Tuesday, April 26, in the Wolfe Lecture Hall of the Bayer Learning Center from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Networking will take place before and after the pitches in the Bayer Hall Rotunda.

Individuals and teams will participate in the first round to make a 90-second elevator pitch without using slides. Audience voting will determine which three participants move on to the second round to make a five-minute presentation with slides. The panel of investors will offer general feedback for everyone collectively after the first round on the makings of a successful pitch. The three participants who advance to the second round will receive detailed feedback on their presentation from the panel.

Prizes include a cash award of $500—provided through the sponsorship by BPU Investment Group, Inc. and Dollar Bank—and in-kind legal and consulting services proved by Cherin Law Offices P.C. and Five Star Development Inc.

“The art of the 90-second ‘elevator’ pitch is critical for entrepreneurs,” said Jack Mason, director of the entrepreneurial studies program. “Participants will have the opportunity to get some exposure for their businesses and feedback from a panel of startup incubator and investor executives. Everyone attending will have the opportunity to learn from and network with key participants in Pittsburgh’s vibrant startup community.”

This year’s panel of investors is:

  • Nehal Bhojak, director of innovation, Idea Foundry
  • Ilana Diamond, managing director, AlphaLab Gear
  • Stephan Mueller, chief operating officer, Thrill Mill
  • Mel Pirchesky, president, Eagle Ventures Inc.

Registration is required to attend the event. PitchFest 2016 is free for Duquesne students and MIT Enterprise forum members, $10 for students from other schools, $25 for MIT alumni and members of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship and $45 for general admission.