Northern Michigan University's College of Business will hold “The Big Pitch,” a competition involving six students pitching their business ideas to a panel of judges. The event is part of the 12th annual New Business Venture Competition. It begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in Forest Roberts Theatre. A Business After Hours reception held in collaboration with the Lake Superior Community Partnership will precede The Big Pitch from 5-6:45 p.m. in the FRT lobby.
The students are vying for cash and consulting packages to pursue their business plans. The competition involves two activities: a trade fair, where finalists showcase prototypes or materials and give a presentation for the judges; and The Big Pitch closing event, where they have five minutes to present their ideas, followed by five minutes of questions from the judges.
Students review the finalists' written business plans in advance of competition day. Those scores are factored when determining the overall winners. Prizes will be awarded for first-through-third place overall, trade fair and Big Pitch winners, and crowd favorite at the closing event.
The contestants and their business proposals are:
- Cat Stenberg, Dandelion Yoga, “an opportunity for the beautiful landscapes of the Upper Peninsula to harmonize with outdoor recreation excursions with an emphasis on yoga, mindfulness and meditation.”
- Dana Stroven, Bio-Garden, “an eco-friendly way to stay healthy and live a cleaner, happier life through the supply of organic seeds and plants.”
- Kidron Stromwall, Lifestyle Gymnastics Center, “a training facility for athletes of all levels and all ages to come have fun while getting fit in a unique and challenging way.”
- Sierra Utych, Firearms & Safety, LLC, a licensed instructor offering to teach “CP, basic pistol and other classes.”
- Keefer Edwards, Glen Arbor Wines, a private wine label and tasting room.
- Jacob Patterson, U.P. Lure Company, a fishing supply manufacturer.
The New Business Venture Competition is open to NMU students and high school students. Students working individually, or in teams up to five, can submit a plan to start a new business. The “Big Pitch” was added last year as the final activity of the competition.