500 Seconds To Win A Pitch

Students Learn To Get Attention The Hard Way

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Most business schools ask their students to draw up traditional presentations or write a thesis to share their ideas. But Indiana's Ball State University took the idea of the presenting the perfect pitch to another level.

With the help of Bradley and Montgomery (BaM), the university's entrepreneurship center created "The Nascent 500 Business Plan Challenge." Out of 25 team submissions, 12 colleges pitched their business ideas to a team of three potential investors while speeding in the back of a limo around the Indianapolis 500 Raceway. Each team had 500 seconds or one full lap to woo the judges and bring them to the next round where they would do a full presentation. The day-long competition ended with an awards ceremony equipped with a victory lap and $10,000 prize given to the University of Manitoba in Canada.

"We believe in the power of event marketing and what you can do out in the world to get people's attention," asid Ben Carlson, chief strategy officer, BaM.
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