Lipscomb University students are presented with many opportunities to showcase their talents and creativity in the classroom as well as outside of the classroom. The Kittrell Pitch Competition allows business students an opportunity to test out their creativity and ingenuity, and even offers a chance for students to further their business ideas.
The 2018 Kittrell Pitch Competition, presented by the College of Business, will take place on Nov. 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Stowe Hall. Students participating will submit a five-minute business pitch or a product to a panel of professional, and those panelists will award first, second and third place to participants of their choice.
The winners of this competition will receive more than a title and certificate. The third-place winner will receive $1,000, second will receive $1,500 and first will receive $3,000. The first-place recipient will also automatically be eligible to compete in April’s Kittrell Pitch Competition with the opportunity to win prizes ranging from $2,500 to $10,000.
Several businesses that are used almost daily started by young entrepreneurs while they were in college. Some examples of this include: Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg; Dell by Michael Dell; FedEx by Frederick W. Smith; Google by Larry Page and Sergey Brin; and Snapchat by Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy.
The Kittrell Pitch Competition is made possible by generous donations from alumnus and member of Lipscomb’s Board of Trustees Marty Kittrell. Kittrell is a long-time supporter of Lipscomb’s center for entrepreneurship and donates in honor of his father, William B. Kittrell, who was a 1941 graduate of Lipscomb.
Twelve groups have registered to compete in this year’s fourth annual Kittrell Pitch Competition. One of the groups will be presenting their product for the second year in a row. Sophomore marketing major Mallory Grant and sophomore accounting major Kaitlin Stanfield presented their product, “Skip Cosmetics, the Swiss Army Knife of the makeup industry,” last year and were awarded third place for their ingenuity.
The two business students admit they were not interested in becoming entrepreneurs until, while attending a Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization dinner, a professor encouraged them to apply. The two, both freshman at the time, only had one week to create a product and develop a pitch.
Grant and Stanfield won third place last year and have been working to revamp their product for another pitch this year. Stanfield said their experience in the Kittrell Pitch Competition has showed them how they can each apply skills from their major into entrepreneurship.
“I personally love being an entrepreneur because it lets me work on something that I am so passionate about, said Grant. “My goals for entrepreneurship are just to be able to make this product a reality and license it out to different cosmetic companies. Being a marketing major with a business is the most rewarding part because I now get to create the marketing plan for my own company.”
The Kittrell Pitch Competition facilitates opportunities even after the contest ends. Grant and Stanfield have traveled to two other pitch competitions and have learned how to improve their product from professional entrepreneurs at conferences.
“We get to network with people from all over the world through entrepreneurship,” said Stanfield. “We went to a competition in Kansas City and learned more about other entrepreneur companies and what they are doing and we can now better our company with that advice. We heard from many speakers that are current successful entrepreneurs who gave us advice on how to build up our business.”
Although neither of the girls knew they were interested in becoming entrepreneurs before the Kittrell Pitch Competition last year, Grant and Stanfield are both committed to generating effective product possible.
“We are really trying to make the design as efficient as possible and develop it into what we want it to be,” said Stanfield. “Our short-term goal is to have a functioning prototype. Long-term, we would really like to develop it and sell it as a business.”
For more information on the Kittrell Pitch Competition, click here.
Any full-time graduate or undergraduate Lipscomb University student is eligible to compete in the Kittrell Pitch Competition. If you would like to compete in the competition, fill out the application here.