In a fantastic example of collaboration between the WPI Business School, the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center, and the Value Creation Initiative, two student teams (of the four participating teams) were selected as top 25 finalists in the e-Fest Competition after participating in WPI’s recent Value Creation Pitch Workshop/Forums. e-Fest 2022 is a three-day undergraduate entrepreneurship event with more than $215K in cash prizes.
In a cohesive support for students, Rosanna Garcia of the Business School received a $2,500 grant to sponsor the training event, the I&E Center added $1,500 in sponsorship, and the Value Creation Initiative provided the workshop. Value creation follow-up forums helped the teams develop their pitches using the value proposition training, facilitated by Curt Carlson, a VCI founder and distinguished executive in residence at WPI. “The improvement from when the students started was stunning,” Carlson noted.
Teams representing Pallyt (David Hinckley and Nathan Klingensmith) and Nutroo (Yuriy Kamenisvkyy and Georgy Zhukov) have been invited to the e-Fest finals at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota (April 28-30), where they will compete in three live competitions in Minneapolis, each with significant prize money: the Pitch Slam, Innovation Challenge, and the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge. Finalists will also have the opportunity to be considered for two Special Recognition Awards. Each team will be receiving $3,500 in funding from e-Fest to cover flight and hotel expenses in the form of reimbursement.
Rob Sarnie, professor of practice in The Business School and faculty advisor for Pallyt, and Rosanna Garcia, Beswick Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and faculty advisor for Nutroo, will be going to support the teams in Minneapolis.