The final round of IVC’s Idea Pitch Competition, where students pitch their product and business ideas to industry experts and professional entrepreneurs, took place virtually on May 11. This was preceded by the first round of the competition on April 20 which was structured like the “Voice”, where three industry mentors, David Ochi, Michael Sawitz, and Tiana Isaacs, battled over choosing three of the 12 contestants to be on their team. The entrepreneur mentors spent the following three weeks with their teams and prepared them for the final round by conducting group and one-on-one workshops to further develop their business idea, their pitch deck, and refining presentation skills; and they were ready to deliver. Some of the finalists had the opportunity to meet with additional industry experts to conduct market validation research to better understand the need for their products.
The competition was open to all majors and IVC's dual-enrolled high school partners. Students from Legacy Magnet Academy, Northwood High School, and University High competed in the competition. The finalists consisted of students majoring in computer science, economics, science, communications, and business administration. The five-minute pitches included a well-defined problem and the student’s solution to that problem in the form of a product or service, who the target customer would be, the business model and marketing strategy including pricing and profitability, as well as market testing and validation that the students conducting while developing their business plan.
An industry judge panel made up of Founder of NexusEdge Eddie Lin, Founder of 10-8 Systems Bryan Ruef, and OC Regional Director of Business and Entrepreneurship Cathleen Greiner critiqued and scored the presentations. After a fun, but grueling competition, the top three winners took home a cash prize and more than $2,000 dollars in business start-up services. The top three were Anna Nahm from IVC with One Dress Suits All, (a customizable business and dress attire for women) who took 1st Place, Shuba Senthikumar from University High School, with Safety Straws (a date drug detector straw) in 2nd Place, and Amisha Chandra from Legacy Magnet Academy with Carbogone, (an automotive carbon monoxide filter system), who took 3rd Place. The Audience Choice Award went to Maxwell Pen from Legacy Magnet Academy with his drone delivery service for pregnant women in remote areas. The event was coordinated and hosted by Professor John Russo in the Business and Entrepreneurship Department at Irvine Valley College and enabled partnerships with student entrepreneurs, industry partners, the community college, and local high schools.