Quickly capturing the attention of decision makers by succinctly presenting ideas, goals, and personal attributes is an essential life skill, especially for entrepreneurs. In 2014, the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum developed a one-day elevator pitch competition hosted by Bizdom Cleveland and the Quicken Loans Arena that has subsequently been incorporated as a central part of the student experience. More than 200 students annually participate from throughout the network of schools.
The competition requires students to quickly form into teams with students from the other schools and begin collaborating and communicating. In round one, each student develops an idea and delivers a sixty-second pitch to fellow team members. Team members then select and rally around the best pitch idea and the strongest presenter who represents the entire team in the final round of competition. Dozens of mentors, coaches, and other students provide feedback and support in developing the best and final pitch, which is presented in front of more than one hundred people, including all of the teams and a panel of judges. Winners receive prizes and, of course, bragging rights.
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My presentation skills and ability to deliver a business pitch have significantly improved.
At Veale Startup Week, I learned that it’s worth it to take risks and devote your time to something that may or may not work out in the end.
It was a lot of fun watching and listening to the other student entrepreneurs at the Veale Venture Challenge finals. For me, presenting on stage in front of more than one hundred people was a bit more “real” and much scarier than presenting in front of a few judges at school.
The Veale Pitchfest was a great exercise in teamwork and collaboration. It taught me how to effectively share my ideas with a large group and how to build on the great ideas of others.
The Veale Venture Challenge was incredible. I loved being in a setting with so many aspiring business professionals like myself. It taught me that it’s never too early to start your own business
I discovered my passion for business this year through my school’s entrepreneurship program. I learned valuable public speaking skills and met mentors. I plan to pursue my company, take more entrepreneurship classes, and learn all I can about business.
The mentors were phenomenal and gave us great advice for the Pitchfest and life in general.
The Forum has inspired me to be more purposeful in stepping out of the classroom and connecting with what’s happening in the entrepreneurship space beyond education.
The mentors were extremely helpful and provided critical insights on our thought processes, future plans, financials, and especially the structure of our slide deck.
I liked the Veale Venture Challenge a lot, especially presenting my ideas to a huge audience and promoting my business to new people.
I love the challenge of the Business Plan Competition and the energy from being inspired from working with other entrepreneurs.
The Veale Venture Challenge introduced me to mentors who would like to help me start my company, which would be very beneficial to my future.
I would tell my friends to enter the Veale Pitchfest competition because there are so many things that can be learned from it, not just about business, but about life.
I learned in class what it takes to get into business. I will always remember that. Without it, my business and I would not be where we are today.
I learned a ton through the Veale Venture Challenge and got to work with and learn from some very amazing individuals.
The executive coaches were enthusiastic and gave useful and critical suggestions to improve student plans and presentations! The judges at the final competition were very experienced and offered excellent questions to the students.
The Veale Venture Challenge was a great experience and I am glad I did it. It was cool to meet all the accomplished men who came back to our school to coach us.
This program really exposed the dedication and hard work that the people of Northeast Ohio put into making their own independent businesses and giving back to the community.
I always thought Ohio is a state that’s not in my future, but Veale Startup Week: The Business of 3D Printing showed me just how much the people of Cleveland care about students.
The Veale Venture Challenge and the entrepreneurship programming at my school provide tremendous opportunities for students like me.