An entrepreneur gives an all-important 60-second pitch to several businessmen while riding an elevator in an office building.

The 60-second elevator pitch is invaluable in taking your startup idea to the next level. Local high school and college students will pitch their ideas before industry professionals at the Titan Fast Pitch Competition on Oct. 29. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Southern California high school and college students will compete for scholarships while pitching innovative business concepts at the annual Titan Fast Pitch Competition on Oct. 29. Got an idea you would like to pitch? Register today.

Imagine meeting one of the world’s leading billionaire venture capitalists in a hotel elevator in Silicon Valley. You only have 60 seconds to share your concept for a new mobile phone app. Pitching your idea effectively could be your opportunity to take your plan from dream to reality.

For Southern California high school and college students, perfecting an elevator pitch at the annual Titan Fast Pitch competition can be the first step toward getting an innovative business concept off the ground. This year, pitches will be evaluated by business professionals including entrepreneur Dan Black ’67 (physics); Karl Freels of the Dan Black Family Trust; Ash Kumra, co-founder and CEO of Youngry; Wells Fargo Community Outreach Financial Educator Alicia Lopez; David Morris, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Royal Business Bank; Michael Sawitz, founder and CEO of FastStart Studio; and Anaheim entrepreneur Bill Taormina.

“The Titan Fast Pitch is a great way for students to get started on a big idea and win scholarship money,” says CSUF Startup Incubator Entrepreneur in Residence Travis Lindsay. “It is also a chance for students and the community to get together for an afternoon and celebrate our shared passion for entrepreneurship.”

High School and University Tracks

The event consists of separate tracks for high school and college students. The first four high school finishers will receive scholarships of up to $400 for use at the accredited university of their choice. The top three university students will receive scholarships of up to $1,500.

Students from Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Chapman University and UC Irvine have already registered for the university track, while high school participants include students from public and private schools including Anaheim High School, Century High School, Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Mater Dei High School, Newport Harbor High School and Troy High School. Lindsay hopes more schools will be represented as registration continues.

Travis Lindsay of the CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship believes the Titan Fast Pitch is a great way for students to gain startup pitch experience while earning scholarship money.

“The Titan Fast Pitch is a great way for students to get started on a big idea and win scholarship money,” says CSUF Entrepreneur in Residence Travis Lindsay. “It is also a chance for students and the community to get together for an afternoon and celebrate our shared passion for entrepreneurship.”

Why the Fast Pitch Matters in the Real World

Lindsay says that participants will come away with skills they can use in their academic and professional future. “Having the ability to coherently present a complicated concept such as a business plan in a short amount of time is a crucial skill to have for at least two reasons,” he says. “The first is that most people you talk to have limited time to listen to new ideas. If you take too long explaining your concept, listeners are likely to check out and not give your idea any more consideration. But if you can pique their interest quickly, they are likely to ask for more information and potentially become customers, partners or investors in your concept. Secondly, coming up with a 60-second pitch forces you to fundamentally understand the concept you are promoting.”

For More Information

Registration for student participants and audience members will be open until the event begins at 1 p.m. on Oct. 29 at Pavilions A, B and C of the Titan Student Union. Register today online. For more information, visit the Fast Pitch website or contact the Center for Entrepreneurship at 657-278-3464 or visit SGMH 3280.

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