Bryan Ruef of 10-8 Systems pitches to a judge at the 2019 Titan Fast Pitch competition at Cal State FullertonHundreds of Cal State Fullerton and other Orange County students, alumni, donors, supporters, and family members took time during the weekend before Halloween to gather at the Titan Student Union on Oct. 26 for the annual Titan Fast Pitch competition.

The event, presented by the Cal State Fullerton Center for Entrepreneurship and sponsored by MUFG Union Bank, gives university, college, high school and intermediate school students planning to start their own businesses the opportunity to perfect the art of fast pitches of as little as 60 seconds before Orange County business leaders acting as impartial judges.

“We started Titan Fast Pitch to challenge students to effectively communicate ideas in a limited period of time — a critical skill that entrepreneurs must develop,” explains Travis Lindsay, management lecturer and manager of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the CSUF Startup Incubator​. “Students learn how to communicate their ideas to key stakeholders, such as investors, business partners and customers.”

The event involves the aspiring entrepreneurs participating in multiple rounds of pitches before judges, including a bullpen round requiring as many 60-second pitches as possible in an hour, and the lightening round, involving pitches to both the judges and broader audience.

Among the top finishers, who received scholarships of up to $1,500, was CSUF computer science student Bryan Ruef and his brother Kevin for their 10-8 Systems startup, an affordable cloud-based computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system used by emergency response agencies around the world, which netted second place.