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Feb. 22, 2012
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab



SRU’s SEA sponsors ‘Pitch Competition’


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University’s Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator, which helps would-be entrepreneurs formulate and bring new business ideas to fruition, is sponsoring a new business pitch competition with a $1,000 prize to help launch the winning entry.

           This year’s program is called “Rock the Boat Business Pitch Competition.”

           Entries must be received in the SEA Office, 101 Eisenberg, by March 8. The competition is open to all SRU undergraduate and graduate students in all majors.

The pitch competition requires a written description of the business be submitted. The top 20 entries will then participate in a program that requires a two-minute pitch about the business concept, Grimm said. Written descriptions are due in the SEA Office by March 8. Those selected for the Top 20 round must attend a informational meeting at 12:30 p.m., March 20.

           Top 20 entrants will pitch their ideas to a panel of faculty judges at 6:30 p.m., March 26 in North Hall, where five finalists will be determined. An individual, not group, must deliver the pitch. Small props or prototypes are permissible, but PowerPoint, food items or other electronic media presentations are prohibited.

           Members of the SRU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America will videotape the presentations, which the finalists can later review to hone their presentations before the April 6 pitch session.

The pitch sessions are open to the public. Grimm said would-be entrepreneurs should consider the possibility of an idea being copied. Those concerned about their intellectual property rights should consult an attorney before entering the competition, he said.

           At the final pitch, finalists will present their two-minute pitches in North Hall to judges who will have five minutes for questions.

           “In order to help those with new business ideas better formulate their ideas into a ‘sales pitch’ that might attract the attention of investors and capital supporters, we will also offer a workshop titled ‘Learn to Make Your Pitch’ at 6 p.m., March 1, in 111 Eisenberg,” said Richard Grimm, associate professor in SRU’s School of Business and director of the SEA program. Workshop registration, which may be completed by calling 724.738.4374, must be completed by Feb. 29.

           William Ringle, president of the CURRUS Corp., a business consulting and coaching company who is active in the Callidus Group, a Pittsburgh consulting firm for entrepreneurs, will lead the workshop.

           Ringle will provide information on how to position a business proposal, how to clearly and concisely convey information, presentation skills and what to avoid.

           His career is based in the specialty steel and titanium industry focused on both domestic and international sales to the aerospace markets. In 1991, he led a management group to buy and restructure a closed steel mill. Pittsburgh Flatroll Co. was formed as a niche producer of aerospace and other specialty metals in flat product forms.

           Ringle and his team built Pittsburgh Flatroll into a company generating $10 million in revenue and creating nearly 50 jobs before selling his interest in the startup. He has served as president of a titanium processing company.

           A graduate and certified facilitator for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac entrepreneurial education program, Ringle is a master licensee and received extensive training from ActionCoach.

           He earned his bachelor of arts degree in economics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his master of business administration from Waynesburg College.



Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.