September 12, 2016

Students can enter Saluki Elevator Pitch Competition

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Student entrepreneurs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will make short, dynamic presentations to “sell” their business ideas during the fourth annual Saluki Elevator Pitch Competition as they compete for a trip to Florida.

The competition will take place at 5 p.m. on Oct. 5 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, located at 1740 Innovation Drive in Carbondale. The premise is simple: Students have 90 seconds, about the time required for an average elevator ride, to explain their business concepts to a panel of judges and convince them how great the ideas are. That’s about how long they would likely have in the real business world to persuade someone to invest in their ideas.

The winner receives paid travel expenses to Tampa, Fla., to participate in the national elevator pitch contest during the CEO Conference Oct. 27-29. There, the top three prize winners will earn shares of $7,000 in cash prizes to help them launch their business ventures. Salukis have placed as high as fourth and won monetary awards at the national event.

The Saluki Elevator Pitch Competition is open to students of all majors. Two elevator pitch workshops are planned to help students develop their presentations and prepare for the local contest. The workshops will take place at noon on Sept. 26 at the Innovation and Sustainability HUB in the Student Center and at 5 p.m. on Sept. 28 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center in the SIU Research Park.

Students should RSVP to to reserve a spot in the contest. Meals will be provided to those participating in the workshops. Students are not required to attend a workshop in order to compete but must pre-register for the workshops and the competition.

The Saluki Entrepreneur Corps, an SIU College of Business registered student organization, is sponsoring the Saluki Elevator Pitch Competition. For more information, visit or call 618/453-2083 to speak with Mara Decker, president of the RSO. The Center for Innovation and the SIU Research Park provide support for the competition.