October 19, 2009

Students head to CEO Elevator Pitch Competition

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- If you had just a 90-second elevator ride to convince someone to invest in that great new business idea of yours, could you do it?

That’s the premise of the CEO Elevator Pitch Competition. Three Southern Illinois University Carbondale students will participate in at the 2009 National Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) Annual Conference Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 22-24, in Chicago.

The Saluki CEO Corps hosted its own elevator pitch competition Oct. 13 and the top two prizewinners earned all-expense paid trips to compete at the national competition. Those placing third and fourth earned half-scholarships to the national conference. The top three from the SIUC contest will compete in Chicago while fourth place is an alternate.

The top prize in the upcoming competition is $2,500 and there are additional cash prizes for runners-up.

The winners from SIUC who will attend this week’s national CEO conference, shown with hometown, year, major, parents’ names and place at the local competition are:

First -- Renee Favreau, a senior marketing major from Carbondale, Carl and Connie Favreau.

Second -- Amy F. Campbell, a second year MBA student from Coulterville, Dean and Cookie Campbell.

Third -- Ben Morris, a senior management major with business entrepreneurship specialization from Vandalia, John B. Morris, Deborah J. and Brad L. Boley.

Fourth -- Armon Kelly, a senior marketing major from St. Louis, Evelyn and Clarence Kelly.

Accompanying them will be Maryon King, associate professor of marketing in the College of Business and director of the Center for Innovation, and Jenni Janssen, assistant director of the Center for Innovation. In addition, Saluki CEO Corps members Katie Dzugan, a senior management major from Mount Prospect; Ashton Grounds, a senior finance major from West Frankfort; and Gina Montgomery, a senior art major from Carbondale, are attending this week’s National CEO Annual Conference.

In addition to the elevator pitch competition, the conference will feature a variety of presentations and guest speakers sharing their expertise and experiences regarding entrepreneurship and successfully launching and operating businesses.