2012 NorthWest PA College Elevator Pitch Competition Winners Announced at eCenter@LindenPointe

HERMITAGE, PA – May 3, 2012 -­ The eCenter@LindenPointe, business incubator located in Hermitage, PA, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 NW PA College Elevator Pitch Competition. Twenty‐five teams from five schools (Allegheny College, Grove City College, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State University and Youngstown State University) participated in the elevator pitch competition.

The teams, made up of 1 – 6 students, were given three minutes to present an original business idea to a panel made up of four judges with business investment experience. The judges were Bob Jazwinski (JFS Wealth Advisors), Clancy Atkinson (PNC Wealth Management), Rich Epstein (Ekker, Kuster, McConnell & Epstein, LLP) and Tyler Hudson (Hudson Companies).

Michael Trombly (Grove City College) won first place ($1,000) with his business idea, Sand Chariot. The Sand Chariot is a uniquely designed beach wheelchair for the physically challenged and the elderly. Mr. Trombly and his father designed the first Sand Chariot for his aunt who has successfully been using the beach wheelchair for over six years.

The second place prize ($750) went to a team from Allegheny College who pitched a business called PureFrac. The team members, Eric Engelhardt and Anulekha Venkatram, intrigued the judges and the audience with a business idea centered on cleaning water used in the Marcellus Shale drilling process. This team recently won first place in the Allegheny College Gator Innovation Challenge.

The third place prize ($500) was awarded to Profile Passer (Grove City College). The team, made up of Samantha Weber, Mareah Zuck, Jimmy Van Eerden, and Nathan Albrecht, pitched an iPhone app that turns a virtual relationship between high school athletes and college coaches into a personal, one-­‐on-­‐one recruiting connection at college showcase tournaments in an effort to produce real results.

All three teams plan to pursue turning the ideas into real businesses. “This competition gives regional college students the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a judging panel made up of real-­‐ world investors,” stated Yvonne English, Executive Director of the eCenter@LindenPointe, “It was a true inspiration to see the array of ideas pitched at the competition. We’re going to do everything possible to encourage and support these students as they explore business ideas and hopefully start new businesses in our region.”