Contact: Stephanie Zombek
805-225-4738; [email protected]
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Two Cal Poly students won $1,500 at the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s (CIE) 13th annual Elevator Pitch Competition, a fast-paced, high-energy competition for student entrepreneurs, held Nov. 2 at the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center.
Ten finalists, selected from an initial pool of 50 applicants, had 90 seconds each to pitch their innovative products, services and startup ideas. They were evaluated by a panel of judges on four criteria: how well was the problem or opportunity explained; was the idea innovative; was the direction was clear; and was the pitch persuasive.
Industrial engineering senior Owen Works from Victoria, British Columbia, received the $1,000 first-place prize with his pitch for DrinkWise, a temporary tattoo that gives users real-time measurements of their blood alcohol concentration, or BAC.
“Winning was a bit of a shock because I thought there were some really good ideas and pitches,” Works said. “(Before applying to the competition), I talked to a lot of my friends about my idea, and everyone thought it was good and said to go for it, and I’m very glad I did.”
Works said he intends to expand his team and begin engineering the temporary tattoos.
Camille Boiteux, a business administration junior with a concentration in entrepreneurship from Saratoga, California, received the $500 audience choice award.
Her pitch for Swish Lash was the top pick of attendees. Swish Lash is a uniquely shaped reusable sponge brush that removes mascara in just a few swipes.
Boiteux also participated in the 2020 Elevator Pitch Competition with a social academic app designed to make studying fun.
“I’ve been involved (with the CIE) since my freshman year, but this is my first time competing as a finalist and winning a prize,” Boiteux said. “This is crazy for me.”
Boiteux said she plans to begin testing her prototypes to find which is most effective. She will also continue working with the CIE Hatchery, an on-campus resource for Cal Poly students interested in entrepreneurship or starting their own business.
Other Elevator Pitch Competition finalists included:
Cal Poly alumni Sara Glaser (Business Administration, ’21) and Madison Lewandowski (Business Administration, ’22) were the event’s keynote speakers. The pair co-founded HiLite, a San Luis Obispo-based fitness startup that connects users with a joint-safe workout solution that reverses muscle loss.
During their 15-minute address, Lewandowski said her entrepreneurial journey began three years ago at the CIE’s 2019 Elevator Pitch Competition. Throughout their college careers, Glaser and Lewandowski participated in several CIE programs and competitions, including Cal Poly Startup Marathon — where they met in 2019 — the Hatchery, the Summer Accelerator and Innovation Quest (iQ).
To watch this year’s Elevator Pitch Competition presentations, visit the CIE YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/calpolyeship.
The CIE opens a world of entrepreneurial opportunities to Cal Poly students, faculty and community members and promotes entrepreneurial activity and dialogue across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo. For more information, visit https://cie.calpoly.edu/.
Contact: Stephanie Zombek