2023 BizPitch Competition

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Lauren Medeiros / The Bucknellian

Connor Bennett, Staff Writer

Bucknell BizPitch is an annual competition hosted by Bucknell’s Small Business Development Center. It allows for students to create a pitch where they present a new product or service. In a Shark Tank style, students present to a panel of judges who then question them and give them feedback about their product. 

Bucknell’s Small Business Development provides free consulting to the students in order for students to plan, prepare and refine their pitch. The finals for BizPitch took place on April 10 at 6:30pm in the Terrace Room. This year, the four finalists were GeoRef, Prime Air Nebulizers, Uncharted and Allergy Aid.

The three judges for BizPitch were all successful Bucknell alumni who have made a career in business. Judge Anthony Lewis ’04, is Vice President at Morgan Stanley. He graduated from Bucknell with a degree in Economics and then went on to earn an MBA from the University of North Carolina. He is also founder of Manhattan Exercise Company and has immense experience in starting a business. 

Judge Pamela Gilmour ’76, is the founder of Financial Fitness and graduated from Bucknell with a degree in accounting. She also is an active volunteer for Maryland Alzheimer’s Association and the national board for Women in Insurance and Financial Services. 

The last judge was Mike Molinet ’04, who is the Co-Founder of Branch, a mobile linking platform that provides the power to many applications. He graduated from Bucknell with a mechanical engineering degree and earned an MBA from Stanford.

GeoRef

This sports scheduling app was created by a team of four first year students: Anna Ottman ’26, Yali Amsili ’26, Will Crosswhite ’26 and Hunter Gehman ’26. The goal of this app is to better manage referee scheduling for sports leagues. They have implemented a unique algorithm that uses location, time and distance in order for referees to find games to go to. 

It was noted that a big problem with sports leagues is finding referees to cover games at the last minute. This application aims to solve this issue. The main goal of the application is to be an “all-in-one solution for sports league management,” the group said. Once they have refined the application on a local level, GeoRef aims to take the application to the national level. 

Prime Air Nebulizer

Biomedical Engineering major Simbi Maphosa ’23 developed this asthma treatment product to help the citizens of her home country of Zimbabwe. She was inspired to create the product due to the struggles her Grandma would have to go through to obtain asthma medication. 

The product has a very easy design that is able to provide life saving treatment for patients with asthma. Underserved communities often cannot get access to the health care tools that they need; this product is aimed at providing a solution to this problem through a portable and cost-effective device that does not require electricity. Her end goal is for NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to buy the product in bulk and teach the citizens of underprivileged countries how to use it.  

Uncharted

Designed by engineering majors Will Carcieri ’23, Stevie Rauch ’23 and Ben Carcieri ’23, Uncharted aims to promote new artists through a discovery app. The top 0.7 percent of artists control most of the music industry. This app will be the first to bring people who want to discover new music to new artists. 

The students created the application based on personal experience with aspiring artists.

We have a ton of family and friends who are aspiring artists and we have watched them struggle to get their music out there. We were inspired by TikTok and how anyone can post a video and have it blow up. We want to create a platform that allows any artist to get their music heard, no matter how small” Carcieri said. 

Allergy Aid

Kim Magnotta ’25 created this application in order to map out restaurants that are allergy friendly. Kim herself has many food allergies and all her life has had to deal with the struggle of trying to find restaurants she can eat at. This application aims to “take the fear out of food,” she said. Restaurants are able to pay to be certified as allergy friendly and can pay to appear more quickly on the application. Kim’s ultimate goal is for others with food allergies to confidently find restaurants that will accommodate their needs. 

Winners of Awards

Uncharted won the grand award and received a $5,000 prize. Viewers of the event were also able to vote for a “fan favorite” which Uncharted also won, receiving a $2,500 prize. Prime Air won the $2,500 Changemaker Award for the impact the product has the potential to make on underserved communities around the world. GeoRef and Allergy Aim both won the $1,846 Bucknell Entrepreneurship Award. 

Uncharted aims to use the Grand Prize winnings to further development of their business.

“We will use the winnings to secure all the necessary domains and protections. We’re also hoping to recruit another programmer to help us finish development in time to release the app by early August,” Ben Carrier said. He also attributes a lot of his success to the guidance provided through BizPitch.

“BizPitch was such a great experience. We learned so much and we’re thankful for all the guidance from our SBDC mentors,” he said.

How to Apply?

The BizPitch competition is open to any Bucknell student. Each company must also be at least 50 percent owned by a current Bucknell student. Students who are interested in applying to BizPitch can visit this link to apply. https://www.bucknell.edu/academics/beyond-classroom/bizpitch-competition

2023 BizPitch Competition Uncharted is the Winner
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