BizPitch competition announces 2019 finalists


Sam Rosenblatt, Editor-in-Chief

The five finalists for the University’s 2019 BizPitch competition will be Amulya, Bus Mate, Charity Chips, PlusOne and ReBokeh. This annual event gives students the opportunity to launch their own company and pitch it to a panel of judges in a “shark tank” style competition. The selection committee met on Thursday, Oct. 17 to narrow down a field of nine applicants to five for the final competition that will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Of the five finalists, three will be awarded funding to help their company grow.

Applicants were scored based on the problem they are attempting to address, understanding of the market for their product, feasibility of their business and innovativeness of their solution. Additionally, student startups were judged on the memorability, passion, and inspiration of their pitch, which consisted of a five minute video submitted as part of the application.

“BizPitch is an amazing way to share these stories, but the challenging thing about it is that it’s tough to narrow it down from all of the applicants to get down to just five who fit into the program and are going to be highlighted that evening,” Steven Stumbris, director of the University’s Small Business Development Center, said. 

Amuyla, led by Spandan Marasini ’21 and Arsh Noor Amin ’21, is a coding platform that seeks to teach skills to children in South Asia through relatable scenarios from their daily lives. 

Bus Mate, created by Steve Falcone ’20, is an app that tracks school bus routes so parents can receive real time updates of the bus’ location and when their child gets on or off the bus.

Ethan Opdahl ’23 heads Charity Chips, which promotes charitable giving by producing and distributing poker chips that act as currency for businesses to donate.

PlusOne is an app that promotes physical and mental health by aiding students seeking group sports and activities to find others int

erested in playing. Charlie Darby ’21 represents PlusOne, which he created with partners from other universities. 

ReBokeh, created by Rebecca Rosenberg ’20, is a software dedicated to helping individuals with visual impairments via simple, comprehensive assistive technology solutions.  Collectively, the BizPitch finalists represent all three colleges within the University and range from first-years to seniors. 

“[The applicants] each had compelling stories. They each presented themselves very effectively- and this is something we see from Bucknell stu

dents year after year- effective communicators in conveying what good they hope to do in the world and what advances they hope to bring either in their careers or, in the case of BizPitch, in creating something of their own,” Stumbris said.

The final BizPitch competition will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in the Terrace Room of Elaine Langone Center at 5:30 p.m.

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