MCC News

Students Can Win Funding for Their Business Ideas

Monday, October 01, 2012

College and high school entrepreneurs will compete for cash prizes on Wednesday, Nov. 7, when they will present their business ideas during the BOOST! Muskegon Elevator Pitch Competition in Muskegon Community College’s Overbrook Theater.

 The top three student winners will receive $1000, $750 and $500, respectively.

At the same time, an open category competition for the general public offers those winners the chance to present to the Blue Water Angels investment group at a future date.

 In both cases, interested persons must register online at by no later than Oct. 17 in order to be considered for the Elevator Pitch Competition.

A panel of local entrepreneurial experts judges the competition. Each participant has up to two minutes to present his or her case. Entrants can find helpful advice from former presenters on how to make a successful presentation at, College and high students selected for the Nov. 7 event will be required to attend a mandatory preparation meeting on Oct. 24.

Sponsored by e-merge, the Elevator Pitch Competition is part of “e-fest! 2012,” a three-week long series of events in West Michigan.

The Nov. 7 activities at MCC include an Entrepreneur Resource Expo in the Overbrook Theater lobby and networking opportunities. Also, a Blue Water Angels member will present insights into the organization of Michigan-based investors which annually awards hundreds of thousands of dollars to individuals with innovative business concepts.

The competition takes its name from the imagined scenario of an individual being able to describe his or her business venture to a stranger in the time it take to ride an elevator between floors.

“Any business owner should be prepared to give a two-minute elevator pitch at any time,” said David Stradal, the MCC entrepreneurial studies program coordinator who has worked with academic departments to create 14 entrepreneurial offerings on campus in two years.

“You just never know who you’re going to run into, whether it is in a business situation or a social setting. In our culture, it is very natural when you get introduced to someone, to be asked, ‘Oh, what do you do?’ That’s a perfect opportunity to roll out your elevator pitch.”

“The future growth in Muskegon is entrepreneurism and in order to promote it, MCC is building its entrepreneur program training people to become, if they choose, successful entrepreneurs. Competitions like this are a great way to practice skills to help one become a good entrepreneur.”

For more information on the competition, contact e-merge at (231) 724-3173 or e-mail at