Four college student founders are hoping to capitalize on facetime with high-profile businesspeople as part of an inaugural university competition at Pipeline’s Innovator of the Year event.
Students from four regional universities will present their startups at the annual Kansas City-hosted IOTY event, which features a pitch competition among 10 Pipeline fellows, an evening gala and awards ceremony. Based in Kansas City, Pipeline is a regional organization that develops entrepreneurial leaders through an annual fellowship program and extensive business network.
The four students from Pipeline’s university partners — the University of Kansas, University of Nebraska, University of Missouri and Washington University in St. Louis — will be judged by top businesspeople from around the nation. Pipeline CEO Joni Cobb said that the students will benefit from networking with Pipeline fellows, training with pitch coach Nathan Gold and exposure to other businesspeople in the region.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to highlight the entrepreneurial strength coming from our universities,” Pipeline CEO Joni Cobb said. “It is a tremendous opportunity in both training and networking for the (student) entrepreneur.”
The students and companies to present at IOTY are:
Connor Hall | The University of Missouri | EpicEd
Erica Barnell | Washington University in St. Louis | Geneoscopy
Austin Barone | The University of Kansas | Just Play Sports Solutions
Christopher Aumueller | The University of Nebraska | Fanlete
Each university partner selected a student entrepreneur from a qualifying competition to present their company to audiences at IOTY on Jan. 21. Both the students’ and fellows’ pitch competitions are free to attend.
The idea to incorporate students came about the day before last year’s IOTY event, Cobb said. The university partners suggested that students get involved in one of Pipeline’s program modules, but as the conversation progressed, they realized IOTY would yield more excitement and exposure.
“It’s been great working with our university partners — they really get the value of Pipeline to their overall initiatives,” Cobb said. “They really have become an extension of our family.”
For more information on IOTY, click here