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Nineteen Entrepreneurs Pitch Ideas at the Frank and Ellen Daveler Pitch Competition Over the Weekend

By Keith Morelli

Presenter in front of audience

TAMPA (April 11, 2017) -- The Muma College of Business this weekend was flush with young entrepreneurs who pitched their unique ideas for recognition and awards at the Frank and Ellen Daveler Pitch Competition. In all, 19 came from 10 Florida colleges and universities.

The event, hosted by the USF Center for Entrepreneurship, offers undergraduate students from across the state an opportunity to boost their knowledge of business operations and get an insight into the entrepreneurial process in venture creation and growth and a chance for cash prizes.

The goal is to encourage students to start new businesses, teach business skills and to network with successful entrepreneurs.

All of the invitation-only participants were named Daveler Fellows and awarded $2,500, while a dozen of the competitors who presented exceptional pitches, were named Daveler Scholars and each was awarded an additional $2,500 cash prize.

A total of $77,250 in awards was handed out.

"You do not know how grateful I am," said Diana Cantor, a Muma College of Business finance major with a minor in entrepreneurship, in an email to organizers. "You pushed me and inspired me to step out of my comfort zone. I really appreciate what you have done for me and most importantly that you trust in me."

Cantor, an international student from Colombia, pitched Marce's Salsa Rosada, her idea for packaging a salsa familiar to those with Hispanic tastes. Her idea is that this common condiment could be packaged in small individual packets and used in fast-food restaurants.

"For many maybe this event is nothing," she said. "For me, it meant a lot."

The judges included Sean Burke, CEO of KiteDesk; Greg Ross-Munro, CEO SourceToad; Jordan Casal, CEO of Ardent & Bold; Ken Hamner, managing member of The Entrepreneur Law Center; and Chaz Ross-Munro, marketing executive at HOK.  The moderator was Michael Fountain, founding director for the Muma College of Business Center for Entrepreneurship.

"It was an amazing experience and I really cannot thank you enough," said Jeff Lamothe, a University of Florida student who pitched Change, an easy to use investment platform that caters to millennials. "The fantastic feedback I received will be an invaluable resource as we move forward with Change. The friendly and helpful environment of the Daveler Pitch has certainly inspired me to pass on this kind of support to others in the future."