Six USF Students Awarded Prize Money in Frank and Ellen Daveler Pitch Competition
By Elizabeth L. Brown
TAMPA (December 10, 2021) – Six University of South Florida students, including three from the Muma College of Business, won awards at the annual Frank and Ellen Daveler Entrepreneurship Program pitch competition held virtually on Dec. 4. The competition drew competitors from nine other universities and colleges in Florida.
The event allows students to pitch their product or company ideas for a chance to win brand recognition and seed money and mentorship as entrepreneurs. It was hosted by the USF Center for Entrepreneurship, which is a part of the Muma College of Business. The goal for the competition is to encourage students to start new businesses, teach valuable business skills, and to network with successful entrepreneurs.
A total of 15 students earned $38,000 in award money. The next Daveler Pitch Competition is slated for Fall 2022.
All six USF students were awarded $2,000 as a Daveler Fellow and invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to be named a Daveler Scholar and receive an additional $2,000.
The three Muma College of Business students who each won $2,000 in award money were:
- Nina Sajdak, for her pitch for Ninaz Neekrz. Sajdak is a student in the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance on the St. Petersburg campus. “As a company we strive to make our customers feel the best they can by providing hand-painted but low-priced ways to give our clients a fashionable way to express themselves,” she wrote in her proposal.
- Abbigale Grensing, for her pitch for Breakers Jet Chartering. Grensing is a business management major in the Muma College of Business. “From my experience at the JW Marriott I learned the importance of providing the best experience for guests, even before they arrive,” she wrote.
- Emma Rebman for her pitch for Tiny’s Truffles. Rebman is a student in the School of Information Systems and Management. “I am a management major who enjoys baking, working out, and being with my family. I would ideally retire early and make a storefront location for my truffle business,” she wrote.
The other two USF students named a Daveler Fellow were Nicolas Pedraza, whose pitch for PI Innovations won him $2,000, and Bekhzodbek Moydinboyev, whose pitch for Design to Device won him $2,000.
USF student Bernard Brooks was named a Daveler Fellow and a Daveler Scholar, winning a total of $4,000 for his pitch for Mudai Studios, an empowering video game company.
Pedraza, Moydinboyev, and Brooks are students in the College of Engineering and are involved in the Student Innovation Incubator through the USF CONNECT program.