by Buddy Ray
ATLANTA – Seventeen Georgia State University students entered the Panther Pit to try and deliver the best “elevator” pitch at a contest held on Friday, October 30 by the Herman J. Russell, Sr. International Center for Entrepreneurship at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business. The event was held in Centennial Hall.
Student Mark DiNatale of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business won the first place prize of $500 for “The Knowd,” a social media application. Mark’s innovation helps students find other students with specific talents and skills. It also has applications for entrepreneurs.
Kendrum Delano Stallworth, a student in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies took the second place prize of $250 for his social website “Fathers at Work” that helps single parents. Student Onyebuchi Imonugo of the College of Arts and Sciences won the third place prize of $100 for his pitch for VitaBink, a pacifier that delivers vitamins and medications to infants.
“We not only had the highest number of applications to pitch in the history of the event, but the quality of the pitching was outstanding,” said Buddy Ray, associate director of the Russell Center. “It’s obvious that all of the new entrepreneurship programs, events and classes around Georgia State are paying off.”
The competition provided an opportunity for students to pitch their business ideas to a panel of distinguished judges for cash prizes. Students were selected to pitch their ideas based on the quality of a one-page description of the idea.
Cynthia Searcy, assistant dean for academic programs of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies; entrepreneur James Yancey, CEO and co-founder of CouldTags; entrepreneur and attorney Andrei Tsygankov, co-founder and chief operating officer of SmartUp, and partner in Founders Legal; and entrepreneur and attorney Dennis Zakas, chairman and CEO of Zinc., and partner in Zakas & Leonard; judged the competition.
Robinson College alumnus A.C. Myers donated prize money and pizza for the event.
The largest business school in the South and part of a major research institution, Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business has 200 faculty, 8,000 students and 75,000 alumni. With programs on five continents and students from 88 countries, the college is world-class and worldwide. Its part-time MBA is ranked among the best by the Bloomberg Businessweek and U.S. News & World Report, and its Executive MBA is on the Financial Times list of the world’s premier programs. Located in Atlanta, the Robinson College and Georgia State have produced more of Georgia’s top executives with graduate degrees than any other school in the Southeast.